Newsjacking: What It Is, It’s Benefits, and Why You Should Be Doing It

Newsjacking is the process of injecting your brand into a breaking news story and trending topics in the media to generate coverage and further brand awareness, it is often done by a digital PR agency or professionals.

It involves monitoring the news for relevant events or stories and quickly creating content or campaigns that leverage the trending topics to promote your brand, its products, or its service. In a world where newspapers and publications are always wanting reactions and quotes from people, a thorough newsjacking strategy can ensure that your quotes, brand, and business are front and centre of a story when news that is relevant to your industry breaks

As well as creating amazing digital PR campaigns that are read by thousands of people, newsjacking is also a big part of our digital PR strategy here at Embryo, as it enables us to keep our clients as part of the key conversations that journalists are having in the press. But let’s take a look further into what it is, how exactly a brand can benefit by incorporating newsjacking into an ongoing marketing strategy, and some examples of successful newsjacking.

If you want to benefit from digital PR such as this but don’t have the contacts to successfully leverage it, why not get in touch? Call us on 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking is a marketing strategy that involves leveraging a news story to gain attention for a brand or product to gain further media coverage and generate a buzz in the media.

The term ‘newsjacking’ was coined by David Meerman Scott, a marketing strategist and author, in 2011 in his book “Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage.”

In 2017 the Oxford Dictionaries shortlisted the terms as one of their ‘Words of the Year’.

Fast forward to 2023, and ‘newsjacking’ is now a common practice incorporated into an effective digital PR strategy.

With the news landscape changing so quickly, it’s important for PRs to be aware of and engage with a newsjacking strategy as often as possible as it allows brands to tap into the public’s interest in a breaking news story and leverage that attention for their own benefit.

Let’s look at how to spot when a news story is trending. If a news story is gaining traction across social media platforms, then it’s likely that it’s trending. News publications also have a section featuring popular stories, and you can also monitor journalist requests across platforms, such as Twitter, to see if the conversations around a particular trend are picking up.

You can also utilise Google trends, which will show you the popularity of a search query or term over time, or google alerts that will let you keep up to date which different news topics to see if it’s increasing.

When done well, it can be an effective way to boost user engagement and attract attention to your brand.

Newsjacking requires a good understanding of the news and trending topics. It’s all about knowing when a story is trending and breaking through the noise and competition with high-quality and unique content.

It’s important to be as reactive as possible, and get to journalists quickly with your expert commentary, data, or further information with a unique angle to stand out from the competition.

However, when pushing put content quickly, try to avoid appearing too corporate, forced, or promotional, or misjudging the sentiment around the news story, as it can backfire and damage relationships with journalists and your audience.

Injecting your brand, or message, into a story in the press at the right time is a quick win – so let’s delve deeper into some of the key benefits of newsjacking…

Benefits of Engaging in Newsjacking

Newsjacking can increase a brand’s visibility, generate traffic, boost media presence and build its reputation as a thought leader in its industry, as well as benefit other marketing channels in the process.

Jumping on a story that is generating attention in the media, by providing expert commentary, statistics, or standpoints, means that you can generate further awareness across a wider audience. Newsjacking also allows you to position your brand as an authoritative voice on a particular topic and build credibility as a reliable and relevant source of information.

Not only does newsjacking place you in front of a whole new audience and potential customers, but it also demonstrates that you’re dialled into the needs of your customers and community, which can result in higher engagement rates and increased brand loyalty.

Engaging in an effective newsjacking strategy can also support off-site SEO efforts by acting as the vehicle for securing links and so improving site authority in the eyes of search engines. By creating interesting and relevant content in line with a trending story, newsjacking can leverage high-quality inbound links to a brand’s homepage and product or service pages, which will boost a brand’s backlink profile and improve overall site health.

It can also support other channels, like your social media channels, by boosting your engagement and visibility across these platforms. Trending news stories are often highlighted and shared across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, which can put your brand in the spotlight and drive traffic to your site.

Newsjacking Examples

Our digital PR team at Embryo engage in newsjacking as a key part of our strategy for all clients. We closely monitor the news and, where we can, insert our clients into the conversations that people are having in the media.

One example of how we did this successfully was with a meal replacement brand, whose key message was promoting well-being, confidence and the resources to live a healthy lifestyle.

We noticed an increasing buzz in the press around the topics of the best food and drinks to consume as temperatures continued to rise over the summer period.

Journalists looking for useful and insightful content to write about and share in the media to advise readers of the best things that we should be consuming over summer to maintain a healthy diet in the heat.

Our expert team quickly jumped on this and piggybacked off this topical issue with the brand’s top tips around diet and well-being in hot weather, as well as sharing news about our client’s products.

From this successful newsjacking campaign, we secured 31 pieces of coverage across high DA publications, including Daily Mirror, Metro and Manchester Evening news, with a combined readership of 1.09 billion and 139 social engagements.

Our success here highlights that when done well, newsjacking can be a quick and effective method for securing results and hitting KPIs quickly.

Want More People to Know Who Your Brand Is? Get in Touch

Newsjacking is just one of the many parts of our digital PR campaigns – from press releases and out reach to campaign ideation and creation – we do it all here at Embryo. As well as this, by working with Embryo’s PR team, you get access to journalists up and down the country who have great relationships with us and are therefore open to hearing about the content we have to offer – this kind of access is worth its weight in gold and vital if you want to be seen/mentioned in national publications.

Our sales team are ready and waiting to discuss the first steps of your digital PR journey, and wider digital marketing endeavours, all you need to do is get in touch! Email us at [email protected] or call us on 0161 327 2635.


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