Telling the right story at the right time: the art of ‘newsjacking’

We are strong believers that every brand, company and founder has a compelling story to share. From advice on bolstering employee engagement to international travel tips or the proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste, every company can and should be an expert within their industry.

And while most companies recognize their expert potential, it can sometimes be difficult finding the medium in which to share their stories.

How can a startup or small business break through the chatter to ensure they are reaching their target audience? Is it possible for a vendor to position themselves as an expert in their industry without paying for an advertisement?

One of our favorite ways to ensure that the right people are learning about our clients at the right time is through a strategy called “newsjacking.”

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is the art of injecting our clients’ ideas into a breaking news or pop culture story. Whenever breaking news occurs, reporters and analysts are looking for experts to comment on the story. Newsjacking is an approach that is mutually beneficial for our clients and the media. For instance, in a newsjacking scenario, our client receives media attention and recognition as an industry expert and the reporter gets a credible source on a timely topic for his or her story.

But how does it work?

One of the keys to a successful newsjacking campaign is timing. While a company may have a fantastic opinion on a current event or a national trend, reporters likely won’t be interested in that perspective after a week or even a day has passed. The news cycle is extremely fast-paced, and the best way to receive media attention is by moving quickly. Luckily, that’s where we come in!

How Dittoe PR can help

Our media relations work has always been rooted in having a strong, timely hook and a knack for identifying reporters who might be interested. Our job is to constantly brainstorm how we can share our clients’ stories and proactively conduct media outreach on their behalf. As a trending story develops in real time, we begin crafting messaging that positions our client as an expert on the topic.

For example, when Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris last October, we saw an immediate newsjacking opportunity for international travel insurance client Seven Corners. In the wake of the Kardashian robbery, a reporter at Bravo was looking for expert advice on how to stay safe while traveling internationally and Seven Corners was a perfect fit. By reaching out the right reporter at the right time, we were able to break through the media noise and secure a timely national story for our client.

Think your company or brand could benefit from newsjacking and other proactive media relations? We’re happy to help!

Interested in boosting your resume? Apply for Dittoe PR’s Fall internship program!

If you’re interested in experiencing PR agency life and gaining real-world knowledge and experience, then Dittoe Public Relations may be the place for you! We’re hiring for multiple internship positions, including PR and social media interns, for the fall semester. Hours are flexible, pay is competitive and perks are abundant.

 

Here’s what you need to know:

Dittoe PR interns are responsible for assisting with the execution of strategic public relations and social media initiatives and contributing to the success of the firm’s clients, which span multiple industries. The internship position is an opportunity for detail-oriented, self-starters to develop a well-rounded public relations skill set in an energetic and challenging environment. The ideal candidate should have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), initiative, creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. Interns will gain experience in media relations, research and analysis, reporting, writing and more.

Interns will be mentored by an intern director and work closely with the firm’s entire staff, from account coordinators to the company’s partners. While the intern director will help prioritize tasks, interns should feel comfortable juggling multiple projects and deadlines.

Responsibilities:

  • Drafting content including press releases, media advisories, media pitches, social media posts, byline articles, blog posts, monthly reports and other materials as directed
  • Carrying out special event planning tasks as outlined by the intern director
  • Attending and participating in agency meetings, training sessions, presentations and brainstorming sessions
  • Handling research and analysis projects in support of client objectives as needed
  • Delivering client-ready materials for each project assignment
  • Researching and developing comprehensive press lists for local, national and trade media
  • Assisting with client, business development and management projects as needed
  • Assisting with administrative duties as assigned by staff

Qualifications:

  • Actively enrolled in or a recent graduate of a university journalism, public relations, strategic communications, marketing, advertising or other related program
  • Previous professional and/or relevant internship experience (public relations experience is a plus)
  • An understanding of basic journalism and media relations skills
  • Solid, versatile writing skills in both creative and technical fields
  • An ability to be professional and personable in written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrates attention to detail and good judgment
  • Smart, creative, assertive and innovative individual who thrives in an extremely fast-paced environment
  • Flexible and willing to collaborate with teams
  • Proven ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines
  • Knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a

 

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with references and three varying writing samples to Kate Shambrook at kate [at] dittoepr [dot] com. Please also indicate which position you’d be most interested in. Available positions include public relations intern or social media intern.

