Newsjacking, or the practice of ‘hijacking’ trending news stories with the goal of inserting your brand into the conversation, can be an effective public relations tactic for building your brand, boosting credibility, and getting your message out to a larger audience.

While newsjacking is a useful tool for securing media exposure, it’s important to approach every newsjacking opportunity strategically. Here are a few tips that PR pros can utilize to master the art of newsjacking.


Best Practices for Newsjacking

  • Keep Up with Current Events: Successful newsjacking begins with staying informed by keeping a pulse on breaking news and trending stories. This can be done in a number of ways including daily media monitoring and subscribing to e-mail alerts so updates come straight to your inbox. In addition, social media can be an excellent tool to get a quick glimpse into real-time conversations and trending topics.


  • React Quickly but be Mindful: Today’s news cycle is more dynamic and fast paced than ever, and when it comes to capitalizing on breaking news, timing is everything. Immediately jumping on a breaking story will allow you to get ahead of the competition and drastically increase your chance of success. However, it’s important to be tactful and strategic when proceeding with a newsjacking idea to avoid potential negative impact or damaged credibility for your brand. Always ensure that the newsjacking opportunity is relevant and appropriate, and that the content will not be misconstrued by the media.


  • Plan Ahead: It may seem impossible to plan ahead for newsjacking opportunities, but having basic materials prepared will allow for a more comprehensive and timely response. When creating your brands overall PR strategy, outline their key messages and objectives, and establish which topics they can speak to with expertise and which they may want to avoid. Always be sure to have critical content on hand, such as targeted media lists, spokesperson biographies and headshots.


  • Always Add Value: Newsjacking is all about grabbing the media’s attention by adding something new or unique to an already trending story. If connecting your brand to a piece of new seems forced or inauthentic, it is likely not the right newsjacking opportunity. Focus on positioning your brand as a thought leader by sharing accurate, relevant and insightful content that truly adds value to the conversation.