7 Reasons To Study Newsjacking by David Meerman Scott

Newsjacking Cover

Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas Into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage is David Meerman Scott’s latest book.

Newsjacking reinforces and expands the content from David’s most recent book, Real Time Marketing and PR: How To Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Creat Products That Grow Your Business Now.  Here’s my review of Real Time Marketing and PR in this blog.

Bottom Line:  I highly recommend studying Newsjacking.  It’s informative, quick-to-read, and filled with insightful how-to-examples.  In fact, both books are required reading for any marketing/PR executive, business owner, or brand manager who wants to capitalize on media opportunities generated by the real-time Web.

1. Clever Newsjacking Generates Media Bonanza Opportunities

And, We All Can Do It!  David defines “newsjacking” as publishing your personal angle, ideas, or perspective into a breaking news story / event to earn media coverage for your company, brand, or products / services.  



Help Journalists Write Their Second Paragraphs.  When hot news strikes, journalists scour the Internet via search engines (i.e., Google) and social media (i.e., Twitter, blogs, etc.).  Why?  They’re seeking additional content (e.g., details, opinions, etc.) that can differentiate the point-of-view in their individual news stories.

That differentiating point-of-view or compelling content is the “second paragraph.”  Journalists seek second paragraph material that:

  • Delivers credible, authoritative, and valuable information / perspective
  • Describes “why” something happened
  • Interprets the event’s impact and future implications 



Credible Second Paragraphs Can Earn Massive Media Attention.  Be fast, use targeted keywords, and provide valuable context in your Tweets and blog posts so journalists can find your contribution to a story with Google searches.  Quickly writing an informative blog post and shrewdly publicizing it with Twitter may take an hour or less.

And, the impact can be huge:

“With a single hour’s work many people manage to generate more media attention than a whole year’s return on a substantial PR budget.”

“I’ve been a marketer for two decades now, and I have never seen a technique as powerful as newsjacking.”

2. Newsjacking Favors Faster, Smaller Players  

Real-Time Speed is a Newsjacker’s Bread and Butter.
 Speed, decisiveness, and execution drive successful newsjacking. And, you must respond within the hour of a breaking news story.  That’s why fast movers are great newsjackers.    

David Can Trump Goliath.  Plus, smaller firms can outplay their larger competitors.  The Fortune 500 has the same opportunity to successfully newsjack as any other organization or individual.  But, their corporate hierarchies and approval processes are handicaps.  

Therefore, smaller firms can outplay their larger competitors:

“What’s abundantly true is that newsjacking is easier for nimbler players than its is for the lumbering giants of the corporate world.”

“To successfully newsjack or fend off a newsjack, you can’t wait for approval.  You just have to do it.”

Newsjacking Lives and Dies by Speed.  The graphic below describes the newsjacking process.  Notice how speed drives the entire newsjacking process:

  • Tracking and staying on top of breaking news
  • Deciding quickly on your response
  • Publishing / Publicizing the response instantly


Newsjacking Process Described

3. Chapter 6 – Ka-Ching: CEO Bags a Cool Million with a Single Blog Post 

A Classic, Must-Read Newsjacking Blog Post.
 Joe Payne is the CEO of Eloqua, a company specializing in marketing-automation.  When he learned and verified Oracle entered his industry space, he quickly wrote this blog post:  Oracle Joins The Party.  

There are multiple reasons why this blog post and the surrounding circumstances make it a classic, newsjacking case study:

  • The post provides a valuable and quotable industry perspective
  • Payne crafted and posted this blog post quickly
  • The blog post contains verifiable details and statistics
  • Oracle buried this news story in their website
  • He outflanked a larger competitor (e.g., Oracle) using new media tools   

Payne’s Blog Post Earned Major Media Attention, Credibility, and $1 Million.  When industry analysts and journalists searched Google for news about Oracle, they found Payne’s content-rich blog post.  And, they quoted it verbatim.  

In the following examples, I attached the hyperlink to the actual media coverage if the page still exists: 

The aforementioned media coverage (and other coverage) increased Eloqua’s credibility.  In addition, Payne and his team combined the blog post’s media coverage with immediate, next-morning business development follow-up.  These combined activities brought Eloqua software deals worth $1 million in new revenue among six (6) new clients.

That’s a great outcome especially without the luxury of a multiple phase PR campaign or massive advertising budget.    

4. Chapter 7: Become the Go-To Gal (or Guy) in Your Industry

Blogs Are Powerful Newsjacking Assets. 
 Long form content achieves four (4) things:

  • Provides keyword rich content for search engines to index
  • Increases the probability journalists will find your blog post when searching Google
  • Delivers context rich details (hard to do in Twitter and Facebook)
  • Positions newsjackers as reputable and credible reputable industry authorities

Here’s a direct quote from David: “If a blog develops a reputation for serving up informed, insightful, authoritative, articulate, quotable and timely commentary on issues in your industry, journalists will learn to seek you out when issues arise.”

Knowing Your Issues / Topics Cold Leads to Long Term Credibility.  Newsjack the issues and topics in which you are well-informed.  That knowledge will make your newsjacking perspective valuable, credible, and authoritative.  

Long term credibility is vital in building an authoritative reputation and relationships with journalists.  Even more importantly, that credibility and reputation dictates why journalists may or may not seek your input in future news stories.  

