What is Newsjacking and How to Use it to Stay Relevant

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By Ana Cahuas

As a PR professional, I start every morning reading the news. This is a crucial step in analyzing trends and identifying opportunities to pitch clients to relevant media contacts. While the constant flow of news can be overwhelming, staying informed on current events and cultural trends is an essential part of a successful public relations strategy. Leveraging these news stories to inject your message into the dialogue, also known as newsjacking, helps keep your brand relevant and gain exposure.  

To effectively newsjack, here are our top three tips: 

  1. Stay Vigilant and Act Swiftly

In the fast-paced world of news, timing is everything. What outlets are your target demographic reading? Regularly check these sources for emerging stories that resonate with your brand’s message. Set up alerts for relevant keywords and monitor social media platforms for trending topics. Once a suitable news story or trend breaks, act swiftly and be ready to offer your point of view, product samples, or solution. If appropriate, create engaging content for social media around the topic. 

  1. Find the Angle and Add Value

Successful newsjacking hinges on finding the right angle to connect the breaking news with your brand’s narrative. Analyze the news story and identify aspects that align with your expertise and values. Once you identify the angle, add value through data or an expert POV. For example, when national data was released stating the median U.S. job tenure has dropped by 11% in the last decade, we pitched business and HR writers with data from client Torani, a company whose tenure rate outpaces the national average by over 53%. In this case, offering data in the context of a larger national trend allowed us to secure earned media coverage for Torani. Whether it’s offering expert insights, providing practical solutions, or sharing relevant company data, ensure that your contribution enriches the discussion and positions your brand as a credible voice in the industry. 

  1. Be Authentic 

Authenticity is key to effective newsjacking. Ensure that your message aligns organically with the news story and remains authentic to your brand identity. Avoid forced or opportunistic attempts to piggyback on trending topics. Take Bud Light’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney as an example which received backlash due to perceived inauthenticity. Instead, focus on relevance and authenticity, ensuring that your contribution adds meaningful value and reinforces your brand’s story.