Carefully newsjacking your way into the public eye

Looking for that news hook? Newsjacking may be exactly what you’re looking for!

Read David Meerman Scott’s book…’cause he wrote the book on Newsjacking! His perspective on connecting news stories with your product or business can be a great way to get yourself in the public eye. Just be careful what news you jack or you could end up with a black eye.
On, Kivi Leroux Miller describes how how you can get yourself in the second paragraph of news stories if you learn how to respond quickly to the news of the day!

It works like this: a news story breaks. Journalists are under pressure to update that story for the next edition or broadcast. So while the core of the story (the first paragraph) doesn’t change all that much, the second paragraph does, with additional details or insights or related quotes. That’s your chance to swoop in with something a reporter can use that’s related — but not necessarily essential — to the main story to freshen it up. Then your part of the story gets repeated as other media outlets pick up the story. ~ Miller

Newsjacking can be done by commenting on the newstories and hopefully getting picked up like Remco described in the comments here.

I prefer the idea of having a relevant connection to the story that is interesting enough that it caches the attention of the reporter. It’s OK to use a bit of humor with this as long as you don’t go overboard, You can even newsjack serious stories as long as you keep them in good taste.

Here are some great examples from Scott’s book

I love how the London Fire Brigade newsjacked the story of Kate Winslet saving Richard Branson’s 90-year-old mother from a fire.

Oakley Sunglasses did a great job of newsjacking when they jumped on an opportunity to give glasses to the sun sensitive 33 Chilean miners. They each received Oakley Radar sunglasses to protect their eyes as they exited the mine after their long ordeal below ground.  Estimates say that Oakley garnerd about $41 million in promotions for the $6300 worth of product they donated.

Newsjacking  can be a great way to tie-in your organization to the latest news, but just be wise about how you use this technique. There will eventually be a news story that relates to your organization but it may be one you want to stay away from or at least be really careful how you tie-in to it. For example, if the local pound burns down, announcing your hot dog dinner to raise funds to spay and neuter dogs in the county would be less than advisable.

Have you newsjacked a story? Tell me how you did it in the comments below!

~ M


Make informed decisions

A simple survey rendered great data return

In her blog, Kem Meyer noted how Park Church is doing away with their weekly bulletin.

This move has received mixed reviews in the blogosphere here, here, and here, but has definitely attracted my attention since we’ve been reviewing the possiblity of doing something similar.

Here are our goals:

Connect people with what’s happening at ResLife
Give people easy access to accurate info via e-mail and our web site
Reduce expenses

So how do we go about doing moving people to our website and reducing our bulletin?

We decided to get more information before proceeding…

First I evaluated our database and found that we currently only have e-mail addresses for about 24% of our active attenders/members — not enough to make a major shift without alienating thousands. We really don’t actually know how much of our congregation is actively using the Web or e-mail.

So, we developed a little 10 question survey that we’re distributing by hand through classes, small groups, individually, etc. The purpose is to get real answers from the real people we’re trying to reach with a revised bulletin and a future digital push.

We didn’t do this as an online poll because that would have skewed the data toward tech users. There were many other questions we could have asked, but we wanted to limit it to 10 questions to get a good sampling of our congregation. We’d like to have 300-500 responses. Continue reading