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Newsjacking with Twitter

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At the start of lockdown I did a webinar about ‘Newsjacking with Twitter’ as part of our Lockdown Learning series. It proved quite popular, so I repeated it for the CMA and at the virtual WeContent conference. A few people have since asked for the slides, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

Here’s a short summary on how to use newsjacking to build brand awareness and relevance.

What is newsjacking?

In simple terms, newsjacking is a combination of ‘news’ and ‘hijacking’ and means, using the news agenda to help get your brand mentioned.

When you get it right, newsjacking allows your brand to be at the forefront of the information about a specific event. It is a great opportunity to get your name out there, especially if you don’t have a big budget for creating  a campaign to cut-through and grab the media’s attention, or when you’re small and starting out – and media don’t know you well enough.

Life of a news storyPhoto credit to: David Meerman Scott

Newsjacking on social

As news is ever evolving, social media is a great place to look for opportunities to newsjack more quickly and easily. Rather than waiting to read the news in the paper, you can follow breaking news events as they unfold and sometimes even before journalists have even had the chance to write about them. Newsjacking on social allows you to be more creative while improving your brand’s reputation, building out a unique tone of voice and ultimately driving organic traffic back to your site.

Newsjacking at BrandContent

At BrandContent we regularly use newsjacking for our clients and have had some great success to get recognition for their brand. For example, we secured over 300 pieces of coverage for Admiral as a result of a newsjacking comment that we issued in May.

A common misconception about newsjacking is that all of the coverage happens just on the day the news breaks. We know that’s not true: we regularly receive coverage on comments we’ve issued weeks before because the comment has continued to add value, even as the news agenda changes.

How to get started…

Our top tips and considerations to help you to get started:

  • Monitor keywords, phrases and trending words. Use Tweetdeck, it’s a great tool to monitor a range of keywords for different clients and topics all at once
  • Follow journalists, media outlets and influencers in your areas
  • Follow hashtags and keep an eye on what’s trending
  • Weave newsjacking and news monitoring into your regular daily routine by making it the first thing you do everyday (this way you catch the news that happened whilst you were sleeping, or from different time zones too)
  • Don’t shy away from difficult topics but try to avoid negative stories
  • Re-work content, releases and comments you already have, you don’t always have to commission something from scratch

And also think about…

  • Who will be your go-to spokesperson?
  • Who will create design assets or write copy?
  • Who will ‘sign off’ on what gets published? If anyone?

And finally remember to plan ahead, make it relevant and be authentic to your brand and tone of voice.

Good luck!


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