Newsjacking – Your 60 Seconds to Fame

How would you feel if we told you there is one strategy that could make your popularity and sales numbers go through the roof? Interested? Great! Today, we talk about newsjacking – the art of hijacking a trending topic and leveraging its popularity to boost yours.

What is Newsjacking?

In the words of David Meerman Scott, newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story and generating tons of media coverage and social media engagement. Take a look at the illustration below to get your facts right.
David Meerman Scott coined the term newsjacking. It is the art of injecting your ideas into breaking news to get tons of media coverage for yourself. It got trending in content marketing after the Oreo commercial on the Superbowl.
Although originally it was a PR strategy, it is a great technique for content marketers too. Frankly, there is tons of content out there. Newsjacking makes your content fresh, generates greater interest and if you do it right, makes you a credible source.

How to Newsjack like a Pro?

We are going to tell you a story about Eloqua, a marketing automation SaaS firm. This is an excerpt from a podcast by the sensei himself, David Meerman Scott.
This story tells how Joe Payne, the CEO of Eloqua, used Oracle´s acquisition of Market2Lead to boost Eloqua´s popularity.
Story courtesy: Podcast by David Meerman Scott with Contentchampion

That is how you do it. To help you further, we have come up with three steps. Follow these and you will be newsjacking like a pro!

Step 1: Keep your eyes and ears open

You have to know what’s going on in the world if you want to do newsjacking. It’s crucial to plug in.

Set up Google Alerts or RSS Feeds, whatever works for you. I use Google Alerts, Twitter and Like I said, whatever works for you and keeps you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world.

Step 2: Strike while the iron’s hot

Once you have a potential story for newsjacking, act fast. By fast, we mean your content needs to be out there within hours of the release of the original story. Here’s what our sensei (Mr. Scott) has to say about when to newsjack:
This is a chart explaining what is the ideal time to newsjack.

Step 3: Share it with everyone

Once your post is ready, proofread it once and then publish it. Share the post with everyone you know, through every platform you know of. The more you share, the higher the chances of your post being a hit.

5 Cardinal Rules of Newsjacking

As I mentioned earlier, newsjacking is a very powerful strategy, provided that you do it right. Here are five rules that you should stick to, no matter what.
Rule #1: Back off from newsjacking if it mocks a tragic event and crosses the line
Rule #2: Ensure that the event has some connection and is relevant to your write-up
Rule #3: Check for intellectual property rights violation
Rule #4: Include keywords
Rule #5: Keep it simple and just do it!
Take a look at some ingenious newsjacking examples we’ve put together just for you, that worked like a charm for these marketers:

Here’s an example from Phrasee, wherein they piggybacked on the Queen of Britain’s reign. The Queen HRM Elizabeth II is recently in the news for being the longest serving monarch in the history of Britain. Everyone is raving on and on about it. Phrasee did the smart thing by newsjacking this event to their advantage. Take a look!
This newsletter by Phrasee newsjacks on the Queen's recent fame in a brilliant way.

Here are three things they did right –

The subject grabs your attention as it's talking about the Queen and her glorious reign
The intro cleverly establishes the importance of emails by comparing it with info from the Queen's reign.
Lastly, the sub captions also newsjack interesting info from the Queen's reign.
Our verdict
Hi-five GIF
GAP uses a creative subject line for the email newsletter.
This email subject line by Gap is a win-win. Firstly, it shows how great and versatile Gap’s dresses are. Secondly, even if readers aren’t interested in buying the dress, they will definitely open the email to read about the style tip.
This infographic by Audible is another great example of newsjacking, wherein they newsjack using the changing seasons to promote their sales.
This email infographic is cute, funny and refreshing. Audible appealed to their reader’s need to buy books by listing why the various reasons for the same by capitalizing on the climate change.

Here’s an example of how Sonia Simone from Copyblogger Media leveraged the internet frenzy over #TheDress to write an article about the importance of relevant and useful content.


Newsjacking, if done right, is a powerful strategy for content marketers. The trick is to identify the right kind of news story and leverage its popularity with a positive angle. Stay away from making light of things that aren’t funny, and you are good to go.
So, without further ado, just try your hands at newsjacking and let us know how it goes! Good luck!

About Bruna Goss

Jornalista, membro da equipe do desde março de 2012. Vive e respira email marketing. Entusiasta do marketing de conteúdo. Fã de Star Trek.