Newsjacking: What you need to know

by Amanda Plachte

A large part of what we do in the public relations industry is all about opportunity; keeping up with current news and trends, finding ways to get an organization in the press and creating positive publicity.

So what about newsjacking?

After the unforgettable and surprisingly successful engagement following Oreo’s Superbowl tweet, everyone and their brother have been trying to recreate the magic of “dunking in the dark.” From the infamous Suarez bite to Tim Howard saving everything to Brazil’s history-making defeat at the “feet” of Germany, companies were giving their best shot to take advantage and score big on Twitter during the World Cup. That’s what we call newsjacking.

Real purpose or overhyped tactic?

Encore Alert, a company that sorts through brand tweets and identifies marketing opportunities, wanted to get to the bottom of it. The goal was to find out what works, what does not and why. An experiment was conducted with 18 companies of varying sizes with various numbers of followers. The research firm monitored the brands’ tweets during a timeframe prior to the World Cup and again during the World Cup.

Writer Matt van Hoven explains the results in his article. Eight of the 18 companies had positive “lift,” while 10 had negative. The results found some trends that could explain the engagement that came from each brand’s efforts. Those with positive lift, like Castrol, had well-timed, brand relevant tweets that truly engaged the fans. For a brand that normally has fewer favorites and retweets than can be counted on two hands, the motor oil company saw an impressive 21,960 percent lift during the World Cup.

Those with negative lift had poorly planned, self-serving tweets that were not overly interesting to true #WorldCup fans. McDonald’s fell in this category.

Digiday’s Brian Morrissey shares some other companies that went too far with the newsjacking during the World Cup in his article. Also, in James Gadea’s article, we’re provided with three tips for harnessing global Twitter trends:

  1. Be informed.
    You can’t fake knowledge.
  2. Be timely, clever and brand-relevant.
    Just look at Castrol.
  3. Be on guard.
    Find opportunities within the audience; listen, connect, and score big time!

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Images via: Digiday and Encore Alert

 

 

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