What Is Newsjacking?

Every day, there is new content coming your way. These produced materials, particularly news, can significantly affect the way you live and run your life. Reports and news from journalists, the media, and other reliable key persons play a big role in the world we live in.

They are all essential components of communication that keep us up to date about socio-political issues, entertainment, sports, business, and other national and global concerns.

Although news sounds vague, for marketers, it is a specific approach to leverage when they want to promote or publicize a product, an event, or their business in general.

Since news is common and universal information that most people access, it is a good instrument to utilize to make noise about who you are as a brand. In this way, audiences can connect to you in an instant and gain a good recall of your business.

With this, many marketers believe in the power of news, leading them to coin the term newsjacking. 

What is newsjacking?

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Newsjacking is a particularly risky business strategy. It can result in excellent brand exposure when done properly. Given that everyone can avail themselves of news immediately, businesses should be wary about the accuracy, reliability, ethical aspect, and other concerns that may put their brand in a bad light. News is everywhere, and people can access it anytime.

So, newsjacking must be executed properly at all times.

But what exactly is newsjacking, by the way? The term newsjacking was first used by David Meerman Scott in 2011. His book “Newsjacking” defines the term as a strategy of incorporating one’s insights or opinions into news and significant media information.

Newsjacking is now utilized as a term in public relations. It is a strategy that advertises products or businesses through marketing campaigns merged with conversations about trends, recent events, and news from all over the globe.

Simply put, newsjacking is when your business content connects to or references significant news and popular narratives, resulting in publicity and further brand awareness. Newsjacking then allows you to jump on the bandwagon, use it to your advantage, and capture more eyes on you and your brand.

The world of public relations considers newsjacking worth it. According to the research made by Unmetric Eyeball, a brand’s newsjacking endeavor leads to a significant follower growth, from 0.09% leaping to 18.9% based on the newsjacking’s five “positive instances.”

Moreover, before the advent of social media, newsjacking centered on establishing a person as an authority in the dissemination of pertinent information. In this manner, a person was recognized as a news source. Now, as the use of social media increases, businesses frequently post something in response to breaking news on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and other well-known social networking sites.

Newsjacking can be in the form of blogs, video materials, simple social media content, long-form articles, and website popups. However, it always depends on how you want to communicate your brand story. But always remember where your audiences are and the scope and limitations of your newsjacking initiative. 

One common example is when you are a company that focuses on search engine optimization (SEO) and you have heard that Google (a big company) recently broke the news that they will have a significant update that most people are anticipating. Your initial reaction would be to come up with a long-form article or concise audio-visual material to cover the said topic. However, if you are a startup business, a simple and direct social media post would be your newsjacking path.

If the above circumstances performed well and gained traction, then your newsjacking initiative is a success, leading to increase engagement rate and content virality. In contrast, when the newsjacking activity fails, you can expect to receive backfire and clouded reactions from your audiences. So, always be cautious about the content you put out there and what news you will bank into and capitalize on.

What are the benefits of newsjacking?

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After knowing “what is newsjacking?” It is now high time to understand the benefits that this marketing strategy can bring you and your brand. Here are some of the advantages you can obtain if you start doing newsjacking now.

1. Increased visibility and brand awareness

Since newsjacking relies on the virality of content and popularity of news, it would be easy to catch the public’s attention. Hence, you can attract more customers once you successfully ride the waves of news. You can increase your brand’s visibility and awareness of your goods and services.

It is human nature to interact with the content that rings a bell for them, such as remarkable news, relatable stories, engaging series of events, or influential narratives. That is why newsjacking is a good strategy to raise your brand’s identity and gather more people behind your business.

2. The ability to capitalize on trending topics in real-time

With newsjacking, you can productively take advantage of trending topics instantly. By checking on what’s happening around the globe and picking what’s the closest or most relatable news to your brand, you can efficiently break the noise and boost your brand’s presence.

Besides, recent events can help you dispel common client misconceptions and improve how people see your business. Newsjacking can put your company into the day’s news and bring a twist that grabs consumers’ interest in real-time. In return, a lot of benefits can potentially happen, helping users realize that your brand is more than just a business trying to market its products.

3. Generating more website traffic, social media engagement, and leads

If your company can discover a way to properly synchronize with the trending news story, you can catch the publicity wave that follows with it. As a result, your business could be capable of engaging with far more people. You can create images that go along well with your news by using creative or background remover tools that allow you to design images for your news.

When it comes to website traffic, newsjacking is a crucial approach since you can lead people to your page once you grab their interest based on trending news or stories. Your social media engagement and leads can also boost when you execute a newsjacking that is clickable, audience-centered, and has a unique angle. 

After all, your selected news content must have the potential to make a lasting impression and perhaps forge new connections. Remember that newsjacking has a high talkability value, which indicates that your business’s reputation might improve dramatically through your digital campaigns and postings. Hence, you can develop an excellent image in the marketplace when you pique a larger audience’s interest in you through newsjacking.

