How to newsjack (and win $700*).

1) Read the short article below on how newsjacking works

2) Create your entry in the UTD MS Marketing iPhone X Challenge following the rules below

3) Post on the social media platform of your choice

4) Submit entry via the provided Qualtrics link

Newsjacking: What is It and How to Do It


Remember when Beyonce basically blew our stadium’s power (it’s the Superdome and it’s magnificent, thank you very much) and Oreo was so quick-witted and on brand that our minds were blown too?


Yeah, that one. This post was subtle and seems underwhelming now, but at the time, when advertisers paid hand over foot to get their brand into the commercials, Oreo stole the moment for free.

What is Newsjacking?

In case you’re still unclear, newsjacking is not jacking someone’s jacket or even being the first with breaking news (the latter is very close.)

According to author David Meerman Scott, who literally wrote the book on it, “Newsjacking is the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”

In short, newsjacking is jumping on the “what’s trending?” bandwagon by adding to the conversation and using it as leverage to delight existing brand loyalists and catch the eye of new potential leads.


Should I use Newsjacking?

Should you use soap? Yes, of course, you should try newsjacking. It’s basically a free way to get yourself in front of a whole bunch of new eyes, ears, and opinions. Think of it like having a booth at an expo or festival or placing an ad or billboard (both of which have dubious ROI and cost time and money). The purpose of those investments is to be involved in the community or cause and get more reach. And if done right, newsjacking can do both in the online space for much less investment.

The term may sound a little unsavory, but with a little help and some brand insight, you can totally nail this. We have some advice on how.


How to use Newsjacking?

There’s no 1-2-3 step process to use newsjacking. And everything you currently use for social media is all you really need to get started.

Find (or Predict) Trending Topics

Unless you loathe social media, you know what a trending topic is. Finding them is not difficult – for Facebook, it’s usually in the right sidebar next to that section that lists all the people Facebook thinks you know that you really don’t. For Twitter, just tap the search icon and the first thing you see is trending topics for your country or region. On Instagram, trends spread like paint dries – slowly and gradually. Doing your research on recurring hashtags and stacking up on your relevant hashtags will get you some easy gains. On Pinterest, just check out what’s popular or see what’s being pinned on boards relevant to your industry. You can also aim to create or predict trending topics, like we did with a historical brand, Aunt Sally’s Pralines, for National Praline Day.

Social media twitter example of newsjacking and topic possession to maintain brand presence and establish thought leadership.This tweet was part of an all-day social media presence pre-planned to maintain a constant brand presence.

Be Clever and Tactful

If you can, craft a message that gives information, no matter how little, while also aiming to delight existing customers. That’s your first priority. The second? Getting in front of people who don’t know who you are while also maintaining your cool. That Oreo post? It plugged its product while casting a subtle side-eye towards the Superbowl’s power outage. Gentle or light teasing is appropriate for most public posts. Keep the more candid responses for community engagement and management.

Pandering and jumping into the fray just to shamelessly plug yourself without any tact will be ignored and possibly chastised or trolled. It comes off as ignorant and will miss the mark of the audience you’ll likely be attracting.

Keep it Classy

There is a risk of newsjacking if you go into it with a reckless perspective – a social faux pas can not only cast aspersions on your brand, but can land you in hot water. You need to really know your brand voice or what direction you want to develop your brand voice towards before you start. Keep it positive. Don’t criticize unless you absolutely know that your audience is looking for your brand voice to do just that. On sensitive subjects, steer clear (anything involving war, death, and sorrow is off-limits.) Go for funny, not mean; be insightful, not haughty. Try to stay relatable and human – insightful and sympathetic, not naive and out-of-touch.


When should I newsjack?

Well, you should newsjack anytime it directly relates to you without a doubt. The real cleverness that attracts fresh pairs of eyes and delights your followers is when you venture out of your comfort zone and connect with other things that interest them or that they are experiencing. Newsjacking gives you the opportunity to inform their opinion on matters (and you) in real time. Savvy brands can hone in on moments of real opportunity.

Ways Your Business Can Generate Revenue and Leads Using Pokemon Go
Your message doesn’t only have to be social to be relevant – develop enticing content!

David Meerman Scott says you should newsjack right after news breaks from an official source, but before journalists are able to publish updated details. By doing this, sometimes you also find your message being used by those same journalists looking to share more relevant or interesting details. As long as you’re still seeing traffic generating around a trending topic, you still have a chance to be a dark horse and take home the title of “most memorable post.”

UTD Students: Could you use $700 this December? It’s easy to win!

Will college students buy the iPhone X? UTD students can win $700 by amplifying iPhone X survey results on social media!

This big $700 prize is based on how well you can amplify the survey results and insights presented in the infographics below.

The student who can best amplify the message on social media through a viral video and/or a Twitter message, Facebook, or other social media campaign can earn $700.The winning metrics will be based on the entry that gets the highest number of views, shares and retweets. A secondary metric will be impressions, if applicable. **

It’s easy to enter!

Review the infographics below for insights you can leverage on social media

Create your social media post, tweet, video, etc. and put it out there on the platform of your choice.

Submit your entry via the Qualtrics link below:

Follow the iPhone X Challenge on Twitter: #UTDMarketingiPhoneX
Part Two Deadline: Survey results will be posted two business days after the survey closes. Student entries (video, Facebook post, Tweet) must be received by midnight, Nov. 26, 2017. Results will be posted on the Jindal School Facebook and Twitter accounts (please follow us). If there are no submissions with more than 100 views, shares, likes, or other social media metric, the deadline will be extended until someone at least achieves that metric.

Submit your entry today!
*Restrictions apply. Open only to UTD students in good academic standing (student must not have any holds when the event closes) and be currently enrolled in the Fall 2017 semester. No purchase necessary. Open to all UTD Schools and programs. Only one submission per student. Duplicate submissions will be deleted. Students must use UTD email when submitting entries. Entry must be received by 1159 PM on 11/26/2017.The winner must agree to sign a talent release form so their name and picture can be used. The monetary award will be applied as a credit towards tuition; if the winner has an account balance, then the award is applied against this, and any surplus will be issued as a refund. Email questions to msmarketing@

** To be eligible for the $700 prize, student entries must have, at a minimum, more than 100 shares.


I'm a marketing lecturer and Program Manager for the MS in Marketing program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Posted in Cyber Monday, David Meerman Scott, iPhoneX, Master of Science in Marketing, Newsjacking, University of Texas at Dallas, UT Dallas Marketing in the News, UTDMarketingiPhoneX

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