GTM Dictionary

The Go-to-Market Dictionary: Newsjacking

Learn how to leverage the power of newsjacking in your go-to-market strategy with our comprehensive guide.

As marketers, we are always looking for innovative ways to amplify our brand and gain more traction with our target audience. One such method gaining popularity is newsjacking. But what exactly is newsjacking, and how can it benefit your business? In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of newsjacking, from definition to implementation.

Understanding Newsjacking

Definition and Origins

Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on breaking news or trending stories for marketing purposes. It involves taking a current event and injecting your brand into the conversation in a relevant and compelling way.

The term "newsjacking" was coined by marketer David Meerman Scott in his book "Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage". Since then, the strategy has become an effective way for businesses to increase their reach and engagement.

The Importance of Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to newsjacking. The goal is to be among the first to react to a breaking news story and provide value to your audience. By being agile and responsive, you can ensure that your brand stays top-of-mind during trending events.

However, it's important to tread carefully and ensure that your reaction is appropriate and relevant. Jumping on a bandwagon just because it's popular can backfire and damage your brand's reputation.

Examples of Successful Newsjacking

There have been many successful newsjacking campaigns over the years. One of the most notable examples is Oreo's tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout. The tweet simply read, "Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark." The tweet quickly went viral and became one of the most talked-about moments of the event. It also garnered massive media attention and earned Oreo widespread praise for their timely and creative response.

Another successful newsjacking example is Airbnb's "we accept" ad campaign, which capitalized on the controversy surrounding the Trump administration's travel ban. The campaign featured a message of inclusivity and acceptance, with the tagline "We believe no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong." The campaign was widely praised for its timely and relevant message.

Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign is also a great example of newsjacking done right. The campaign leveraged current events to promote their message of inclusivity and diversity. The campaign featured women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, and was a response to the unrealistic beauty standards perpetuated by the media. The campaign was a huge success and helped to shift the conversation around beauty and body image.


Newsjacking can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their reach and engagement. By being agile and responsive, and by carefully choosing the events and stories to capitalize on, brands can generate massive media coverage and earn widespread praise. However, it's important to tread carefully and ensure that your reaction is appropriate and relevant. With the right approach, newsjacking can be a valuable addition to any marketing strategy.

The Benefits of Newsjacking for Your Business

As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to increase your brand's exposure and stay ahead of the competition. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is newsjacking. Newsjacking involves creating content that is based on a current news story or trending topic. By doing so, you can leverage the attention that the story is already receiving and use it to benefit your brand. Here are some of the benefits of newsjacking:

Increased Brand Exposure

One of the main benefits of newsjacking is that it can significantly increase your brand's exposure. By being part of a trending conversation, you can attract new followers and customers who might not have otherwise discovered your brand. When done right, newsjacking can result in extensive media coverage, increased social media engagement, and more traffic to your website. This kind of exposure can also lead to higher brand awareness and increased sales.

Improved SEO

Newsjacking can also benefit your brand's SEO efforts. By creating content that is relevant to a trending topic, you increase the chances of your content being shared and linked to by other websites and social media users. This can result in higher search engine rankings and increased visibility for your brand. Additionally, by using relevant keywords and hashtags in your newsjacking content, you can improve your chances of being found by people who are searching for information related to the news story.

Establishing Thought Leadership

Another benefit of newsjacking is that it can help establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. By staying on top of current events and providing valuable insights, you can show your audience that you are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest news and trends. This can lead to more credibility and respect from your audience, as well as increased opportunities for partnerships and collaborations.

Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy

Newsjacking is also a cost-effective way to market your brand. By capitalizing on existing events and conversations, you can save time and resources on creating original content. This can free up resources for other marketing efforts and ensure that your brand stays relevant and top-of-mind. Additionally, because newsjacking content is often timely and relevant, it can have a longer shelf life than other types of content, which can help you get more mileage out of your marketing efforts.

In conclusion, newsjacking can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their brand exposure, improve their SEO, establish thought leadership, and save time and resources on marketing efforts. By staying on top of current events and creating content that is relevant and valuable to your audience, you can leverage the power of newsjacking to benefit your brand.