 

No phone calls please. Applications must be submitted by 5 P.M. EST on Friday, June 23.

Facebook: To advertise or boost?

How to break through Facebook’s wall to best reach your audience

With more than 1.94 billion active monthly users worldwide, Facebook is the top social media network available with the ability to target specific audiences. Not only does the platform allow businesses to interact directly with followers via messaging features, but Facebook also provides a way to scale that messaging to reach additional audiences.

Facebook advertisements and boosted posts are two ways businesses can further accomplish their social media goals. We will explore the differences between the two and examine how each option can work to increase reach and engagements on Facebook.

 

FACEBOOK ADS

Running an advertisement on Facebook allows businesses to achieve campaign objectives, such as increased brand awareness, website clicks or conversions, app installs, event responses, video views and more. Step one, though, is to prioritize goals and launch a campaign centered on them that includes a call to action.

After selecting the primary ad goal, businesses can set start and end dates for the campaign and have the option to target specific individuals using demographic traits. These include age, gender, hobbies, language, location and more. From there, select a maximum budget for the overall campaign, as well as the daily allotment from the campaign budget. The daily budget will ensure your ad continues to run through the end date, should you choose to set one. Finally, select the campaign’s creative content, which includes image or video along with key messaging. Be mindful of text overlays on an image, as Facebook limits the amount of text in each advertising campaign (90 character count limit).

Facebook advertisement audience traits

Depending on the overall campaign goal, the look of the ad may vary slightly, but all will be visible on the general Facebook newsfeed. While businesses have the ability to view the ad metrics through Facebook Ad Manager, the ad itself is not visible on the business’ Facebook page. Facebook also gives businesses the option to run the ad on Instagram and includes those metrics with the ones from Facebook. Be careful to cater messaging that would work for both platforms.

Businesses can expect to see an increase in page likes, website clicks or online conversions, for example, based on the campaign’s call to action. Post likes and comments are also tracked, but because the ad will disappear following its conclusion, these engagements are not permanent.

 

FACEBOOK BOOSTED POSTS

Boosting a post on Facebook allows businesses to increase the reach of a post on its business page. Types of content available to boost include status updates, photos, videos, special offers and events, web links, job postings and more. Typically, boosted posts are used to increase the reach of a post that is already performing well organically.

Businesses can begin a post by selecting the blue Boost Post buttonon the bottom right corner of an existing post. If creating a new post, visit the Publishing Tools tab on the business’ Facebook page and click the Create button in the top right corner. From there, insert messaging, attach an images or video, and select a day and time to schedule the post.

Select a post that is performing well organically and click the Boost Post button

The process for boosting a post is like an advertisement in that Facebook provides the option to set demographic triggers for the post, such as age, gender, hobbies, language, location and more. Boosted posts can also be set for a specific length of time and with daily budget parameters.

Boosted posts appear on both the Facebook News Feed and the business’ page, and will remain on the page as a general post following the conclusion of the campaign unless it is deleted. Like advertisements, boosted posts also have the option to be run on Instagram, however metrics are combined for the two channels.

Businesses using boosted posts can expect to see a general increase in likes, comments and/or shares of the post.

 

RESULTS

Dittoe PR put these Facebook marketing options to the test by running both an ad campaign and a boosted post for clients in the hospitality and real estate industries. For both industries, the experiment ran for the same amount of time, using the same messaging, creative assets and budget to ensure the results could be compared accurately.

When selecting between the two, we found that Facebook ads are better for content focusing on current events, contests and special offers. These goals are more focused on short-term effects, garnering attention and engagement immediately. These ads saw higher engagement with the business’ page, resulting in page likes or follows, website visits and more.

This furthers the reach of the original post, as Facebook also shares information about what audience members are interacting with on the Facebook newsfeed. Because the post remains on the business’ page following the conclusion of the campaign, boosted posts are focused on long-term efforts, sharing information and gaining credibility. Boosting these posts saw an increase in overall engagements with the post itself, including post likes, comments and shares.

We recommend testing each method to determine which works best for your business or industry. Depending on your specific goals and objectives, one option may be better than the other. If you are interested in learning more about how Dittoe PR can assist with your social media marketing, request a consultation today!

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