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What is News Jacking?

News Jacking Felix Baumgartner

By Steven Pope

“News jacking” might end up being turned into a single word “newsjacking.” It probably will be by the end of 2013 after more businesses start doing it. It became a trendy thing to do in 2012. So what is news jacking? News jacking is a marketing term that means embracing a current event by your company in social media or advertising. A great example of this is when Felix Baumgartner did his infamous space jump.

It was a worldwide story that had massive implications. It was a world breaking stunt, and it was novel. Nobody had jumped from outer space into the world before. So during this event I was discussing it with our company’s social media following. At the time I was working for a higher education company so I posted things like, “This guy dreams big.” Since most people dream of getting their college degree it wasn’t that much of a stretch. And regardless, this event is interesting to any demographic. So no matter what business you have you could tweet about it, share it on Facebook, etc.

The idea of news jacking is to get engagements, and to get users to share your story. IE creating buzz. Even if what they share from your social media has nothing to do with your product your name is attached to it. Since your post is free, you might end up getting a few clicks that would have cost you some advertising money.

The 10:3:1 rule

News jacking helps you with the 10:3:1 rule. For every 14 posts you make, you should have 10 that talk about your product in general, 3 that promote something that isn’t your product, and 1 that is a straight-up lead generation. News jacking falls into the “3” category most often. Give it a try!

Here’s a math puzzle that I shared on a company’s Facebook page. It received 15,000 comments! The thing went viral, and you are welcome to post it to your own social media to give it a try. It technically isn’t news jacking but has all of the associated benefits and follows the news jacking method. Because others are using the puzzle already, it technically still is news jacking.

News jacking can also be defined as the act of redirecting the impact of breaking news into your company’s favor. For instance, if a world event like when miners were trapped underground in Chile in 2010, and your product can help in the relief effort you could gain major media attention. That’s what Oakley did, providing required sunglass eyewear that protected against the sun in the relief effort.

Author Bio: Steven Pope is a journalist turned marketer. Currently unemployed he is blogging to get exposure. See his LinkedIn resume here, and let him know about any job opportunities. You can also follow the author on Twitter @NewAgeMarketer.

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