This is the the practice of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story and has been touted as the ultimate form of agile engagement.

Newsjacking demands constant vigilance, a rapid response unit and the authority to react to news stories by formulating and publishing a topical reply that incorporates your or your clients spin on the response.

The time to newsjack is immediately after the story breaks. It’s the ultimate in agile engagement – paying attention, and responding quickly and contextually.

Timing

Newsjacking starts with being in a state of constant alert, and at the same time, being prepared. To be able to capitalise on the “news hole” around a specific story angle, you have to move quickly.

Newsjacking works only when your message is deployed immediately after the news breaks. If you’re hearing about it on mainstream media, chances are good that it’s already too late.

Videos and infographics, are ideal platforms for capturing attention and developing viral campaigns.

Your primary concern is your target audience. Focus your efforts on the group that is most likely to react to and spread your message.

Use your social tools where they are most effective — for the consumer market deploy Facebook and Pinterest with their strong visual appeal;to really spread the news quickly try sending Tweets.

Strategy basics

Listen.
You need to be really connected to the news sources for your chosen sector to be able to pick up and connect the dots. You need to be dialed into industry news in order to identify the opportunities for newsjacking. Follow key players on Twitter – that’s probably the most immediate source of information available.

Use the right keywords.
Choosing the most appropriate keywords gives your release a higher chance of being found by searchers online.

Be prepared to move quickly.
Ensure all aspects of the news creation process are lined up and ready to roll – including your legal advisors if you feel uncertain about the potential lawsuits that might follow your release!

Newsjacking can be a great opportunity to push your brand into the mainstream so bear in mind the audience who are interested in the specific newsjack and craft your message accordingly.

The key to successful newsjacking is a process driven systematic approach that has the flexibility and adaptability to pick up a breaking story, add your spin, get your corporate clearance and launch your masterpiece.

Don’t forget to monitor the results – you will be tempted to repeat the exercise.

Recent winners in the newsjacking arena focusing on the Superbowl power outage include Oreo, the US biscuit manufacturer, who instantly posted a photo on Facebook with the caption “Power Out? No Problem.” They updated their status so fast that many users were commenting on how quick they reacted! And it seems to have paid off, too, since the image has received over 19,800 likes, over 790 comments, and over 6,600 shares to date.

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