4. Establishing yourself as an industry thought leader

Getting your brand involved in topics that matter to a wider audience makes you appear more authoritative, credible, and relevant. It is essential to be engaged in a sensational topic since people will admire how relatable you are as a brand and how efficient you are as you know how society runs.

Talking about current events, however, needs in-depth research and execution to avoid mistakes, misleading your customers, and committing inaccuracies in reports. Once you do this with grace and power, you can remain on top of talks and establish yourself as an industry leader who thinks, partakes, and uplifts audiences’ perspectives, not just a business that centers on selling and leads.

How to identify relevant topics for newsjacking

1. Monitor social media

In a world that is run by social media, it is better to equip yourself with what is happening online and what other people are making the current talk of the town on various social media platforms. You must learn how to monitor social media to keep up with the latest news.

You can type keywords, click popular hashtags, follow significant events, be involved in publications, articles, blog posts, and websites of local and national media outlets, subscribe to journalists, and read various audiences’ chat rooms or online forums.

If you are looking for a platform that can help you monitor social media, Keyhole can help you. Keyhole precisely measures social media data, presenting information in simple-to-read layouts and graphs that make social media monitoring and planning easier. Keyhole analyzes keywords, hashtags, and URLs on social media to keep you on track.

2. Investigate niche topics

Although news appears to be generalized or affecting most people from different walks of life, it is always ideal to narrow down the topics you follow and subscribe to when you are newsjacking. You must explore finding your niche or investigate topics that are close to your brand as much as possible.

For example, if you are a brand that centers on fashion or lifestyle, you can always follow news outlets that have the same content, such as magazines, fashion-based media outlets, or online fashion trends. Admit it or not, you cannot follow all the events across different sectors.

That is why it is always a wise choice to find a niche topic and capitalize on its news from a diverse point of view to cater to as many targeted audiences as possible.

3. Monitor news sites

In relation to the other points, it is equally crucial to keep an eye on news sites. These platforms are the best way to stay updated with the latest information and know what is circulating online. Once you execute a good newsjacking from a reliable news site, you can attract more audiences to your website or social media platforms.

By having accurate and authentic news, you can pique the interest of your audiences and let them know that you are a responsible brand that upholds virtues such as honesty and transparency and that you do fact-checking.

You can check some news sites like the United Nations, The Wall Street Journal, World News Now, The Art Newspaper, the BBC, and The Real News. Besides, you can always type in Google to verify your sources and make them error-free and non-misleading.

4. Keep an eye on competitors

Aside from tracking trends and news sites, it is also vital to know what your rivals are doing and what is newsjacking for them. Keeping an eye on how they are doing things about your brand is essential to assess how you are holding up with the news and incorporating it into your business.

Competitive monitoring means that you follow them and use them as your benchmark to further improve your work. Check for any opportunities, potential risks, and their strategies, strengths, and weaknesses.

With Keyhole, you can keep an eye on your competitors by using their competitive analysis tool, you can come up with counter strategies and other newsjacking techniques to surpass them and come up with better writeups, postings, and publicity promotions.You can also conduct different analyses and case studies.

5. Use news aggregators

News aggregators, sometimes called an RSS feed, are websites that consolidate the latest news stories from a diverse set of sources and eventually make them into a single, concise story.

These so-called news aggregators can appear from different software, applications, platforms, or websites. Using them to your advantage would be great support since you do not have to follow different news sources to arrive at one solid article or piece of publicity material.

Some of the most common news aggregators are Digg.com and Flipboard. These sites have different niches and often help you champion your brand by telling stories in their respective industries in the most substantial and newsworthy manner.

5 Strategies for successful newsjacking

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1. Leverage multiple channels

Do not settle with one news source and site. It is vital to find different channels and gather information from multiple sources to make sure that what you are newsjacking is plausible. You can check Google Trends, Reddit, Google Alerts, and many other legitimate news hubs.

You must also leverage various channels where your audiences happen to be most active. All your time and newsjacking will be worthless once it fails to reach the right people who matter. So, it is important to know where they are, what they are talking about, and what they want to know about the topic about your brand, products, or services.

2. Personalize your content

As soon as you have a streamlined news report from authentic sources, you can start making it your own. You should tailor your content based on the following: the news story, the news angle, your thoughts or opinions about it, what you can suggest (if applicable), and your forecast about the news.

The latter must be as subtle or as obvious as the former. People might think that you are just newsjacking for the sake of sales and money. You do not want that to happen.

Therefore, you must be careful about how you will customize your content and how to make it relatable, engaging, pertinent, and audience-getting. You should also decide on what type of content you will create: video material, articles, website content, or social media postings.

3. Timing is everything

You should always be on time. Remember that you are in an industry that is ever-changing and fast-paced. That is why you should catch the news the earlier the better.

Once you have the information, do your job and follow the popularity to gain engagements and other benefits. Secure your spot by newsjacking as quickly as the blink of an eye. You do not want to make your story like an out-of-date cup of coffee. Do your timing properly!

