How to Use Newsjacking in PR
Newsjacking at its most basic is using current news that’s garnering a lot of interest and injecting your views and product information into the storyline. Successful newsjacking is not just about the content, original story, and you creating a connection, though. It’s also about getting all of that into the public view at the right time. Timing for newsjacking is not everything, but if the timing isn’t right, your attempt will fizzle and die without accomplishing any of your grand designs.
So what is the right time?
There is a very brief window when you can get the maximum impact from newsjacking. That time is right after breaking news hits. Because almost immediately after the news hits, journalists and others start scrambling for any additional news and related stories to hitch their news wagon to.
If you time it right, your hitch will be right there waiting for them to hook on and go. If you post after the scrambling is done – only the late comers will be looking, and they’ll have a host of other stories to look at in addition to the one you’ve shared.
How to prepare in advance…
With the growth of the internet, there is a voracious appetite for new news. So you know already that breaking news is going to happen – but you are looking for the big stories first. You may need to do a bit of visionary speculation and realize much of your prep work may never see the digital light of day.
Whatever area your company serves for marketing, there are big names. So take a look at those big names. What do you think they may be developing? If the CEO is nearing retirement age, who do you think will be the most likely candidates? What kind of scandal could break things wide open for any of those companies?
Make a list…
As you contemplate all those possible stories, create a list of articles for writing. Now, here’s how to be ready as soon as news breaks – write those stories in advance. You don’t have to know the details of who, what, where, why, when, and how to write the stories.
Write a template…
Create templates with blanks for each type of story you think might become breaking news. When you do that, you’ll have articles that are 90-95% complete. They just need a few details plugged in and you’re ready to publish. News agencies do this type of thing all the time, turning their interns loose to write obits on prominent citizens who are still alive and kicking up a storm.
Now, wait for the breaking news, plug in the particulars and hit publish immediately when something happens. Do not delay. Get your story out there including information about your product and relate it to the breaking news. You’ll be a winner at newsjacking. You will also be amazed at how many people become aware of you simply by following these steps.