Sunday, January 19, 2014

Newsjacking & Social Media Updated

What is newsjacking?

Hi-Jacking Hotspot Sign: Close-up of a highway road sign reading HI-JACKING HOTSPOT located near Witbank, South Africa. A little roughly captured, but I didn't exactly want to stick around too long for reasons apparent on the sign.

Newsjacking is inserting yourself or your organisation into a story that is being covered in the media. You do this by commenting prominently on the story online or by providing a link to a relevant post on your blog or web site.

Examples of this include a marketing expert suggesting a marketing plan for Occupy Wall Street, a software company president talking about a major industry takeover and inserting his own company into subsequent media stories because of the relevance of his comments and the London Fire Brigade offering Kate Winslett training after she was involved in a fire on Richard Branson's private retreat in the British Virgin Islands.

The purpose of newsjacking is to get people to click on your link, to get traffic to your site and gain visibility.

And it works.

The rules of newsjacking are that you have to insert yourself quickly into the story, coming late means the story had played out, that you have to have something relevant to say, and that you post or web site supports what you say.

The PR industry is changing. No longer is it good enough to simply push out press releases to friendly journalists and hope they will cover your story. Now you have to find a real link between something happening in the media or in the world and whatever you are promoting.

Social media is the glue that binds all this together. It's where you contact journalists covering the story and refer them to your blog post and where you inform people that you have a post and a real connection to the media article.

My highest spike in blog viewers came when I made a relevant post on the UK Guardian book page and on the New York Times in one day. That day I got over 500 views. My comment was one of the first on that page, I had something relevant to say and the comment had a link in it to my blog.

Old fashioned PR isn't entirely dead, but it's changing fast.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!


  1. I gotta agree. Social media definitely is the glue that binds the modern news media together. Same applies to product promotion and sales - whether it be Guinness using Facebook to invent a new world event with Arthur's Day, a restaurant tweeting pictures of it's special board or customers Food Spotting. Great Social Media site here Laurence. :)

  2. Interesting piece. 'Newsjacking' is new to me, so I'm experimenting right now, with a comment in the London Review of Books about a piece suggesting that creative writing courses are like Ponzi schemes

  3. Laurence,

    Interesting the way you describe Newsjacking and the examples you choose...

    David Meerman Scott

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