What Is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the practice of drawing attention to a brand or product by leveraging a related current event or news to increase visibility and reach on various platforms, especially social media.

A newsjacking strategy must be timely, relevant, and considerate to be successful. Marketers must understand the context of the news story or event and ensure that their brand or product is truly relevant to the story.

More About Newsjacking

In 2011, David Meerman Scott coined the term ‘newsjacking.’Scott explained it as the act of leveraging breaking news to bring attention to an organization or cause.

So, what is newsjacking’s applicability for brands and businesses in the modern day?

By riding on a news or event’s currency and importance, marketers can draw attention, engagement, and traffic to their brand or product. Apart from establishing the business as a thought leader, this marketing tactic can also help promote the brand’s offerings.

Newsjacking can be a highly effective content marketing strategy when done correctly, especially on social media, due to its large reach. However, it can also play against the business’s interests if the campaign is perceived as insensitive, exploitative, or opportunistic.

Here are a few things a brand or business should consider to pull off newsjacking:

  • Relevance: Your content has to be relevant to the trend or news that is breaking to get your target audience’s attention.
  • Timeliness: While newsjacking, you must react timely and quickly to a piece of breaking news or a trending topic.
  • Creativity: To stand out and grab eyeballs, the brand must put a creative spin, think out-of-the-box, and find intriguing angles to the news or trend relative to the brand.
  • Authenticity: The content should align with the company’s values and voice to maintain authenticity and credibility among the audience.
  • Engagement: Your content must draw engagement via likes, comments, and shares to enhance your campaign’s visibility on social media.
  • Shareability: Newsjacked content has to be share-worthy and easily understandable to meet targets on engagement and reach.
  • Flexibility: Brands must be prepared to pivot and adapt to the changing trends and news cycles.

An effective instance of newsjacking was done by ‘Oreo’ during the Super Bowl 2013 when there was a blackout. Oreo tweeted a simple yet striking visual of the product along with the tagline, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Within fifteen minutes of the tweet going live, it recorded thousands of likes and retweets.

oreo cookie

Frequently Asked Questions

Is newsjacking an ethical practice?

Newsjacking is the practice of using recent news or other similar events to advertise your company, product, or service. While it is sometimes considered unethical, particularly if done without enough consideration of the context and impact of the news event, it can be viewed as an effective marketing strategy.

It is important to approach newsjacking ethically by considering the relevance, context, intent, and tone of the message. It can prove a legitimate way to provide helpful information to the target audience and general public if done with sensitivity and respect.

Is newsjacking more successful than traditional marketing?

When done correctly, newsjacking can be a powerful marketing tool, but it's not always more effective than traditional marketing. Both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best strategy will depend on the particular objectives and context of the marketing campaign.

What are some tips for successful newsjacking on social media?

The key to successful newsjacking on social media is to carry it out in a way that is relevant, timely, and ethical. Here are some tips:

  • Stay up-to-date
  • Be relevant
  • Act timely
  • Stay respectful
  • Add value
  • Be creative
  • Monitor results

Can any brand/company employ newsjacking as a marketing strategy?

Any brand or business can potentially use newsjacking as a marketing strategy. However, it is important to ensure that the brand value and messaging line up with the trending topic or news it is piggybacking on.

For instance, a sports company might find it appropriate to promote content during a major sports event by ensuring the brand value and USP come through in the messaging. But, businesses must be careful while newsjacking sensitive topics related to social justice, politics, etc.

Manage social media effortlessly.

  • Trial Begins Immediately
  • No CC Required
  • Change Plans Anytime
  • Cancel Anytime

Start Your 14-Day Free Trial