A Marketer’s Guide to Newsjacking

by Ashley Lilly, on Mar 17, 2021

In the early days of digital media, using national or global news to bring awareness to your brand was seen as a hallmark of a sharp marketing program. But when the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle "stepping away" as senior members of the Royal Family, this famous wax museum made a monumental publicity stunt in removing them from a wax display that stunned the UK nation. If there ever was a single most effective technique to generate instant brand awareness for your business, it's newsjacking. And this prime example is how a well-known brand leveraged a news event to gain awareness and viral attention. 

Popularized by David Meerman Scott in 2011, let’s take a detailed look at the what and why of successful newsjacking that leverages breaking news to draw eyes to your business.


What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking refers to the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. If you ever found an opportunity to write a blog post, launch a marketing campaign, or generate a lead gen offer in these scenarios, then you're newsjacking. And that's a great way to leverage inbound marketing to build relationships! With the right newsjacking strategy, your business can use its content and social media channels to become a source your community looks to for timely information. More importantly, it yields SEO benefits, improves your brand's reputation, and drives highly targeted traffic. After all, 53% of Americans get their news from social media.

To stay on brand, follow these tips to newsjacking successfully:

  • News is breaking every second so setting up alerts about relevant subjects helps make sure you get notified properly. 
  • Use software such as an RSS feed to stay on top of breaking news
  • Draw a clear connection between the news and your brand/core values

Why do Brands Choose to Newsjack?


If you take a look at a visual representation of Scott's timeline, it makes sense that if you react to breaking news quickly and are among the first few to respond creatively or cleverly, you’re more likely to gain the right attention. This is why we at Growth write blog posts when Apple and Google both announce the “End of Target Marketing.” As more news breaks with the use of social media and other online channels, brands are learning to identify news topics faster and newsjack through a variety of content. It also is to note that this strategy is more prominent than it has ever been with hashtags on social media categorizing significant world events for brands like YOU to jump on board. 

Crash Chris’s guest lecture on the impact of the latest Apple and Google 🍪updates on March 25th


The Key Takeaway

So, what are the best points Growth can offer for making newsjacking work for you and your business? For one, newsjacking can be an excellent way to align your brand with a cause or display your message to a new audience. If done right (we can help with that) it will educate your reader in a creative way while showing off your brand’s personality and delighting your customers. With the right strategy for checking your content, you can craft a campaign that leverages this fanfare.

Has your business incorporated newsjacking into its inbound marketing strategy? If not, and you’re looking for ways to make the most of newsworthy events book a meeting with our team today!

Topics:Inbound Marketing