Remember when Oreo won the Super Bowl XLVII with their blackout Tweet during the third quarter? When a power outage caused the lights of the Superdome to go out for power 34 minutes, and the sandwich cookie’s team tweeted an ad that read, “Power Out? No problem” with the caption reading, “You can still dunk in the dark”. This power move resulted in more than 15000 retweets and more than 20 000 likes on Facebook.
Why is this important to know?
Oreo was coined winner of the Superbowl on a Tumblr post by Digg because they newsjacked a story and capitalized on it. Here’s how they did it and how you can too.
What is Newsjacking?
Thanks to David Meerman Scott, we have a coined phrase for turning breaking news into excellent PR opportunities – newsjacking. Newsjacking is a PR tactic in which you inject your own ideas or angles into news stories to draw attention to your own content. These spur-of-the-moment opportunities require quick feet and clever thinking.
Newsjacking is jumping on the “what’s trending?” bandwagon by adding to the conversation and using it as leverage to connect with existing brand loyalists and catch the eye of new potential leads.
When should you do it?
Right after news breaks from an official source, but before journalists are able to publish updated details – David Meerman Scott
Right after the news breaks – before journalists publish there is a maximum time span of 30 minutes (usually 10 minutes) for you to newsjack. It is a crucial and short period of time that you must react in for it to be successful.
When you do this, you may also find your message being used by journalists looking to share more relevant or exciting details.
Newsjacking is about a proactive approach to your brand and its message. Newsjacking can be witty (much like Oreo in 2013), but it can also be on trend for pure business relevance through social media relations rather than social media. For example;
As part of the regulations to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Dutch government announced that the registration of clients in bars and cafes would be mandatory. Understanding how this news story could benefit our clients, we contacted the Dutch press about our client mycapa.city (a nonprofit digital solution for entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry).
Jumping on the news and working proactively resulted in mycapa.city being featured in top publications in the country such as Het Parool and De Ondernemer.. It even led to journalists writing about the broader conversation around the product that we had been trying to pitch for months.
3 ways you can newsjack your next story?
- Set up alerts: You do not need to sit at your desk and monitor every news channel globally, but you do need a basic overview of the current news. Set up RSS feeds, Google News, JournoRequests, check Twitter from the outlets that are relevant to your business and of course, stay up to date on social media.
- Have a thorough understanding of your topic: Be careful of being too quick on your feet. With knowledge comes power and that means knowing when to shut up: you shouldn’t jump on every hype train. Take a moment to understand the story by researching the details. Once you have the details sorted, then you can start newsjacking.
- Hire a PR Specialist: Let’s face it, as much as we want to do everything ourselves, we can’t be proactive about every part of our business which is why you need a PR consultant to do the heavy lifting for you.
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