Leverage Keyhole’s publishing features to schedule unlimited posts. You can even check the best time to post from your competitor’s profiles and reach their audience before they do.

4. Engage in conversation

It is not enough that you will just release content and then be done. You must be consistent and make the most of the story. You can do this by engaging in conversation with your audience and potential customers.

You need to level up your game and try to partake in online forums, chats, and developing stories. Make sure that your content is a good source of knowledge and is not misleading. Ensure to have a healthy dialogue with news outlets, other sources, and audiences.

Do not damage your reputation by stirring up bad replies and insights. Be ethical at all times and help your brand and audiences at the same time.

5. Measure results

After the first processes and strategies, this last point completes the checklist. You should always measure results to see if you did well or not. Learning is a continuous process, and you must not stop after the publication stage. You can assess your output by looking at your numbers, audience engagements, website traffic, ROI, and public perception.

From your probable question earlier: what is newsjacking? Your question will be turned into: What is successful newsjacking? And this will only be answered by having complete and accurate results from your marketing endeavor. That is why you should not forget this phase and always seize opportunities for growth and improvement.

Bonus: Examples of brands who master the art of newsjacking effectively

You can check the following companies who did newsjacking effectively. 

1. Dunkin`

In 2015, Dunkin’ executed a flawless newsjacking by capitalizing on the uproar surrounding a photo of a dress that some viewers perceived as blue and others as gold.

This photo garnered more than thousands of engagements, and Dunkin’ took it to its advantage by captioning: “Doesn’t matter if it’s blue/black or white/gold, they still taste delicious. #thedress.” The public picked it up and eventually led to more engagement for Dunkin’, which is good for them, right?

2. Google

Ultimately, Google’s Year in Search provides another innovative instance of an organization that may use prominent news stories to advance its own brand narrative. Google helps forge a better connection with consumers and reinforces its brand’s dominance in the tech industry by placing its company at the forefront of these news stories.

Today, Google keeps up with newsjacking by featuring different events, persons, and notable works of science, art, and culture across countries on its main page. Through this, Google can spark interaction and gain more clicks and searches.

Expert tips for avoiding common pitfalls with newsjacking

Here are some quick points that you should avoid when doing newsjacking:

  • Do not newsjack everything you see online. It might damage your reputation if you follow all the topics instead of choosing the perfect one.
  • Do not make the news story all about your brand.
  • Do not cement your brand or promote your business over the news story.
  • Do not mislead your audiences.
  • Do not fabricate or alter information.
  • Stop making news for clout. You should do newsjacking by how your brand is standing and ethically upright.
  • Avoid negative and overly sensationalized stories.
  • Do not offend people with the following: race, culture, usage of words, tone, and offensive remarks.
  • Do not spin the news in a way that attacks your competitors.
  • Do not make content about a highly sensitive or controversial topic.

How to measure the impact of your newsjacking efforts

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You can reap all the benefits stated earlier if you efficiently measure the impact of your newsjacking efforts. You can do this by tracking your previous works and comparing them to your recent ones. You can organize your newsjacks and classify them according to categories to productively monitor all your outputs.

You can also measure the impact by checking your engagements on social media and websites. You can assess the audiences’ reactions—both positive and negative remarks. Aside from that, you can also verify your success by checking if your brand dramatically improved its numbers based on sales and new audiences.

There are more measuring tools and analysis metrics that you can go with, but you can always personalize how you measure your newsjack. But always make yourself as reliable and authentic as possible to avoid fake results.


Newsjacking is an efficient marketing strategy that can empower your business and make your brand known to the public. However, newsjacking comes with responsibilities and ethical considerations. So, you should always remain true to yourself and consider public perceptions at all times.

Now, if you ask, “What is newsjacking?” The answer is simple: it is a form of publicity that anyone can do to foster growth in the industry. Yet, you should be mindful as the results are not one size fits all. Good luck on your newsjacking journey and establishing your brand as an advocate of positive and progressive newsjacking!

Want to start newsjacking in your business?  Use Keyhole for data-driven market and competition research, real-time brand tracking, campaign monitoring and optimization. 

You can try all of their products and only subscribe to what you think is needed by your market. Start your free trial now. 

Author Bio

Yen Pedrajas, Removal.AI

Yen is a content writer for Removal.AI, an image background remover tool. She is a digital marketing and eCommerce enthusiast who loves to write and share new insights about marketing, eCommerce, and growth-hacking tips for startup businesses.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Newsjacking?

Using big news and popular storylines to link to or mention your company's business content is known as "Newsjacking," and it can increase brand recognition and generate exposure.

2. Why should you use Newsjacking?

Newsjacking gives you the chance to market your brand and offer opinion on a specific topic. This could lead to immediate coverage and you can increase visibility and brand awareness while capitalizing on trending topics in real time.

3. What actions define a Newsjacking?

Pique your audience interest. Create relevant content by using the right keywords. Think of content that will go viral and get a lot of reaction online. Quickly publish the content.

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