By Lawrence Dodds
Planning Manager

Successful “newsjacking” requires a hugely condensed planning schedule – and therefore a great deal of trust between agency and brand – UM London’s planning director writes.

“Newsjacking”, the art of piggybacking on topical news stories, is a discipline that’s probably most closely associated with public relations, as PR agencies have been scanning the press for comment opportunities for their clients for decades.

Social media has since proved to be a fertile ground for brands to show their human side and timely tweets can develop into memes that can reach millions for better or worse. However, it’s still rare to see newsjacking in advertising.

It’s understandable that brands should want to capture the zeitgeist and take on the news agenda. Done well, newsjacking can be hugely share-worthy, recently Acne’s work for Ikea has been doing the rounds on social media. However, it can equally backfire badly: brands may be accused of bandwagon-jumping, or worse, of bad taste, and they have been burned by both in the past.