How to use newsjacking to get your brand off the ground

How to use newsjacking to get your brand off the ground

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking or newsjumping has become an essential part of today’s PR and social media strategies, as it is the preferred communication tool for imposing your expertise in the media or on the web. This technique consists of reacting to a news item to rework it to your advantage and thus gain visibility among the general public or journalists.

3 tips for successful newsjacking

Mark out your area of action

First and foremost, consider setting your brand’s own limits for this type of speaking engagement. Although the principle of newsjacking is to position yourself on news that is not directly related to your company’s business, it is important to define what type of news you can, or cannot, bounce off. Define in advance the target you want to reach to allow you to react quickly. You can write a simple but clear protocol to facilitate the future work of your PR and social media team.

Be responsive

You need to be aware of what’s going on around you in the areas you’ve selected during the tagging process. The PR and social media team must therefore carry out a thorough monitoring/curation of content to be able to react to news as quickly as possible. Be careful not to confuse speed with haste: take the time to brainstorm and anticipate potential crises or bad buzz, don’t jump on a news item that seems attractive without thinking it through. Once the newsjacking is published, you will need to be just as reactive to respond to your audience’s reactions and be able to put your plan into action in case of bad buzz.

Play the humour and creativity card

Revisit the news by opting for a punchy and creative angle to match the atmosphere of social networks. Go for a humorous and light-hearted tone or even puns! This is an excellent way for a brand to set a new tone or simply to increase its sympathy capital. In a period where negative news invades us, consumers are looking for irony and de-dramatization. So, get your best puns ready!

If you want to position your brand on a news item in the media, think about the added value of the press release that you will circulate. Note that journalists are drowned by information and that it is above all necessary to bring a disruptive and innovative vision of your expertise to give you a better chance of marking your interlocutor and of scoring a media coup for your company/brand.

Some examples of newsjacking on social networks

Netflix rallies around the Suez Canal blockade

Netflix compares a scene from Friends to the blocking of the Suez Canal by the “Ever-Given” to remind its community of the good times they had in front of this scene and to highlight one of the series in its catalogue.

Monoprix mocks health measures

Monoprix, well known for its newsjacking, has humorously attacked the government’s decision to force supermarkets to ban so-called “non-essential” products from their shelves.

(If baby bottles aren’t essential, you should have warned us not to make babies during the first lockdown.)

(Those who have ruled that antiperspirants aren’t essential obviously don’t take the bus very often.)

(Kids clothes up to 3 y.o. are essential again. The others are kindly requested to stop growing.)

A dragon with spicy flames by KFC

For the release of Game of Throne season 8 and to promote its Hot & Spicy product, KFC has created a very creative visual in which the fire breathed out by the dragon is chicken pieces.

Scotch repairs Banksy’s work

At an auction held at Sotheby’s London in October 2018, Banksy’s famous “Girl with a Balloon” is sold. Only, at the final hammer blow, an unexpected twist occurs: the work self-destructs before the astonished eyes of its new owner. The event, orchestrated by this artist adept of buzz, is taken up by a good number of brands. Among them, Scotch offers us a simple but very effective newsjacking that suggests that the emblematic work is now repaired, thanks to the Scotch product, of course!

Whether it’s a post on social media or a TV appearance, newsjacking will give your brand a boost. It will allow you to expand your reach, show that you are responsive but also boost your brand equity. With a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, you’ll make an impression!

The perfect partnership – paid and organic social

The perfect partnership – paid and organic social

Remember Facebook circa 2010? Brands took to the platform and it made a significant impact. Like all things digital, Facebook has evolved since then, in fact the whole social media landscape has. What this means is with the algorithm changes (for Facebook specifically) reach, impact and engagement isn’t what it once was.

Don’t worry though – paid social media is here to save the day.

Or is it?

Let’s be clear: organic social still has a role to play in your digital marketing strategy. It is the ideal platform to tell your brand story, it’s built around community and it’s not necessarily about target driven results.

Tied into community management, something that’s become more of a focus over the last two or three years, is employee advocacy. Your employees can be your strongest advocates and when they take to social media to convey that, it has a positive impact on your brand in terms of amplification of content, visibility, shareability and share of voice.

Organic is also the ideal testing ground for the paid side of things because you can see what content resonates with which audiences and how they engaging with your content. Those learnings, building up a clear profile of your audiences over time, can be applied to your paid strategy.

Why should you use paid social then? It’s not just used to boost organic content. It’s a lot more targeted than that. Those strategies are built around campaigns and specific objectives and typically across B2B are designed to generate an action.

So think about targeted content like eBooks, webinars and whitepapers, leveraging your best content. You can use these to fuel your paid campaigns across platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. With LinkedIn specifically, there is the opportunity to be really targeted across things like personas, industry, job title, age, geography, company size… the list goes on. You can use it to find and engage with new audiences

The key thing about these types of targeted campaigns is that they can be measured and you can determine your ROI. While paid gets the quick-fire results based on specific campaigns, having organic running concurrently building your brand story and presence provides longevity.

Using both paid and organic together makes sense. And when you’re using social as part of a larger PR and marketing strategy, they pack a powerful punch for reaching those objectives – be it lead generation, brand awareness or expansion.

If you’d like to chat about the opportunity that paid and social media can deliver to your business, please get in touch.

By Ross Walker, Head of Social & Digital, Whiteoaks International