How to Implement Newsjacking in Your Go-to-Market Strategy

Identifying Relevant News Stories

The first step in newsjacking is identifying relevant news stories. This includes keeping up with current events and trending topics across various channels, such as social media, news outlets, and industry publications. It's important to stay on top of what's happening and assess whether a story is relevant to your brand and audience.

For example, if you're a fashion brand, you might keep an eye out for stories about new fashion trends, celebrity fashion choices, or major fashion events like Fashion Week. If you're a tech company, you might be interested in news about the latest gadgets, cybersecurity threats, or emerging technologies.

Once you've identified a relevant news story, it's important to research it thoroughly. This means reading multiple articles, watching videos, and following relevant social media accounts to get a well-rounded understanding of the story.

Creating Engaging Content

The key to successful newsjacking is creating content that is interesting and engaging. This means being creative and finding unique ways to tie your brand into the conversation. It's important to focus on providing value and insights rather than purely promotional material.

When creating content, it's important to be timely. This means being among the first to react to a story and providing a unique perspective. For example, if a major celebrity wears one of your products to a high-profile event, you might create a blog post or social media campaign that highlights the product and offers styling tips for how to achieve a similar look.

It's also important to offer an actionable takeaway for your audience and encourage engagement and discussion. This might involve asking a question, soliciting feedback, or offering a special promotion or discount to those who engage with your content.

Promoting Your Newsjacked Content

Once you've created your newsjacked content, it's important to promote it across various channels. This includes social media, email newsletters, and industry blogs. It's also important to keep an eye on the conversation and respond to any comments or feedback.

One effective way to promote your newsjacked content is to use paid advertising. This might involve running a targeted Facebook or Instagram ad campaign that reaches your desired audience and encourages them to engage with your content.

Measuring the Success of Your Newsjacking Efforts

As with any marketing strategy, it's important to track and measure the success of your newsjacking efforts. This includes monitoring traffic to your website, social media engagement, and media coverage. By tracking these metrics, you can assess what's working and adjust your strategy accordingly.

It's also important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends in your industry. This means continuing to monitor relevant news stories and adjusting your strategy as needed to stay relevant and engaging to your audience.

Potential Risks and Challenges of Newsjacking

Newsjacking is a popular marketing technique that involves piggybacking on a trending news story to gain exposure for your brand. While it can be a highly effective way to generate buzz and increase visibility, there are also potential risks and challenges to consider.

Backlash from Insensitive or Inappropriate Content

One of the biggest risks of newsjacking is backlash from insensitive or inappropriate content. It's important to be sensitive to current events and ensure that your content is appropriate and relevant. Jumping on a trending topic without considering the broader implications can damage your brand's reputation and alienate your audience.

For example, if a tragedy occurs, it's not appropriate to use it as a marketing opportunity. Instead, it's important to approach the situation with empathy and respect.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

It's also important to consider legal and ethical considerations when newsjacking. This includes ensuring that your content doesn't violate any copyright or intellectual property laws, and that it's truthful and transparent. It's also important to ensure that your brand's values and messaging align with the news story and that you're not exploiting a tragedy or crisis for personal gain.

For instance, if you're newsjacking a story about a political issue, it's important to remain neutral and not take sides. Additionally, if you're using images or videos in your content, make sure that you have permission to use them or that they are licensed under a Creative Commons agreement.

Over-Saturation and Competition

Finally, it's important to consider the potential for over-saturation and competition. When a news story is trending, many other brands will likely be attempting to newsjack it as well. This means that it's important to be creative and find unique angles to stand out from the crowd.

One way to do this is to focus on a specific aspect of the story that hasn't been covered extensively. For example, if a celebrity has been in the news for a scandal, instead of focusing on the scandal itself, you could create content that explores their career or philanthropic efforts.

Overall, newsjacking can be a powerful tool for brands, but it's important to approach it with caution and consideration. By being sensitive, ethical, and creative, you can successfully newsjack a trending story and increase your brand's visibility.


Newsjacking can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their brand exposure and reach. By staying on top of current events and creating engaging content, you can establish your brand as a thought leader and drive more traffic to your website. However, it's important to tread carefully and be sensitive to the broader implications of the news story. With the right approach, newsjacking can be a cost-effective and innovative way to market your brand.