Monday, November 18, 2013

PR Tip: Newsjacking - It's Legal & It Works

If I had a $1 for every friend or associate who asked me for PR help with their business, project or personal brand, I'd be able to buy all the cupcakes in the world!  As much as I love cupcakes and helping people, realistically it's impossible to help everyone, so I don't.  I can and do give PR tips all the time though. 

So here's one of my favorites: Newsjacking.  Yes, it's legal.  No, it's not unethical.  PR folks do it all the time.  

News is constantly happening.  Every hour. Every minute.  Newsjacking is simply injecting your ideas (i.e. your business, your product, your service, etc.) into a hot, current news story. The key to newsjacking is timing, so make sure you're following your local and national news outlets daily. In other words, stay ready!

Once that breaking news happens, create something (blog post, video, tweet, article, etc.) relevant and appropriate (that's key too!) that will grab the media's attention.  Newsjacking is responding to a news story, and adding value to it that will be beneficial for the audience/readers.      
Here's an example: 

The Super Bowl is a big deal, right?  You already know the media is going to be talking about the teams, the plays and the halftime show. (Remember, stay ready.)  So, remember last year when Beyonce shut it down with her halftime performance?  Like, she literally SHUT IT DOWN!  The power went out and the game was delayed for about 20 minutes.  Well, here's what the Oreo cookie folks tweeted minutes after that happened: 

Perfect!  They newsjacked the Super Bowl outage.  The tweet went viral because it was savvy, fun and relevant.  

Last thing - Be careful and use good judgement with newsjacking.  You don't want to newsjack a negative, somber story and/or make light of it.  You do that and you'll be looking at a PR disaster. If you don't believe me, google "Kenneth Cole Cairo tweet."  #Yikes



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