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Newsjacking in digital PR

Newsjacking in digital PR

‘Newsjacking’ is one of the most effective PR and marketing strategies used by brands in order to generate tons of media coverage by injecting ideas or angles into a breaking news story. If used successfully, newsjacking can help brands promote their business like never before!

It is vital for all brands to create brand awareness and reputation among their stakeholders, whether they are new to the market or existed for many years. Brands try to use many different methods to attract the attention of their target audience and members of the media with the increasing competition each day. Planned and sustainable advertising and PR activities that carried out by brands provide many benefits like increasing brand visibility. With the rapidly transforming and digitalizing PR, a new concept emerged: Newsjacking.

What is newsjacking?

The term ‘Newsjacking’, popularized by marketing expert David Meerman Scott, is a combination of the words ‘news' and ‘hijacking’. He considered newsjacking as an art and science. Newsjacking is used to manipulate breaking news and the most interesting news of the day for your brand by attracting the attention of journalists, media outlets and the readers. Standing out within the scope of Digital PR, newsjacking is a favored method for brands and institutions. Frequently used in social media activities, the main objective of newsjacking is to keep up with the world agenda and get the most benefit with the minimum budget.

News outlets, editors and journalists bring relevant and popular stories together to create unique content, especially for search engine optimization. These contents can be press releases, blog posts or a quote from an expert. Moreover, they do reviews by examining the subject and social media posts. By this means, after giving the details and answers for the 5W1H questions in the first paragraph, they can easily enrich the content in the second paragraph with the data they scramble. Brands’ approach to keeping up with the world agenda enables them to keep up their relations with the target audience. 

By reacting quickly to current events, brands can skyrocket their real-time interaction in digital and social media. Focusing on popular keywords and hashtags can also drive highly targeted traffic which can turn into more leads and sales.

Recently, the artwork called "Comedian" by Italian sculptor Maurizio Cattelan was put on sale at Art Basel Miami Beach. The artist taped a banana on a wall and found a buyer for 120 thousand dollars. The fact that a banana taped to the wall was sold to such a figure provided wide and creative communication strategies for brands. You can find more information from this page.


One another good example is the campaign run by IKEA in June 2019 when people covered their vehicles with carpets and quilts after the hail damaged many vehicles in Istanbul.

The first to pass the line can become a thought leader

As a result of rapid digitalization, time and space independency and instant communication brands had to become more competitive over time. In this competition, it is important for brands to use social media and digital PR channels effectively and quickly in order to integrate their stories with the agenda.

The campaigns created with the newsjacking method are designed as short-term tactics as the life of a news story dies down pretty fast. As the flow of information accelerates day by day, the world agenda change within seconds. Brands can react to these changes in seconds, thanks to the power of Digital PR.

Newsjacking in Digital PR strategies

Today, newsjacking stands out as a prominent method in digital PR strategies, which involves creating and managing brand image and impressions, improving credibility and attracting new customers. As news is breaking every second and the lifespan of a story is relatively short compared to past, brands who want to benefit from current events have to integrate their marketing approaches with Digital PR. 

Breaking news could potentially lead a marketer to come up with an excellent idea, but the campaign must be launched in no more than 7-10 days; otherwise there is a risk that the news will become cold. In this limited time frame, Digital PR is the best friend of the institutions. Supporting SEO and content marketing, Digital PR is also a powerful communication tool to increase social media followers and the overall engagement. Brands need to follow the world agenda, special events and social media in the process of preparing newsjacking campaigns within the scope of online PR. If done right, these campaigns can lead to many benefits.

  • Improving brand reputation.
  • Attracting customers for real-time commentary about the content.
  • Sharing a new angle for branded content ideas.
  • Offers the opportunity to lead the market.
  • Increasing credibility and authority.
  • Increasing social activities and shares.
  • Allows organic links and citations.
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