What is Newsjacking and When Is it Right for Your Brand?

Oct 2020

Newsjacking is a tactic of using current trends to interject a brand into a breaking news conversation. Ideally it aligns your company with a real-time current event and generates a high level of media coverage and social engagement for the business.

Right now there seems to be a few different threads of big headlines in the newscycle. But that doesn’t mean all companies need to chime in on every topic. Below you’ll find a few ways to know when or when not to jump onto the next trend.


Plan and Prepare to Execute 

Start with knowing your company’s business goals and core values. Once you have those items confirmed, you’ll be able to have a solid understanding of which trends or topics you should engage with. Sometimes you’ll be able to see a trend beginning to grow but other times, you’ll need to act quickly. If you have a clear understanding of which lanes your company moves best in, you’ll be able to ideate, draft, and receive approval on any posts or campaigns quickly. Many times the window to engage with a trend is very short, and you won’t want to miss the peak engagement time frame. 


Add Positive Elements to the Conversation 

When you aren’t sure if you should be interjecting into a trend, you should ask yourself, “does my brand or company have something valuable to add?” If the answer is yes, you can move forward with making a plan, but if you can’t find anything valuable to add to the conversation, it’s usually best to skip that specific topic. 

When newsjacking, your company’s campaign tone should align with the tone of the news. For example, when a national viral outbreak is taking place, a funny meme may not be the best route. On the other hand, if there is a current Tik Tok song trend, it may not be the best moment to talk about your stance on something hard-hitting and business focused. 

More generally, brands tend to avoid sharing controversial opinions. This is so they don’t alienate a segment of their current or potential customers. At the same time, there can be specific instances where your brand feels strongly about a topic and wants to take a side regardless of potential backlash. 

Successful newsjacking requires strategy, solid media relationships, impeccable timing, and a relevant message. When trying to add newsjacking to your public relations or social media campaigns, remember to align your message with the company’s mission statements and goals. When executed correctly, you’ll be able to quickly generate increased media and social coverage, creating a more engaged digital following for the future. 


Brands that tweet about major and expected events see an average increase of 400% in retweets.

Do you need help creating engaging content for your brand, but don’t know where to start? KWSM works as an extension of your team to craft fully developed content marketing campaigns that will keep your customers engaged.

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