Newsjacking – the art of leveraging trending news to elevate your brand’s message.

When a new story breaks, the internet buzzes with conversation. Those hearing about the story for the first time turn to the internet for updates and commentary. Writers and blogs who publish on the topic quickly can ride the wave of interest in the story.

If you can add something to the discussion that is worthwhile, and get it published early in the news cycle, your website can see a significant jump in new visitors.

For example:

Obama given free insurance against crocodile attack for his visit to Australia

President Obama visited Australia in 2011, and an Australian insurance company gave him free crocodile insurance for the duration of his stay. Michelle Obama would get $50,000 in the event of a croc attack.

This clever little idea landed the insurance company in 4,969 mainstream media stories, and it didn’t cost them anything in the end. The secret service managed to keep Obama safe from the crocodiles.

David Meerman Scott popularised the term Newsjacking:

You’ve got to be quick

Successful newsjacking requires fast publishing, because you need to get something out there before the journalists come scouring the internet for additional details to fill out their own articles. It may be tricky to figure out what these journalists are looking for, but if you can get it right, it’s a very cheap way to boost your traffic and raise awareness of your brand.