Great content starts with a great story. The ability to generate engaging content that will capture the attention of your advocacy audience can be a powerful differentiator between your organization and others. Memorable stories can bring people together around a specific issue, but how do you make them relevant enough to draw attention? Be timely!
Newsjacking is a tactic your advocacy organization can use to insert your own angle into a breaking news story or conversation about a large, known event. It has the ability to generate both social media engagement and traditional media coverage. However, if you don’t implement it correctly, things could go south. Here are some quick tips to ensure you get the most out of your newsjacking strategy:
- Hammer Down Your Team – The success of this tactic hinges on your team’s ability to catch a news story at the right time and act upon it. From identifying the opportunity, to drafting messaging and creative around it, to getting it approved by the right person, your team makes or breaks your newsjacking strategy. Check out this graphic by David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, that depicts exactly when you should latch onto a story:
- Choose Your Angle – Identifying a news story is only half of the fun! You will have to figure out if your organization has an opinion on the story or conference, how it is relevant to your cause, and what your audience will think about it before choosing to move forward. Also included in this is brainstorming which of your platforms it would perform best on. For instance, if you’re imagining short, quippy language, a Twitter campaign may suffice. If you’re looking at writing a longer opinion piece, perhaps your blog would be the best medium.
- Monitor Keywords and Hashtags – While you’re crafting content around the news story, make sure your team continues to monitor the conversation in case other organizations pick up on it or sentiment around the story turns in a direction you don’t want to follow.
- Know When Not To Newsjack – While this tactic can serve you extremely well, it also has its dangers. Don’t ever take advantage of tragic or controversial events. If it’s a philanthropic effort, perhaps put an approval process in place with your legal team. While there is no set-in-stone rule for when and when not to utilize this tactic, just keep in mind that you do not want your organization to come across as insensitive or unnecessarily controversial. Standard business ethics do apply!
If done correctly, newsjacking can give your advocacy campaign the boost it needs to attract more attention and ultimately sway opinion. Leveraging relevant content surrounding breaking items, as well as trends that you spotted in advance, will give your messaging the fresh perspective it needs. Real-time updates with relevant ties can do wonders for your engagement.