What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is a term coined by David Meerman Scott meaning “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.” In a world of instant communication, David Meerman Scott argues the idea of sending a press release or PR pitch en masse to hundreds of journalists via email doesn’t work very well anymore. Instead, he suggests creating the kind of content journalists are looking for as they write breaking news stories.

Why should you practice newsjacking?

When there’s a breaking story, journalists scramble to pull together the who, what, when and where. Often the why is left out, or at least an in-depth explanation of the why.

Newsjacking the life of a news story


Creating original content for journalists can really helps make their lives easier. Providing credible, quality content can also give your company a leg up from your competitors. Obviously, the definitive motivation behind newsjacking is to obtain media coverage and generate awareness for your company.

But this doesn’t work for B2B.

Think again. Injecting your ideas into a breaking news story isn’t just for consumer brands. It can work for quick-acting B2B companies too.

Newsjacking is more than just a timely blog post, product placement or press release. For B2B, it means actively engaging with journalists and influencers discussing the topic you want to leverage in real-time.

How to newsjack

For example, say a new regulation is about to hit your industry, such as the upcoming ILSAC GF-6/PC-11 specifications. Leverage your team to conduct a detailed analysis of what the new regulation means for your industry, how it could impact your company and future implications. Quickly turn that research into an eBook or even just a valuable, informative blog post. Just because you write a blog post doesn’t mean it’s going to get found. To promote the eBook, you should blog about it, tweet it (using relevant and trending keywords or hashtags) and send out a media alert.

The alert to the media and promotion on Twitter signals to reporters you have background information available on the topic. They can then read and cite the book, or blog post, in their story. It also positions you as a reputable and credible industry authority.

The key is speed.

Having a real-time mindset is the biggest challenge. You must track and stay on top of breaking news, quickly decide on your response and swiftly publish your response. How fast you manage to do all of these things is critical not only to newsjacking, but also to countless other business operations. It’s still all about telling your story. The only thing that has changed is the speed with which we do business, especially in a competitive global economy. Rather than allowing others to drive your communications, take the initiative and tell your own story.

With some imagination, speed and hard work, it is possible for your B2B company to leverage news coverage and execute a success.

What do you think of newsjacking? Do you have a newsjacking success story?