The concept is not new but the term, newsjacking, was one I was unaware of until recently.
There's not yet a Wikipedia or dictionary definition for Newsjacking but David Meerman Scott, the American online marketing strategist, sums it up beautifully in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage as "the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business."
It's a phenomenon that relies on the internet and social media to make best use of it's effect and is potentially one of the most useful tools that small businesses could use in creating a big impression on a large scale at no or relatively low cost
Take the example of Googies Art Cafe in Folkestone. Last week owner Keith Holland got out his chalks and wrote a simple message on the A board that stands outside his café. Having read the news breaking that morning and obviously not impressed that Starbucks had only paid a total of £8 million in UK tax in 14 years despite turning over more than £3 billion in the UK in the same period, Keith's message to the good people of Folkestone was simple
"We pay our taxes and still make better coffee than Starbucks"
Keith didn't stop there though. It would have been very easy to rest on his laurels but Keith is obviously made of better stuff. A quick upload to Facebook and the newsjack had begun.
Less than a week later the photo has had thousands of likes and shares on Facebook, been the subject of a number of blogs and spawned a Campaign for Real Coffee page which has attracted a further 260 likes in addition to his main Facebook business page which now has over 2300 likes and rising
At a time when most independent business people are moaning about lack of time or budget to market their business an example like this makes it pretty clear to me that actually what's lacking has more to do with a lack of ideas, initiative and a willingness to grab hold of the opportunities staring you in the face.
There are stories like the Starbucks tax scandal appearing in the news every day. All it takes for you to take advantage of them is a few minutes of your time and a quick upload to your social medium of choice.
I for one am inspired. What about you? Do you have any other examples of newsjacking you can share or ideas that others could use in their business. Maybe you're ahead of the game in which case I'd love to hear the story and how you got on.
In the meantime I'm off to scour the papers.