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Newsjacking for Beginners: The Why, What, and How Explained!

Have you ever seen a brand suddenly pop up in your feed, brilliantly riding the wave of a current news story? 

That’s newsjacking in action!

So, what exactly does this term mean? Think of it like a surfer catching a wave. The news is the wave, and the brand is the surfer. Sounds tempting?

But, why should you care?

Because it’s a fantastic way to make your brand stand out without spending big bucks. Plus, it’s fun!

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ of newsjacking. By the end, you’ll have a clear roadmap to leverage the latest headlines for your brand’s benefit. 

Ready? Let’s get started!

What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the practice of leveraging current news events to elevate a brand’s message or content. 

By timely inserting their perspective into breaking news, brands can gain media attention and boost their relevance, riding the wave of the event’s popularity. 

It’s a dynamic marketing strategy for real-time engagement.

Why Timing is Crucial for Effective Newsjacking?

Why Timing is Crucial for Effective Newsjacking

Timing in newsjacking is like adding the right ingredient to a recipe at the perfect moment. If you add it too early or too late, the dish might not taste right. Similarly, in newsjacking:

  • Immediate Reaction: News stories are fresh only for a short time. Responding quickly ensures you ride the peak of their popularity.
  • Stay Relevant: Jump in too late, and your content might seem outdated. Timing keeps you in the current conversation.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Being early helps stand out before everyone else jumps in.

By understanding the importance of timing, you can maximize the impact of your newsjacking efforts.

How News Jacking Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

News jacking is a dynamic approach to marketing. This step-by-step guide walks you through the process, ensuring you efficiently leverage trending news for your brand’s benefit.

How News Jacking Works A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Look for the Right News

Picking the Perfect Story is Essential!

Just as a chef needs the freshest ingredients, newsjacking requires the most relevant news. It’s the magic behind turning a simple story into a marketing marvel for your brand.

Points to remember:

  • Fit Factor: Does the news resonate with your brand’s voice?
  • Talk of the Town: Opt for stories causing a buzz. The more chatter, the better!
  • Audience Alignment: Does the story appeal to your followers? If they care, you’re on track.

Handpicking the right news is the starting step in the dance of newsjacking. Make sure your first step is in tune!

2. Explore Your Perspective and Keywords

Finding Your Unique Voice is Key!

Amidst the many voices online, your unique angle and the right keywords help you stand out. They become the beacon for users navigating the information maze.

Guidelines to shine bright:

  • Distinctive Angle: What makes your viewpoint special? Define it clearly.
  • Keyword Clarity: Use words your audience searches for. Do proper keyword research according to the audience intent. It’s like speaking their language!
  • Stay Authentic: Your brand’s genuine voice combined with trending news makes for a memorable mix.

Crafting content with the right perspective and words is like adding the ideal spices to a dish. Make sure yours leaves a lasting taste!

3. Respond Fast, Yet Precisely

Speed and Accuracy: A Winning Combo!

While being quick on your feet can catch attention, it’s the precision in your message that earns trust and respect.

Balancing both, keep in mind:

  • Swift Moves: News fades quickly. Act while the topic is still hot!
  • Double Check: Speed shouldn’t sacrifice truth. Always fact-check.
  • Quality Over Haste: Quick responses matter, but so does quality. Strike a balance.

Rapid yet accurate reactions in newsjacking are like nailing a perfect recipe on the first try. Aim to get it right and timely!

4. Ensure Content Matches Your Brand

Branding and Content: Two Sides of the Same Coin!

When diving into newsjacking, it’s crucial to remember your brand’s identity. Merging current events with your brand’s essence ensures a harmonious blend.

For a seamless integration:

  • Consistent Voice: Ensure your newsjacked content sounds like ‘you’.
  • Values Alignment: News stories should resonate with your brand’s core values.
  • Audience Recognition: Your followers should see familiar traits, even in trending topics.

In newsjacking, it’s like wearing the latest fashion that still feels like your style. Stay trendy, yet true!

5. Pick the Best Places to Share

Where You Share, Makes All the Difference!

Just as every song finds its rhythm in the right venue, your news jacked content needs its perfect platform. The right stage can amplify your voice.

To select the ideal spot:

  • Target Audience: Determine where your core audience hangs out online.
  • Platform Strengths: Each platform has its unique flavor. Match it with your content.
  • Engagement Metrics: Go where your content gets the most traction and interaction.

Sharing your content is like choosing the right theater for a play. Ensure it’s where the audience loves to be!

