• AZK Media

Is newsjacking a smart PR tactic or opportunism?

Is newsjacking still a genuine way for brands to inject their perspective into a current newsworthy topic? Or has it become a knee-jerk social-media marketing tactic that’s more often seen cynically as opportunistic?


In this feature article in Sourcebottle, experts debated on the all important PR tactic: 'to jack, or not to jack? Our very own Founder, Managing Partner Azadeh Williams says:


At AZK Media, we believe authenticity is the key to effective newsjacking.

This is the best advice I can offer, having worked on both fences, first when I was a journalist getting pitched hundreds of newsjacking ideas by agencies, and secondly, now, running AZK Media, a media and marketing agency advising global clients on how to maximise their media coverage.


If you have something genuinely valuable, informative and useful to say, then by all means, hop onto that hot topic and take the time to formulate your opinion on it. Pitch to press and enjoy your time in the media spotlight.

"...when you try to newsjack on something that is misaligned with...the key brand messaging of your company, then you’re doing more harm than good."

Newsjacking works best when the 'hot news of the hour' is directly aligned with your customer’s pain points, or the key brand messaging of your company. It positions you as an empathetic, trusted leader, someone who cares about the topic and is the ‘go to’ for the solution to that problem or issue.


Unfortunately, when you try to newsjack on something that is misaligned with your customer’s pain points, or the key brand messaging of your company, then you’re doing more harm than good. You end up firstly, annoying journalists with stupid pitches and secondly, your risk harming your brand reputation.


As an example, at the end of every year, journalists in the technology sector get inundated with 'prediction' pieces for the year ahead. This sort of seasonal newsjack has gotten so out of hand, that there are journalists now announcing on LinkedIn they are blocking all prediction pieces altogether.


Another seasonal newsjack to tread carefully around is 'Federal Budget' time. Any opinion on budget outcomes needs to be very carefully crafted and targeted, otherwise it can come across as extremely rushed or contrived.

Read more here.