Borrowed news can build your brand!

This week, social media and news networks have been in a frenzy over the recent announcement of Harry and Meghan’s pregnancy.  The latest #RoyalBaby has sent twitter into a storm and the Royal Family is not the only ‘brand’ benefitting from this news.

A number of top household names have jumped on the bandwagon and been demonstrating some very effective ‘newsjacking’. Marketing specialist David Meerman Scott defines newsjacking as: “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”

Effectively, it involves appropriating other people’s news to generate your own PR.

And it works really well….if you get it right!

Two of our favourites from this week are H&M:

And a brilliant ‘announcement’ from Domino’s:

It’s not only major brands that can make the most of this.  Plugging into up-to-date news is a great way to connect with new audiences across social media and to place your brand at the centre of popular discussion.

Keeping an eye on national and industry news is, therefore, a really important way of making sure your brand is amongst those getting noticed.

Here are some top tips to make newsjacking work for you:

  • Make ‘news scanning’ part of your daily duties. When you get into the office in the morning and you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, scan over the headlines for your region, your industry and main national headlines.
  • Check what’s trending, a quick search of top hashtags on Twitter will show you what is getting the most attention. Have a look for any interesting angles you can make your own.
  • Find a common link. Once you’ve identified any news hook you can ‘borrow’ find a way to make a connection to your own world of work and get creative!
  • Content is king! Try to create a graphic, gif or short video to associate with your newsjacking piece.  Posts with appealing visual content are far more popular than those without and with free apps like Canva, you don’t have to be a graphic design expert to make this work. Remember to include the trending hashtag with your post, as well as any that are linked to your brand so that people searching for linked items about the topic will see you and be introduced to your company.
  • Pace yourself! Don’t try and do this every day.  Newsjacking works when it’s spontaneous and relevant.  Keep an eye out for themes that really work for you
  • Avoid controversy! Newsjacking can also go really wrong.  Keep away from anything too political and don’t be insensitive or you’ll end up in the news for all the wrong reasons.

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