Extra tips to execute News Jacking

Extra tips to execute News Jacking

Newsjacking is all about timely and relevant content. To ace this, you need the right tools and strategies. Let’s delve deeper into each tip:

  • Tracking Stories with Google Trends: A tool showing real-time popular topics. Monitor it to catch emerging stories.
  • Using Google Alerts for Keywords: Set up alerts for specific terms. When they appear in the news, you’ll get an email. Stay informed without constant searches.
  • Checking Social Media with Sprout Social: An overview of social media buzz. Monitor mentions and track trending topics across platforms.
  • Watching Twitter’s Popular Hashtags: Twitter is news in real-time. Observing trending tags helps you tap into current conversations.
  • Following Relevant Journalists and Bloggers: They’re news trendsetters. Track their updates for early insights into developing stories.

Armed with these tools, you’re well on your way to effective newsjacking!

Top 4 Unforgettable Newsjacking Examples

Explore these standout instances of newsjacking. Each showcases how brands cleverly leveraged current events, making a memorable impact and effectively engaging their audience.

1. KitKat’s Witty Response to iPhone 6’s Bendy Dilemma

Remember when iPhone 6 took center stage in 2014? It found itself in a slightly “bendy” situation. Phones were curving in back pockets, leaving users scratching their heads.

Amidst this twisty tale, KitKat spotted a golden opportunity. With a cheeky tweet, they chimed in:

“We don’t bend, we #break

kitkat tweet

It was a nod to their iconic “Have a break, have a KitKat” slogan.

The playful jest was a hit online, racking up 26,000 retweets and 13,000 likes. Hats off to KitKat for this newsjacking masterstroke!

2. Oreo’s Quick Move During the Super Bowl

Everyone loves watching the Super Bowl. It’s a big football event in America. But in 2013, something funny happened. The lights went out during the game, and everything stopped!

While people were wondering about the lights, Oreo had a bright idea. They quickly posted a picture of their famous cookie, making a joke about the blackout.

“Power out? No Problem. You can still dunk in the dark.”

oreo tweet

And guess what? People loved it! The tweet got shared over 15,000 times, and on Facebook, it got nearly 20,000 likes.

Lots of people, even experts, talked about how smart Oreo was. It shows that if you’re quick and clever, you can make the most of any situation!

3. Budweiser’s Quick Think During the World Cup

Everyone was excited for the 2022 World Cup. But Budweiser, who’s been sponsoring the World Cup for years, got a surprise. Doha said “no” to alcohol at their events. Oops

Budweiser first tweeted,

“Well, this is awkward.”

budweiser tweet

But they didn’t stop there. They had a smart idea! Instead of being upset, they gave the beer they had planned for the cup to the team that won. How cool is that?

This shows that even if things don’t go as planned, you can still find a fun way to make it work!

4. Denny’s Fun Twist on Apple’s Big Buy

So, Apple decided to buy Beats headphones for a cool $3 billion. That’s big news, right? Everyone was talking about it. But Denny’s, the restaurant, thought, “Why not have a little fun with this?”

They didn’t sell headphones or make new music, but they sure made a buzz on social media! With a cheeky post, they grabbed some of that spotlight just for a laugh. They tweeted:

“BREAKING: Denny’s buys beets for $3 billion, makes huge salad.”

Denny's tweet

It might not have changed how they cook pancakes, but it sure gave people a reason to smile and chat about them online!


Newsjacking is like grabbing a surprise treat in a box of chocolates.

When big news pops up, brands can use that surprise to get noticed. Companies like KitKat, Oreo, Budweiser, and Denny’s showed us how it’s done. They took moments everyone was talking about and sprinkled in their own special flavor.

It’s about more than just selling; it’s about connecting and giving folks a chuckle.

Whether you’re a big brand or just starting, always keep an ear out for the latest buzz. The next exciting moment might be just a heartbeat away, ready for your creative twist!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on current news events to promote a brand or product, by connecting it in a relevant way.

Why is newsjacking important for brands?

It allows brands to showcase their relevance, gain visibility, and engage audiences by linking to current events or trends.

How do I find news to 'jack'?

Stay updated with trending topics on platforms like Twitter, Google Trends, or news outlets. Quick responsiveness is key!

Can newsjacking backfire?

Yes, if done insensitively or without relevance, it can be seen as opportunistic and harm the brand's reputation.

Which platforms are best for newsjacking?

While any platform can work, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are especially effective due to their real-time nature and wide reach.




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