The Best Kept Secrets of News Jacking

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Along your journey toward becoming a thought leader in your industry, you have likely utilized an array of techniques to establish your authority in relevant topics. One of the best ways to accomplish this is via a practice known as “news jacking.”

The term, coined by bestselling author David Meerman Scott, describes a savvy practice businesses and professionals alike use in their blogs, social media, and other publications. Read on to learn more about this practice and how to use it to the best effect.

What is News Jacking, and Why is it Important?

“News jacking” represents an oft-used jargon term meaning “to present your opinions regarding a breaking news story.” When individuals remain informed regarding information in their industries and utilize various networks to comment on this news, it benefits them in multiple ways, including:

·         Visibility. It gets audiences talking about the news story, as well as the person writing about it.
·         Credibility. When readers associate a writer with up-to-the-moment news and informed opinions, it lends a sense of authority to that person.
·         Optimization. Search engines recognize quality content relating to current events and place it at the top of search results, bringing more attention to the author and his or her organization.

How to Use the News to Your Advantage

News jacking is an art easily learned by familiarizing oneself with its best practices. To achieve the benefits (and avoid the drawbacks) of news jacking, a few do’s and don’ts include:

·         DO be timely. When you recognize a breaking story, the sooner you post about it, the better. Often, it only takes a few hours for the web to become saturated with social media or blog posts about a topic, reducing the potency of any commentary that follows.
·         DO focus on relevance. While a major news story may seem like a “big fish” with which you can easily draw attention, turn your focus only to those pieces most significant to your brand. This may not gain you quick “fame,” but it will establish long-term credibility over time.
·         DO write blogs. In some cases, a quick tweet or Facebook post about a story will be all you have the time or inclination to share. However, the occasional blog regarding a particularly juicy story will net significant SEO results and represent a more lasting impression than an easily-forgotten social media post.
·         DON’T abuse hashtags. When posting a story on social media, avoid using “spammy” hashtags unrelated to the topic about which you’re commenting. Such tactics appear in poor taste and do little to advance your brand’s image.
·         DON’T make it complicated. A news jacking blog should be short, succinct, and memorable. If your thoughts regarding a subject extend beyond a few hundred words, consider a multi-part post to which readers can return to for several days and extend the interaction.
·         DON’T emphasize controversy. Whether shedding light on a natural disaster or commenting on a recent election, tread lightly regarding universally sensitive topics – or avoid them altogether.

When it comes to news jacking, the most important thing to remember is to share the stories most important and interesting to you. Posts showing sincerity and insight regarding the news of the day will be sure to gain you favor with audiences far and wide.