Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business.
As journalists scramble to cover breaking news, the basic facts—who/what/when/where—are often fairly easy to find. That’s what goes in the first paragraph of any news story.
The challenge for reporters is to get the “why” and the implications of the event. Journalists want to quote someone in the story. All this is what goes in the second paragraph and subsequent paragraphs. That’s why the newsjacker’s goal is to own the second paragraph.
If you are clever enough to react to breaking news very quickly, providing credible second-paragraph content in a blog post, tweet, or media alert that features the keyword of the moment, you may be rewarded with a bonanza of media attention.
Mitch Jackson is a senior partner in the California law firm Jackson & Wilson. Jackson & Wilson are an established firm, with local lawyers, judges, and past clients frequently referring cases to them.
Even though they have plenty of business, Mitch writes a blog where he comments on the legal aspects of stories in the news and shares via social networks. And he gets tons of attention as a result. His popularity has resulted in more than 26,000 followers of his @MitchJackson Twitter feed.
For example, Mitch commented on the breaking story of traumatic brain injury by writing a post “Litigation Forces NFL to Better Protect Players- Hail to Our Growing Awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury.” This sort of post generates interest in the media who then quote him in their stories.
Did I mention Mitch is a lawyer? Many people tell me that the ideas I discuss like real-time marketing and newsjacking aren't for them. They say their business is different.
Mitch’s post "Who Is Responsible for the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman?" was written soon after the death was reported and gave people a different way of looking at the sad story.
"Newsjacking has allowed our Southern California law firm to expand its sphere of influence from local to global,” Mitch says. “Our newsjacking efforts have resulted in expanded audiences and relationships we never before thought was possible. Interviews, commentary, and in the end, new clients and cases are the happy result of our newsjacking efforts.”
Anybody can newsjack! It’s easy and fun. But you’ve got to be quick. Just ask Donald Trump, the master newsjacker. Trump has all but locked up the Republican nomination for President of the United States because he is constantly commenting on the news of the day on Twitter and has trained the media to listen. There’s no question that Donald Trump has a better command of real-time media than any other candidate for President. Trump uses Twitter more often than other candidates and he is faster to respond to what’s in the news than other candidates.
Newsjacking to grow your business is all about telling those stories right now -- this instant, in real-time – so journalists finds the content when they are looking for another angle on a story.
David Meerman Scott is the author of ten books including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, an international bestseller now in a new 5th edition with more than 350,000 copies sold in English and available in 27 languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.
His course Master Newsjacking online course teaches people how to get media attention, generate sales leads and grow business.