Do you remember the power failure last February 2013 during the American Super Bowl? During 34 minutes, the match watched by millions of viewers is interrupted.  Oreo, the famous biscuit brand took the opportunity to send this tweet :

Result: More than 15 000 retweets and a huge advert for the brand without paying a cent. Before this tweet, the brand had about 2,000 followers. It rose to over 30,000 in a few days! This is the most famous newsjacking example, which is also one of the best ways to create buzz, to be taken over by social networks and traditional media. The process, which often uses humor and quirky speech, is increasingly used in the digital marketing tactics. Decoding.

Appear as the industry expert

It allows a company to position itself as the expert in a sector, to differentiate itself from competitors, to give credibility to its brand or to be perceived by journalists as a contributor, a source of reliable information.  It’s interesting for SME’s that do not have large communication budgets and who want to boost their visibility.

It is essential to use it wisely and in a relevant way. “The Newsjacking can be an accelerator if used occasionally, takes Christian Neff. The advantage of the process is to attract followers, but behind you have to feed them with content and of course at the end sell products to them. “In short, do not forget the commercial aim!

To understand all the Newsjacking potential, it is necessary to understand the complete news life cycle when it appears in Medias.

On Internet (and it is the same in all mediatic system) news has almost the same behaviour as a flu epidemic in real life: It arises in a particular home, spreads quickly and disappears.

This graph of David Meerman Scott shows perfectly the life of a news story:



The 4 Key steps

  • Ask yourself the good questions:

This is not an end in itself. Newsjacking has to serve your company goals that are developing the market share, increase the brand visibility and make profit.  The objective isn’t only to get more likes, retweets or repins.

It has to serve your company strategy. That is to say to be a way to attract new clients and to build a stronger link with your community. Unfortunately, too many brands limit their Community Management to this kind of successful actions.

  • To have a good company culture

For a successful Newsjacking operation, you have to be reactive! To be reactive, it is necessary that the Community Manager (or social media team) gets a strong autonomy and doesn’t evolve in an organizational structure that is too hierarchical. A Newsjacking operation has to be launched only a few minutes after an event. If to set this up you have to go through an internal process of validation, the result will probably be disappointing.

  • Having a powerful monitoring

This is the sinew of war. To be effective, you must know the topics / themes that rise and will soon become trendy. For this, you must have the fullest possible monitoring that will let you early identify topics that will buzz a few hours or days later. You can use tools such as Mention, Google Alerts and many others that monitor trends on the Web on a given topic.

  • Do not mix speed and haste

The web is a media system that goes very fast. You must be ultra-reactive when launching a newsjacking campaign. This does not mean that you have to mix speed and haste and post anything to buzz.

Good and bad buzz examples

Nike Football France

Straight after the French football team elimination during the world cup, a lot of brand Community Managers reacted to this event. This is the case of Nike Football, the main French Football team sponsor.

newsjacking fff

Result: 1799 RT and 711 favourites 46 minutes after this tweet was sent.


This brand is one of the most active and creative on social networks reacting to news really often with his good sense of humour. This was the case in this Facebook post launched for the release of Fifty Shades of Grey

newsjacking oasis

Result: 24000 likes and more than 2400 shares.


You all remember the incident during the world cup 2014 when the football player Luis Suarez bit one of the adverse team player?

Here you can see the reaction of Snickers to this event, a great marketing action towards football fans.

Result : 44,000 retweets and 20,000 favorites


News is a great place of operations for NewsJacking strategists who can bounce on all types of information, from the lightest to the most serious, obviously taking care to avoid everything related to tragic events and that could generate bad buzz to the agency’s clients.

newsjacking AT&T

This is unfortunately the mistakeAT & T has committed tempting to make his advert on the back of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks:

newsjacking AT&T 2

Result: 1 hour later AT & T had to post an apology message


In the context of the World Cup, KLM has provoked a violent bad buzz with this tweet posted after the elimination of Mexico.

Newsjacking KLM

Result: Particularly negatives twitter users reactions as the one of Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, a media coverage that the multinational would have avoid.

So, good or bad idea?

Well executed, Newsjacking can be a powerful and interesting lever to get community sympathy and increase your visibility and your traffic freely. Trying Newsjacking can also be really dangerous and generate a disastrous impact on your brand image. It is impossible to decide and say in absolute terms if the newsjacking is a good idea or not. Indeed, it depends on many parameters.

By generating engagement in first place on social networks, it is possible to impose its own news in the news and be relayed by Medias.

Did you already try this marketing method? I would be really interested in getting your own Newsjacking examples.