THE Most Important Question to Ask Before Newsjacking

So, you see an opening to hijack a news story for your organization/cause/client? You want to get coverage. Understood. You already determined that getting in this story would fit your brand, make progress towards your goals, and reach your target audience, right? Great.

But wait! Before you do anything, before you reach out to anyone, before designers get inspired by Oreo, ask yourself THE most important question of newsjacking: Do you want to jack THIS news?

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Or these?

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Wall Street Journal reporters Jennifer Ordonez and Matthew Rose have more examples from September 27, 2001: Upromise, a company that helps people save for their children’s college education; the Kit-Cat Klock, a wall clock in the shape of a cat; and Quantum Tech’s remote data backup service. The headline? In Attacks’ Wake, PR Firms Find Their Pitches Fall Flat.

Kevin Dugan, @prblog, summed up the perils of hijacking a story over at the Bad Pitch Blog (h/t for the idea behind this post).

“These moments are not opportunities for you to introduce a news outlet to an expert. In fact, it’s the worst time — making your client out to be as shameless as you. And I don’t think the public cares if their favorite brand is also thinking about the victims of the latest national disaster. Sometimes the right thing to do is absolutely nothing.”

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