Breaking Through the Clutter with Newsjacking


During Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo took advantage of the partial power outage at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome by posting a tweet that went viral. The tweet, which will go down as one of the greatest tactics in marketing communications history, is a perfect example of how powerful newsjacking can be.

Newsjacking refers to the practice of leveraging breaking news stories to boost your organization’s sales and marketing success. There are several ways newsjacking can be used to give your organization an edge in the marketplace.

Use it to share your organization’s value

Just because your organization doesn’t have any “big news” to share doesn’t mean that you can’t leverage trending topics to reinforce your messaging. When deciding whether or not to newsjack it is important to see how you can share the value your organization offers.

This requires your team to understand when and what types of trends are acceptable for newsjacking. If your organization fails to appropriately address the context of the trend, then you may run the risk of coming off as out of touch.

Be nimble. Be quick.

Remember Pokémon Go? Trends go as quickly as they come, so being timely with your newsjacking is absolutely critical to the impact it will have on your organization’s bottom line and brand awareness.

Monitor social media as much as you can

The average life of a tweet is 18 minutes. Social media is the go-to source for up-to-the-minute trending topics and a great place for brands to implement their newsjacking strategy.

A great example of how powerful real-time content can be is last year's “#covfefe” firestorm. Within mere minutes, the misspelled tweet was retweeted tens of thousands of times and scattered across the Internet.

Brands have the opportunity to take advantage of real-time trends as long as they are prepared to be in the right place, at the right time.

Additional tips:

  • Set up alerts to make sure you’re notified about relevant subjects

  • Establish the necessary criteria needed to make approval processes swift and manageable

  • Make sure the connection between your brand and the news is understood by those outside of your organization

Newsjacking can make a major difference in your organization’s overall PR and marketing strategies. An effective newsjacking strategy requires a flexible and reactive approach to ensure that your organization effectively leverages the current trends.

To learn more about how newsjacking can benefit your organization, visit

X-SageJim McIntyre