PR Classwork

Newsjacking for the PR Soul

The industry is constantly changing. The  traditional PR practices are not as effective as they used to be. The public now moves quickly like a roller coaster sorting through a high quantity of information. You are always competing for your audience’s attention.

Marketers now practice “newsjacking.” You, a PR professional, have to be constantly alert and creative to inject your ideas or angles into breaking news in order to generate media coverage for yourselves or your business. Due to David Meerman Scott’s book, the term is now popular in the PR world.

There are several benefits with “newsjacking:”

  • Boosting SEO and traffic on website and social media platforms
  • Drawing in new and returning readers
  • Showing your audience a different angle of your company
  • Getting ahead in the industry

Ready to get started? Let’s walk through the process together.

Step 1: Set Up Alerts
To find stories to “newsjack”, you have to constantly monitor the news. Set up an RSS feed that includes major news outlets as well as industry outlets that will alert you to normal and creative news opportunities. Twitter is also a great tool!

life-of-a-news-story

Step 2: Find a Primary Source
This is important for two reasons: it allows you to maintain originality, and credibility.  Also, read a few more stories to get a feel for what others have written, so you don’t use the same angle.

Step 3: Write Quickly, but Effectively and Accurately
Once you find a story you’d like to “newsjack”, you’ll need content. Take a few moments to research the search volume of the keyword phrase you’d like to target. It’s time to get writing!  Don’t waste time looking for pictures or formatting your writing. You want to be the first to respond to a news story! As long as your content is accurate and has been read through once by a trusted colleague, the extra steps should be done at a later time.

Step 4: Get the Word Out
Market your marketing. Share your “newsjacking” content on your social networks. Use your connections with partners, bloggers, and journalists.

Here’s an example of “newsjacking” below.

The NFL’s Sidelines blog covers your typical football-related stories. However, the NFL.com staff sidetracked its usual coverage to “newsjack” a hot topic in the news— the announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s new baby. The blog post showcased the NFL’s most royal baby names.

screen_shot_2012-12-14_at_10.52.55_am

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