๐Ÿ“ข What Is Newsjacking? 10 Powerful Examples + a How-to Guide

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What Is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the practice of leveraging current events or news stories to promote your brand or product. This strategy involves quickly reacting to breaking news with content that aligns your brand with the trending topic, capturing the attention of a larger audience. It’s a powerful tool for increasing visibility, driving engagement, and positioning your brand as relevant and timely.

10 Powerful Examples of Newsjacking

  1. Oreo – “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” During the 2013 Super Bowl blackout, Oreo quickly tweeted, “You can still dunk in the dark,” gaining massive attention and showcasing the power of real-time marketing.
  2. Starbucks – #WhatsYourName Campaign Capitalizing on the discussions around gender identity, Starbucks launched the #WhatsYourName campaign, supporting the transgender community and gaining widespread positive publicity.
  3. Arby’s – Pharrell’s Hat When Pharrell Williams wore an unusual hat to the Grammy Awards, Arby’s tweeted, “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back?” This clever nod to their logo went viral.
  4. Burger King – Net Neutrality Burger King created a humorous video explaining net neutrality using Whoppers, making a complex issue accessible and engaging, which resonated widely on social media.
  5. Dunkin’ – Red Sox Win After the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, Dunkin’ quickly celebrated the win with special promotions and social media posts, connecting with local pride.
  6. KFC – “FCK” Apology Following a chicken shortage, KFC ran a humorous ad rearranging their logo to “FCK” and issued a public apology, which was well-received and showed their human side.
  7. Pepsi – Kendall Jenner Ad Pepsi’s controversial ad was quickly newsjacked by many brands making light of the situation, demonstrating how to capitalize on even negative press.
  8. Nike – Colin Kaepernick Nike’s ad featuring Colin Kaepernick tapped into the ongoing national debate about social justice, aligning the brand with a strong social stance.
  9. Ben & Jerry’s – Black Lives Matter Ben & Jerry’s leveraged their platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement, creating content that resonated with a socially conscious audience.
  10. Audi – Women’s Day Audi posted a powerful image for International Women’s Day highlighting gender pay inequality, reinforcing their commitment to social issues.

How-to Guide: Implementing a Successful Newsjacking Strategy

  1. Monitor the News Constantly Use tools like Google Alerts, Twitter trends, and news apps to stay updated on breaking news relevant to your industry.
  2. Act Quickly Timing is critical. The faster you can create and publish content related to the news, the more impact it will have.
  3. Be Relevant Ensure the news story aligns with your brand values and message. Irrelevant or forced connections can backfire.
  4. Be Authentic Your response should feel genuine and not overly promotional. Audiences can quickly sense when a brand is exploiting a situation insincerely.
  5. Add Value Provide a unique angle or insight that adds to the conversation. Simply reiterating the news doesn’t engage your audience.
  6. Engage with Your Audience Use social media to interact with users who are discussing the news. Engagement can amplify your reach and build stronger relationships.
  7. Prepare for Backlash Not all newsjacking attempts go smoothly. Be ready to handle negative feedback and have a crisis management plan in place.
  8. Measure the Impact Analyze the performance of your newsjacking efforts. Track metrics like engagement, reach, and sentiment to refine future strategies.
  9. Stay Ethical Avoid newsjacking sensitive topics that could be seen as opportunistic or disrespectful. Maintain your brand’s integrity.
  10. Be Creative Creativity can set your brand apart. Think of unique ways to tie your brand to the news that will stand out and be memorable.

By effectively leveraging newsjacking, your brand can increase visibility, drive engagement, and connect with audiences in real-time. Stay agile, relevant, and authentic to make the most out of this powerful marketing strategy.

Find out more about Newsjacking and how to implement an effective strategy

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