This article is reprinted, with the author David Meerman Scott’s permission, from the WittyParrot “Sales Productivity Tips from the Experts” eBook published in February 2014.

The idea of newsjacking is quite simple: it is the art and science of injecting your ideas into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage and social attention for yourself or your business.

Thousands of people have used the technique to get their take into news stories like when marketers at Oreo Tweeted an image with the line “You can still dunk in the dark” during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout. That one tweet generated attention from millions.

Today’s online tools can notify you instantly when something is said about your industry or marketplace. By monitoring keywords and phrases on the web and Twitter, you will instantly see the stories that you might be able to contribute to.


Many companies now use newsjacking not just as a PR technique but also as a tool to generate sales leads and drive new business. It works even in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

For example, consider what Jeremy Harrison of MultiCare Health System, an integrated health organization made up of hospitals, primary care and urgent care clinics, multi-specialty centers, Hospice, Home Health, and other services, located in Washington state did.

Jeremy says that they sprung to action, publishing real-time content to become a part of a conversation happening online after an emotional episode of Downton Abbey dealing with eclampsia.

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Jeremy and his team wrote a blog post right away and shared it on Facebook and Twitter. The post “Doctor Q&A: ‘Downton Abbey’ Highlights Dangers Of Eclampsia” that was available the day after the episode aired in January 2013 right when people were discussing eclampsia. Within the blog post were links where interested people could learn more or book an appointment with a physician.

The team shared on Facebook and on their @MultiCareHealth with this tweet: “Wondering about #eclampsia after last night’s Downton Abbey? We’ve got answers here.

The blog post quickly generated well over 1,000 pageviews, with people spending an average of five minutes on the page.

Jeremy can directly trace about 30 clicks through to the MultiCare Find a Physician page in their Women’s & Children’s careline, with some of those people booking appointments.

Newsjacking helped drive people into MultiCare’s buying process.

Being a part of the conversations around breaking news stories can drive sales for your business too. 


About the Author

David Meerman Scott is a Marketing & Sales Strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of 9 books including “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” and “Newsjacking”. You can find him at‎ and

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