If you’ve read the in-depth article on newsjacking by David Meerman Scott, you’re probably wanting to know more about how you can apply real-time marketing to your business. So I’d like to tell you more about Mitch Jackson, a guy who has been dubbed by David as the “Newsjacking Master” because he’s simply very good at real-time marketing.
Mitch is an attorney at Jackson & Wilson, a firm which specializes in helping people experiencing life-changinginjury and wrongful death. Mitch has become fabulous in his use of real-time connection by commenting on the legal aspects of breaking news stories, effectively growing his firm’s business with cost-free marketing.
I was curious to know more about how an attorney had mastered the art of real-time marketing skillfully, and so I spoke to him to find out more. Here, I’ll share with you what I learned from him so you too can replicate his steps and start leveraging cost-free marketing for your business.
From Arizona To Global With Newsjacking
Mitch grew up on a guest ranch in Tucson, Arizona. He is a first generation lawyer who was one of the first people in his immediate family to go to college and law school.The way he approaches the practice of law is unlike many other lawyers. He has an intrinsic understanding that to stand out above all the noise in today's busy world, he’s got to do things differently.
In 1996 when the internet was still fairly new, he jumped on the opportunity to build a website for his firm. Within eight short months, Jackson & Wilson acquired a million-dollar case through their website.
“I've never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when that happened, I realized there was something to this internet thing.”
He’s gone “all in” on the Internet and social media platforms every since.
During the past 10 years, Mitch started commenting on interesting news stories that had a legal twist. He just felt the consumer was tired of listening to the same old traditional lawyer advertising and so he wanted to do something different. Mitch began sharing his unique twist on local community legal stories, cases and events on his social media, blogs and podcasts. He knew he was on to something because of the interest, engagement and feedback he received from these posts.
To further hone his skills, he began studying the art and science of newsjacking, which is a form of real-time, cost-free marketing, with David Meerman Scott. By combining his own real world experience with real-time marketing and David’s proven marketing strategies, Mitch started tackling issues that had a global interest. When the #MeToo Movement broke out, Mitch spoke about the legal aspects of the Me Too Movement. When Paul Manafort was indicted and people were talking about being indicted, Mitch published a blog post titled, “What To Do If You're Going To Be Indicted!”
The result speaks for itself. Journalists and people following current events and the latest hot story of the day take interest in what Mitch says. Major online news publications including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and many others, have quoted and interviewed Mitch. One interesting memory that comes to mind was a show he did with Katie Couric ending up being profiled (in a very positive way) on TMZ!
With many sources pointing to Jackson & Wilson’s website, their search engine rankings have risen significantly. In Mitch’s words,
"Newsjacking has allowed our Southern California law firm to expand its sphere of influence from local to global. Clients have come to us because of our newsjacking, built relationships with us because of our engagement, and retained us for their legal needs. In several cases, we were able to obtain multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts because of cases that came to us from our newsjacking efforts."
Mastering The Art Of Real-Time, Cost-Free Marketing
When Mitch first began commenting on local community news stories, he had not even heard of real-time marketing or newsjacking yet, nor had he met David Meerman Scott. Mitch admits he probably wasn’t even doing it the right way. But he saw the power of this approach to sharing unique perspectives on interesting cases and put a great deal of effort into consistently using this approach.
Once he came across David’s work, Mitch dove into it headfirst. He read David’s books, connected with David on a personal level and became friends, and studied David’s courses.
“I've gone through [David’s course], from start to finish. The details of how to newsjack correctly helped me understand the process. David showed me how to do things right and avoid several big mistakes. Newsjacking has been my little secret to million dollar success!”
One skill Mitch has learned from David to successfully leverage real-time marketing strategies like newsjacking is to always try and approach stories from a unique and positive perspective. He has also learned from David how timing is crucial, and so he always strives to immediately jump on a breaking news story of interest.
