Successful newsjacking


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A guide to help you understand how to create successful newsjacks.

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Successful newsjacking

  1. 1. How-To GuideSuccessful NewsjackingExecutive SummaryHave you ever watched or heard breaking news and within hours it seems that everybusiness you’ve heard of is Tweeting or posting about it in some clever way? This activity,piggy-backing on a news event to self-promote, is known as a newsjack, and it often is avery effective way to generate a buzz. The way it works is quite simple: when a news storybreaks, many people turn to the Internet to learn more. As people search online for moreinformation about the story of interest, if you have “jacked” the story, your newsjack is nowpart of the search results. When done effectively, a newsjack not only promotes yourbusiness locally and worldwide, but also garners admiration for a successful and cleverpiece of promotion.This How-To Guide will explain what newsjacking is, how newsjacking can help promoteyour business, give examples of how newsjacking has been done in the past and provide adetailed action plan on how to create clever, memorable and appropriate newsjacks thatpromote your business.What is “newsjacking”?Newsjacking is the act of exploiting breaking news by injecting your ideas or commentary,usually in a clever way into a related social media post. It is ideally done in real-time andwhen done well, gets attention that increases the awareness of your brand. Withnewsjacking, marketers are making a specific effort to benefit from the popularity of aspecific news item while it is in circulation and getting a lot of attention. This type of newsis less important than your ability to exploit it, as long as the news generates sufficientinterest within your target market. When you execute a newsjack, your target market has agood chance of seeing it when they take to the Internet to find out more. © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. How-To GuideThe benefitsThere are many awareness benefits to newsjacking. When executed well, a good jack caneven win you awards. It’s also important to recognize that when done poorly, it can doshort and even long-term damage to your brand or reputation. This reality isn’t meant todiscourage, but as a reminder to give full consideration to the potential risks and rewards.Newsjacking is a fun and creative form of promotion. Because newsjacks tend toward thespontaneous, clever, humorous or even irreverent, they tend to get noticed when moretraditional promotional communications are ignored. They represent a welcome creativechallenge for the marketing team to react quickly and produce something of value.The idea of newsjacking is not new; however, its popularity has increased over the pastdecade thanks to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. In fact, sometimes acompany’s best response to a rising issue is a newsjack. Showing that your businessappreciates the lighter side will help your customers see you as relatable, instead of part ofthe “machine”.Clever newsjacking builds your reputation and recognition, increases your SEO and trafficto your website. A successful newsjack requires you to quickly circulate something that isclever and relatable.How’s it’s been doneHere are some great examples of successful newsjacks that resulted from the 34 minutepower outage that occurred during Super Bowl XLVII: 1. Oreo cookies During the Super Bowl blackout, Oreo sent out a Tweet saying “Power out? No problem” and attached a picture of an Oreo in half a spotlight and the caption “You © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. How-To Guide can still dunk in the dark”. This was re-tweeted more than 15,000 times by the next day, and represents a brilliant newsjack by Oreo. Because the game was paused for such a long period of time, people watching the game naturally took to the Internet to see what was happening. Oreo saw this as an opportunity to create a clever, memorable brand impression.2. Walgreens Right after the blackout, Walgreens began tweeting “We sell candles” and “We also sell flashlights”. These Tweets included the hashtag #SuperBowl, which was a brilliant idea on the part of Walgreens. Every person who took to Twitter during the 34 minute blackout and searched the #SuperBowl (looking for answers to the reasons for the darkness) would have seen this Tweet. Walgreens wasn’t selling anything new, nor were they promoting anything directly related to the Super Bowl, but in those brief 34 minutes, they were connected to the world’s most popular sporting event. By taking advantage of the blackout episode, Walgreens received some great visibility.3. Audi Audi produced another Super Bowl favourite. When the lights went out at the Superdome, the German carmaker seized the opportunity to make a jab at competitor Mercedes-Benz, owner of the naming rights to the Superdome, and whose logo was frequently pictured during the broadcast. Audi’s Tweet “Sending some LED’s to the @MBUSA Superdome right now…” not only was a successful newsjack, but Audi also tagged Mercedes-Benz USA in the Tweet, ensuring more followers would see it. In reality, the lights in the Superdome were not provided by Mercedes-Benz, but Audi saw this as a unique opportunity to make light fun of their competitor and it worked brilliantly, as it was re-tweeted over 10,000 times in the first 6 hours. © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. How-To GuideThese examples show how following the news and responding quickly can help yourbusiness gain more recognition. Your strategy isn’t to promote something new, but to actquickly to send a clever reminder that creates visibility for you.Action Plan: How to get startedWith this understanding of what newsjacking is and how works, follow these simple stepsto help get you use newsjacks to promote your business. 1. Follow the news  The most effective newsjacks piggyback on breaking news that seizes the attention of a large audience in a short period of time. The bigger the story, the greater the potential your newsjack will share the spotlight of that story.  Use free tools like Twitter and Google alerts to stay on top of current events and news as it breaks. Having a smartphone allows you to receive push notifications from news websites or alerts about news as it happens. 2. Create a process  Have a process defined in advance for evaluating a story and creating a newsjack. If you wait until the right news story occurs to figure out how to execute a newsjack, you’ll probably miss your opportunity.  Your process should include which creative resources you’ll use, the channels over which you’ll emit your newsjack and procedures for final review and approval.  Set boundaries for taste and common sense. Avoiding doing newsjack around natural disasters or other hard hitting topics like suicide, murder, war, © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. How-To Guide natural disasters, etc. At the same time, recognize that a newsjack will likely offend some. This is why you need a process in advance – to consider what these boundaries are.3. Act quickly  When the opportunity arises, move quickly. One of the reasons the Oreo Super Bowl newsjack was so successful was because Oreo had a creative team standing by during the event, just in case some opportunity arose they could exploit. Even though newsjacks are by definition reactive, it’s possible to plan proactively, particularly around certain events that are known for creating news.  Move fast. The reason why newsjacks are successful is that they occur while breaking news is still fresh. There is great value to being one of the first newsjacks to follow breaking news. The opportunities breaking news presents for a newsjack go stale very quickly. One goal for your newsjack is to start the trend, not to follow it.4. Maintain  Use Demand Metric’s Content Marketing Plan Methodology to build a content marketing plan that will help you to promote your content vigorously. This doesn’t mean sending out one Tweet. It means communicating across all social media outlets. Put your newsjack on your company’s blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  After you’ve created your newsjack, the most important thing is that you follow up with it. Re-post and re-tweet if necessary to gain attention. Insert hashtags and keywords to follow the trends of the breaking news. © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. How-To Guide 5. Measure  Track your content using one of our Dashboard Templates. Even the most carefully crafted newsjack can sometimes receive a negative response. It’s important to monitor the reactions of the public to determine if something is being taken out of context. If you accidentally offend people, apologize and remove your newsjack.  Monitor your website analytics before and after the newsjack to know if your newsjack was successful. Did your site suddenly see an increase in visitor traffic? Learn from your experience producing newsjacks to have even greater success in the future.Remember that there is a fine line between a successful newsjack and one that blows up inyour face. By following these steps, you can ensure that you choose appropriate contentand remain on the cutting edge of newsjacking as a form of promotion.Bottom LineA quick and clever newsjack can help promote your brand and your businesslocally and worldwide. With a team of creative and responsive marketers monitoringnews and current events, the newsjack strategy lets you promote your business at low costwhile potentially reaching a very large audience. © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.