Being relevant is being current. When something happens that affects your audience, weighing in with insight or an opinion demonstrates your brand’s human nature and your expertise. That’s newsjacking.
But who has time to scour the news and find stories worthy of commentary? Everyone. We all do it. Sitting down for coffee, chair talk at the barbershop, waiting while your gas tank fills up, or while your credit card payment is processed at the cashier. We make comments about the weather, sports, or a news story we heard in on the radio on our way to work, or on the morning show we were watching while eating breakfast.
Turn your small talk into insightful commentary for your audience. Take an angle that nobody has thought of yet. Take an angle that makes sense to your audience. It can be a simple tweet, a well thought out blog, or a full feature article for your local paper.
This means your brand needs to think like a journalist. Think about the 5 W’s:
- Who in your audience does this affect? Who does it interest?
- What does it matter to your readers? What can they do about it; to avoid it, to embrace it?
- When did it happen? When will the fall-out take place? When can your readers see results?
- Where is the best place to make comment (blog, social media, print publications)? Where should your readers go to learn more?
- Why do you care? Why did it happen, why will you avoid or embrace it?
- How does this affect your business, industry, and the lives of your readers?
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Here are news stories that could be used for newsjacking:
- Ebola spread in Sierra Leone fuels rise in death toll, WHO says
- I’ve mentioned before about being careful about using sensitive topics for your commercial gain. I still hold to that warning. However, if you are an NGO overseas, a charitable organization here in North America, in the healthcare industry, or a humanitarian blogger, then it makes sense to talk about the Ebola outbreak
- Pirate Bay server room raided by Swedish police after complaint
- If you’re a internet security expert, comment on how downloading torrents effects your computer’s security and comment on why Pirate Bay being shut down is a good or bad thing.
- If you’re media producer, you probably want to praise the news of this huge piracy operation finally being ended.
- New private member’s bill sets sights on illegal taxis, Uber
- If you own an app built on a sharing service like Uber, comment on the legality of Uber, or the absurdity of the government’s attempts to quash it.
- If you’re and urban development firm, talk about the pros and cons of a sharing service for urban citizens.