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.
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!