Whether starting a new promotional campaign or continuing with an ongoing one, it’s essential to be in touch with the context. As we keep up with the news agenda, we can significantly enhance the company’s outreach in an organic way. This powerful strategy is known as newsjacking.
Newsjacking has a short window of opportunity, can cause damage if not treated with respect, and might be tricky to get a hang on, but the benefits speak for themselves.
The Power of Newsjacking
With newsjacking, we use trending news topics related to your niche or product to build up brand awareness and get a good chance to go viral.
By using your representatives’ expertise to get deeper into a trending topic — or even present a solid alternative to a known problem — you can gain immediate organic coverage and increased visibility, significantly cutting your marketing budget.
Yet, newsjacking carries some risks: commenting on controversial topics may give the impression that you are trying to capitalize on others’ misfortunes, so be delicate when using this strategy.
Riding the Agenda’s Wave: Our Cases
- Well-timed to the Shapella Ethereum upgrade, a comment Robert Quartly-Janeiro, Bitrue CSO, organically made it to Reuters. Predicting the hard fork to cause short-term volatility, it enhanced the exchange’s exposure to readers worldwide.
- Hacken’s CEO Dmytro Budorin warned the industry that the Solana hack was not limited to iOS, and offered some solutions to the issue. His comment was published in Cryptonews, giving the company more visibility and authority as an opinion leader across cyber security.
- Swarm’s Chief Scientist Daniel Nagy claimed that upon the Ethereum Merge, more projects might opt for L1 rather than L2 solutions. His quote was picked up by Cointelegraph, giving more publicity to the foundation.
How to Run a Newsjacking PR Campaign
Staying current on trending topics is trickier than it sounds. Here are some valuable tools that helped us streamline the process.
Tools for Setting Up a News Monitoring System
- Google Alerts is probably the most well-known tool for news monitoring, which can send you email alerts with new results based on your specifications.
- Feedly operates as a news aggregator where you can customize and categorize the content you receive.
- Mention is another great tool that notifies you when a brand or keyword is mentioned in news outlets or social media.
Social media is another excellent tool to use when hunting for breaking news. Platforms like Twitter deliver real-time updates on trending topics, while user comments offer insights into your audience’s feelings. Don’t forget to monitor the influencers’ opinions for valuable perspectives on public sentiment.
Pro tip: Collaboration leads to the best results. One of the most effective approaches we found is sharing relevant news with colleagues in a dedicated chat and brainstorming collectively.
Find your Newsjacking Opportunities
After you set up your alerts and feeds, the next step is to identify opportunities, evaluate the newsbreak relevance, determine reach and impact, and choose reputable sources.
Pro tip: Speed, timing, and relevance are crucial for effective newsjacking.
- Create a list of reputable and industry-specific sources. Go for credibility: an expert quote in CNN or Reuters will be stronger than the one in Daily Mail (no offense meant).
- Make sure the stories you pick align with your brand’s values and mission.
- Use what you learned from social media to target your audience better
- Be aware that controversy is common in newsprint today.
- Assess the audience’s engagement by pulling metrics or looking at the number of shares, comments, and reactions. The more viral it is, the more chances you may benefit from it — but the trickier it will be to find a unique angle.