What I’ve Read Lately: Newsjacking

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“Newsjacking”
by: David Meerman Scott
ISBN:  978-1-118-25231-4

jtpedersen_newsjacking_what I've read lately

Fun book every (semi) serious social media practitioner should read.  And, at less than $7, ebook-only, and 64 pages long (123pg on my iPhone), there’s no reason you shouldn’t.

Just released (Nov, ’11), acclaimed social media and marketing pro, and self-proclaimed Viral Marketing Expert David Meerman Scott has released Newsjacking.

So what’s this thing called newsjacking?  Well, it’s pretty much exactly as you’d expect.  As current events unfold, as new news is being developed, there’s a narrow window of opportunity for you to interject your own message.  Think of it as catching a wave.  If you catch it just right, it’ll take you for a nice ride.

As current events unfold, there’s a narrow window where journalists are scrambling to deliver story content.  Your objective, as Scott characterizes it, is to provide second paragraph content.  In short, the who, what, when, where content is typically easy to obtain.  That’s paragraph one.  What journalists are eager to discover, to differentiate themselves from their competitors, is why?

Why, is where you come in.  And the key is when: which is right-bloody-now!

As Scott comments, you need to be, “…clever enough to react to breaking news very quickly…”  You do this by providing credible content for that second paragraph.  Whether you do it by tweeting; sending out media alerts; or, writing a blog post (and then telling folks about it); you need to get your thoughts out there ASAP.

Throughout the ebook, David Meerman Scott provides current examples (up to and including the past ~6 weeks or so).  My favorite:

Sir Richard Branson was hosting actress Kate Winslet and 20 other guests at his private retreat.  Lightning set a building ablaze and Winslet helped rescue Branson’s 90 year-old mother.  Dovetailing beautifully, the London Fire Brigade newsjacked.

The LFB announced an offer for Winslet to train with LFB firefighters at their training center.  She would learn how crews fight fires; understand the day-in-the-life-of a firefighter; as well as how people can reduce risks of fire.  The result: LFB received a ton of publicity—helping get their core safety message out—for the cost of the time it took to come up with the idea and publicize it.

Newsjacking is a notion that’s been out there for a while.  Only now, David Meerman Scott’s put a name to it, briefly described the process, and put another arrow in social media practitioner’s quiver.  Give it a read, give it a try, let me know what you think.