“Newsjacking” is the process of hijacking the news by producing and promoting content in a timely manner, with the aim being to take advantage of trending news stories.
Or, to put it simply…
If a lot of journalists or bloggers seem to be covering a particular story somehow related to your industry, you should create and promote some related content ASAP to gain links.
Back in October 2012, the now infamous Gangnam Style was just beginning to gain traction, and it’s popularity was being reported on by numerous bloggers.
Here it is again (just in case you somehow missed the most viewed video of all-time):
NeoMam Studios, a UK-based infographic design agency, decided to take advantage of this trending story by creating this Gangnam Style infographic.
They then promoted it to journalists and bloggers while the story was still hot.
The result: a tonne of links – it was even featured on Mashable:
This is newsjacking at it’s best.
Here’s how to do it:
- Find a trending news topic in your industry
- Create a piece of content related to that topic (you can also utilise existing content if it fits)
- Pitch your content to journalists/bloggers
Google Trends is a good place to start when looking for trending news topics, as it allows you to enter a keyword and see trends over time.
For example, at the time of writing this post (2nd June 2016), the topic “EU referendum” is getting a huge amount of attention:
This is because the referendum will take place in just 3 weeks time, so it’s a hot topic.
Note: If you had a politics blog at this time, creating content on this topic would be prime “newsjacking” material.
Next, you need to create a piece of content to use for “newsjacking” purposes.
Infographics tend to work well for newsjacking, although other content formats can also work (it really depends on your industry, and the topic being covered).
Finally, you need to promote your content to journalists and bloggers who are likely to cover (or already have covered) the story.
Here’s a pitch email you can use:
I’m [YOUR NAME], [POSITION] at [WEBSITE].
I’ve just put-together an infographic which [INSERT INFOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW HERE].
I noticed you wrote about [TOPIC] a couple of weeks ago, so thought it might you might be interested.
Here’s a link if you want to check it out: [INSERT LINK]
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Note: It’s important that your content adds value to the topic, otherwise it’s unlikely that any bloggers/journalists will be interested. Data visualisations tend to work well.