Newsjacking is a term coined by a well-known online marketing strategist. The concept is simple yet effective: piggyback on trending news topics by adding your thoughts and opinions, then share your comments online to expand your target audience.
How is this relevant for lawyers? Think of your target audience as your potential client base. Today, many people search online to look for a lawyer or to gain more information about a firm’s reputation. When people choose a lawyer, they are typically concerned about one specific legal matter that is very important to them. They want someone they can trust as an authority in that specific area of law.
Newsjacking is one way to build trust with potential clients by showcasing your experience in your specific field. When there is a relevant news story that everyone is talking about it, and people notice that you are providing valuable insight about that story, it helps them form an opinion of you as a thought leader.
Newsjacking may involve writing a blog for your firm’s website or posting a link to a news story on your firm’s social media account, along with a comment. You may also reach out to a journalist and to provide quotes for subsequent articles. All these newsjacking activities can increase your visibility among potential clients and drive traffic to your website, where clients can learn more about the services you offer.
One of the most famous examples of successful newsjacking occurred during the 2013 Super Bowl game in New Orleans, when there was a 34-minute power outage and the Superdome went dark. Minutes later, Nabisco tweeted a photo of an Oreo cookie against a dimly lit background with the phrase, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The message was clever and extremely cost-effective, as it was shared by thousands of people at the fraction of the cost of a television ad.
How does this concept apply to lawyers? The following are several examples:
- Attorneys practicing employment law provide quotes to journalists covering local or national stories about harassment or discrimination in the workplace
- Law firms handling consumer protection class action suits write periodic blogs sharing their points of view on the unfolding developments surrounding JUUL e-cigarettes
- Personal injury lawyers share links on social media to stories about train derailments or other relevant accidents, including backlinks to their website pages containing useful information about the process of personal injury claims
Newsjacking efforts such as these can go a long way toward projecting your firm as a trusted source of information regarding your practice area. When you engage with your online audience regularly, they will be more likely to call you or refer their friends and family to you for legal services.
Rules for Newsjacking
If you are ready to grab the spotlight by newsjacking, there are a few simple rules to follow:
- Exercise good judgement. Do not choose a news story with political overtones or content that might deem offensive. If you have doubts, do not use it. If you are working in partnership with a digital marketing agency, they can advise you on the appropriateness of the story.
- Make sure the story is authentic. Check your sources. Never comment on rumors or anything that looks like fake news.
- Provide useful and meaningful comments. Establish a clear connection between the news item and your practice area. Make sure your words reflect how you want your firm to be viewed by clients.
- Be prepared to act fast. Although new stories such as the latest developments with JUUL e-cigarettes or clergy abuse continue to live on for months, the relevancy of many news stories may die in a few hours or days. Seize the story early for biggest benefit.
- Newsjack for a very specific target audience. If a story breaks regarding an accident on a cruise ship, it may be appropriate for you to comment if you handle maritime law and you are seeking clients who cruise frequently. It might not make sense for you to comment if you are a personal injury lawyer seeking clients with claims regarding motor vehicle accidents.
What are the Tools of the Newsjacker?
First and foremost, you need an online presence, such as a website and social media accounts. Next, you need a method to monitor the news constantly. No one has time to manually scan headlines every hour. Google Alerts, RSS feeds, and other automated alert utilities, including media monitoring tools, can make it easier for you to pick up worthy news items.
Your phone and your email account will also come in handy. Media outreach is critical; let reporters know that you are available to comment as a “legal analyst.” Soon after a story breaks, journalists are scrambling to get various experts to weigh in with different points of view. Newsjacking is a great way to build relationships with journalists.
Follow Up for Maximum Impact
Do not neglect to follow up on your newsjacking efforts. If a potential client posts a comment about your blog or shares/likes your comment on social media, privately reach out to them and acknowledge their comment. If a journalist contacts you for a quote, give them a minute or two of your time. If a journalist sends you a text or email to set up an interview, respond immediately. If you are fortunate enough for a journalist to include your words in an article, contact the journalist to compliment them on their story. If there is an aspect of the story that you thought was particularly perceptive or well-written, make sure to point that out to them. Then, post a link to the journalist’s article on your social media pages and the news section of your website. Links such as these do a lot to boost your website rankings on Google.
Newsjacking is Worth the Effort
Newsjacking is an effective way for lawyers to reach a wider audience, build trust, and reinforce the value of their firm’s services. However, newsjacking can be complex and time-consuming. You need to stay on top of the latest news and consider how it relates to your firm and your target audience of potential clients. Working with an experienced digital marketing agency is a good option for reducing the time and effort involved in newsjacking.
When done right, newsjacking injects your firm into larger social conversations, extending your outreach to new audiences and potential clients. It proves that you have both feet firmly planted into the present and that your firm is relevant to the needs of a larger community. Shine a spotlight on your firm and start newsjacking today.
Premier Legal Marketing is a Legal Marketing Company that Provides Newsjacking Services to Clients
Our experienced legal marketing company provides various newsjacking services as a means of networking your business and growing your online presence. At Premier Legal Marketing, we can help you reach more prospective clients. To learn more about our services, contact us online or call us at 856-320-2016 today.