Send Competitors Packing with Newsjacking


News used to be covered during the 7 a.m. broadcast and on the evening news. Social media has turned this system upside-down and inside-out. Now available 24/7, from ocean-to-ocean, the news runs on a minute-by-minute basis.

What does this have to do with marketing? It opens up a huge door for brands to interact with the community and join the conversation. Coined by marketer David Meerman Scott, this practice is called “newsjacking.”

Defined as the “process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business,” newsjacking has been around in the PR sphere for years, but it has just recently taken off with the help of social media. Simply put, newsjacking is creating content that specifically aligns with breaking news and your brand. It isn’t just sharing content or scraping information from someone’s RSS feed. Using copy verbatim from another source does nothing for your brand. It’s responding to those current events in a way that ties in your products, services or brand that will truly make an impact. Identify the event, news or commentary with your business and that is how the association will flourish.

We can all recall the famous Oreo tweet during the Superbowl blackout of 2013. That is a prime example of newsjacking done right. Oreo inserted themselves into the situation and cleverly aligned their brand with a popular event. And that was only the beginning. Turn now to 2014, where this happens on a daily basis. During the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon mentioned he wanted to invest in a new truck. The show airs close to midnight, but that didn’t stop Ford from responding. Within minutes, Ford tweeted Fallon promoting their F-150 King Ranch edition. Dodge, General Motors and Nissan were asleep at the wheel, until they picked up on the story the next morning. Ford stole the show, and dominated the competition.

Why should you newsjack? Benefits include a boost in your SEO (with help from trending and relevant hashtags), leadership positioning and a statement that hits readers when their eyes are open the widest. Brands will see an immediate impact, either by becoming part of the trend or getting out ahead of it.

Hijack the metaphorical stage. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through print, web, social media and video productionall in-house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or

Share on social media:

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required