If you’re thinking right now that Mitch is forever glued to his office chair waiting for some news to break out so he can immediately write something about it, you’ll be glad to know that’s not the case. Here’s Mitch’s secret.
Mitch simply monitors the same platforms that David does. So Mitch could be at the courthouse or down on the beach, either taking a run or maybe flying his drones. When a hot news story breaks out, he’s alerted by the platforms he follows. Then he’ll jump on Periscope, Twitter Live, or Facebook Live and start commenting about it. He also lets his followers know he’s going to talk in detail about the story by telling his followers to look out for his blog post when he gets back in his office in about an hour and 45 minutes.
This results in reporters and local news stations reach out to Mitch for interviews to get his unique perspective on what's happening. Learning how to do this type of cost-free marketing from David has accelerated his success and allowed him to effectively scale his firm.
Mitch goes on to elaborate,
"As David said, some of the secrets that we use have to do with using Twitter lists, and some have to do with setting up a database of all of the global reporters that we engage with, so that we can immediately send them a blast about our new take on a breaking news story.”
Applying many of David’s other real-time marketing techniques has also opened the door for Mitch to meet and and in some cases, get to know, well known celebrities like Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and many others. The resulting effort of these engagements has resulted in powerful blog posts, articles, news stories, and Google SEO results quoting Mitch or pointing to his website.
With regards to how Mitch finds topics to talk about, his answer is encouraging.
“It's been a fun adventure, and every single day there's more opportunity to newsjack on a daily basis than I have time to do. What blows me away is when people say, how do you find topics to newsjack about? My thought process is, how do you not find topics? It's just everywhere.”
The Value Of Human Connection In Real-Time Marketing And Newsjacking
Mitch has leveraged topics from all over the world, whether it’s newsjacking about a case out of South Africa, or a trending popular court case out of New York or London. It has allowed his firm to amplify his expertise as a lawyer and share his expertise as a lawyer. Most important, it has allowed Mitch to share his human side as a lawyer and that’s where the real magic happens.
Mitch explains how human connection is an integral factor of his success.
“I'm going for a run on a Saturday morning down at the beach, and the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data breach story breaks. I haven't shaved, I've got my hat on, I'm sweaty, but I just stop and I let everyone know on Periscope, which is Twitter Live, what my immediate thoughts are and, that I'll be doing a follow-up story on this data breach within the hour everyone can read, watch or listen to at my website.”
“What that does,” Mitch explains “is it shows the consumer, it shows my audience that I'm a human being. I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I'm just like the neighbor next door. I share the same interests as my audience and as a lawyer, I can talk about an aspect of that interest that others may not have thought about. That’s what connects me with my audience, unlike other lawyers.”
Mitch then follows up by adding more value in the stories he has spoken about. In the case of Facebook Cambridge Analytica, he reached out to Alex Holden, who's one of the top data breach security experts on the planet, and they did a podcast on data breach. Mitch asked Alex every single question he felt the audience was thinking about and wanted answers to.
The Opportunity To Leverage Real-Time Marketing Lies In Any Industry
As a lawyer, Mitch is living proof that even those in well-regulated or traditional industries can leverage real-time marketing. It is an opportunity anybody can take advantage of, whether they’re selling products, or in the software industry, a manufacturing firm, or a consulting firm.
“I find that people offer excuses for why they can’t implement these ideas,” says David Meerman Scott. “But it just takes a mindset shift. Mitch has done a great job growing his business using these ideas and he is a busy lawyer, working cases and running a practice.”
Take Mitch’s final piece of advice on how you can make it work for you: “Don’t overthink it, okay? Give yourself enough credit -- you have a unique perspective because of what you do, because of the job that you have, the industry or profession that you're in. You need to change your mindset and give yourself permission to share that unique perspective immediately and in real time with the world, using the approaches that David teaches in his books and in his course. That's how you rise above all the noise, that's how you share your voice, the voice of your company, with the world”.