Why Amdocs and Jeff Barak Are Telecommunications Billing and Customer Care Industry Authorities.  In Chapter 7, David describes how Amdocs and Jeff Barak used their company blog to comment on regulatory changes in their industry.  Barak wrote this blog post, No Need to Be Bill Shocked, while the FCC conducted meetings in late 2010 to discuss legislation about bill shock.

Journalists searched Google for the latest news about this FCC legislation and found Barak’s blog post.  His post earned coverage from industry publications (like this one from Penton Media’s Connected Planet blog post — Not Being Shocked by Bill Shock).

5. Learn from Newsjacking Mistakes: The Golden Rules 

The Kenneth Cole Twitter Blunder.  Remember, this infamous tweet from Kenneth Cole during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution:

Kenneth Cole #Cairo Tweet


Unfortunately, Cole used poor taste and judgment when he tried to newsjack this news event.  And, massive public relations backlash resulted.

To prevent a social media blunder like this occurring at your organization
David provides these newsjacking objectives and guidelines:

The Golden Rule Objective (Direct Quote).  “When intervening in a news story you should add value – information or insight that contributes to the public’s understanding of the situation.”

The Four (4) Golden Rules.  Kenneth Cole didn’t have the benefit of David’s advice before sending out that tweet.  We now have that luxury:    

* Be dignified and statesmanlike.  See the Joe Payne / Eloqua Case Study Above (#3)

* Be positive and upbeat, never mean or vindictive.  Again, see the Joe Payne / Eloqua Case Study Above (#3)

* Write articulate text in full sentences without chatty slang, industry jargon, corporate-speak (i.e., mission-critical or cutting-edge) or social media shorthand (e.g., IMHO)

* Don’t get too cute or clever — especially where human suffering is involved.  See aforementioned Kenneth Cole tweet

Newsjackers Monitor News 24/7 Via RSS Feeds

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) Feeds Are a Newsjacker’s BFF.  David describes how setting up RSS feeds to your favorite news sources, analysts, industry publications, and blogs enables real-time news 
monitoring.  And, staying abreast of leading news events gives you the competitive advantage to respond fast.  David mentions these RSS services in his book:

  • Google Reader
  • Newsfire

Fast Responders Earn Attention.  Here’s a how-to video I made two years ago on using RSS (e.g., your iGoogle Home Pages) to monitor postings of your favorite blogs to increase your chances of being an early commenter on new posts.  Why? Early commenters earn the author’s attention (especially if you’re the first commenter).  

The same principle applies when monitoring news sources in real-time and responding quickly to capitalize on a newsjacking opportunity:



7. Learn How to Maximize Twitter’s Real-Time Capabilities 

A Newsjacker’ Must-Have Weapon For Monitoring News Flow.
 Twitter’s real-time capabilities make it the ultimate rapid response, news monitoring tool.  You can find great second paragraph content and breaking news stories by:

  • Catching key phrases by creating columns in Tweetdeck and HootSuite
  • Using Twitter’s search function
  • Setting up a “news” column in Tweetdeck or HootSuite (i.e., a dedicated news column focusing on all the news sources you follow)

A Powerful Fast Response Distribution Channel.  When it comes to publicizing and “pushing out” newsjacking blog posts quickly, Twitter rules.  Remember, journalists search Twitter to find differentiating second paragraph content.

Use Twitter Hashtags (#).  Therfore, include hashtags (the pound key – #) in your tweets to mark them with the unique identifier about a particular subject (i.e., #Cairo).  Remember, the hashtag, makes it easier for journalists to instantly locate in Twitter all references to a particular topic.  Plus, tweets with hashtags are curated in reverse chronological order (i.e., most recent first).

Twitter Can Help You Directly Contact a Journalist.  Most journalists provide or publish their Twitter ID (i.e.@firstnamelastname).  Verify their Twitter ID with a quick Google search.  Then, include his/her Twitter ID in your tweet so you can directly point him/her to your blog post.


Tony Faustino is a marketing and corporate strategist.  He writes about how The Internet reinvents marketing strategy for organizations and individuals in his marketing strategy blog, Social Media ReInvention.  Follow his tweets @tonyfaustino or circle him on Google+.   

8 thoughts on “7 Reasons To Study Newsjacking by David Meerman Scott

  1. Hi Quang, thank you for leaving your comment. And, no offense taken. I hope you’ll come back to share this post with Facebook.
    There are two places (2) at the bottom of the post where you can share this content in Facebook:
    (1) The text link “Share on Facebook” at the end of the post
    (2) The small, Facebook “like” button on the far right-side and at the very bottom of all the post information
    But, I’ll be the first to admit it’s not easy to see the Facebook “share widgets” because I’m constrained by what TypePad provides.
    I went to your site and like how you’ve got all of your sharing widgets at the bottom of your posts. They’re all big and bright. You’re obviously much more technically knowledgeable than I am!

  2. Tony!! Wow – this is the most complete review of Newsjacking I’ve seen yet. Thank you, thank you for taking the time.
    Now that you understand the technique, I will be looking to you to execute a newsjack. When you do, please let me know! I’m always looking for new examples.
    All the best for your 2012!

  3. David, you are so welcome! Reading / Studying Newsjacking was a pleasure. Your comment means so much — Thank You!
    Based on your comment, I think I should change the title of the post to 8 Reasons to Study Newsjacking by David Meerman Scott (because the book’s author will respond in real-time and say it’s your turn to apply the lessons learned)! 🙂
    Thank you and may you have a great 2012.

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