Newsjacking is the public relations practice of using a current event to inject your own brand or website into the public discourse. It’s a useful practice to capture curiosity alongside other topics trending in social media and the top of news search, making a blog article more appealing, grabbing some SEO benefit from increased search volume, and– if the stars align– making your own brand part of the story itself.
Newsjacking can go well, as these brands showed with silly tweets about the royal baby last summer. Or, it can fail spectacularly, which Kenneth Cole seems fond of doing in the name of footwear. Much is written about the do’s and don’ts of newsjacking, but the simplest rule of thumb is clear: avoid using tragedy to bolster your brand. Lighter is better. Only fake news sites get away with outrageous stories like the death of the Olympic rings operator because that’s their schtick. I’m betting your brand isn’t so edgy.
While many of the topic ideas below wouldn’t make your brand the news by taking over an Olympics storyline, they do show that trending topics are easy to incorporate into a wide variety of content categories. Adding your own commentary to a topic in your niche that others are already discussing is the most common method. Chiming in about Matt Cutts’ latest guest blogging proclamation worked well on our blog, for example.
How might Olympic topics work for you? Here are 101 ideas and actual articles to get you started… I dare you to come up with better ones in the comments. 😉
- How Easy is It for My Phone to Get Hacked Overseas?
- Staying Safe on Public Wifi Networks in Foreign Cities
- Training Technology to Help You Find Your Inner Olympian
- This Canadian Beer Machine is the most Amazing Technology at the Olympics
- From Snowboarders to Russian Dash Cams: Is Ubiquitous Video a Good Thing?
- Are You Under Surveillance? How to Know What Others Can Learn about You
- What Do Under Armour and Lockhead Martin Have in Common?
- Winter Olympics 2014: When Does Technology Go too Far?
- The Winter Games are a Hotbed of New Inventions
- Why is Google Glass MIA at the Sochi Olympics?
Online Marketing and Social Media
- All the Best Olympic Social Feeds to Follow
- @SochiProblems – 343K Followers and Counting. You Win the Interwebs!
- Real-Time Social Media: Live Tweeting Major Events
- How Hashtags Help You Join the Olympic Conversation
- The Best Olympic Memes of the Sochi Games
- Google Sochi and See Semantic Search at It’s Best
- How NOT to Win a PR Battle: When Saying Too Much Gets You in Trouble
- If London was the Twitter Olympics, Call Sochi the Viral Games
- Tinder is So Active in the Olympic Village, This Gold Medalist Deleted Her Account
- Will Social Media Doom Putin’s Dream of a Russian PR Victory?
- SEO Olympics: Which Search Engine Takes Home Gold For 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Searches?
- Dumb Slogans: “Hot. Cool. You.” Sochi’s Catchphrase Fail
- What the Russian Police Singing Daft Punk can Teach You about Creative Publicity
- Royal Caribbean’s Olympian Challenge: Branded Reality TV to Youtube
- Olympic Swag: Pins, Mittens and the Currency of Proving You’ve Been There
- Brandjacking the Olympics: Which Brand Sponsorships Make Sense and Which Don’t
- Personal Brand Value: When Gold on the Mountain Means Money in the Bank
- BMW’s Brand Win: The Ultimate Driving… Bobsled?
- When an Olympian Changes His Name to His Brand Sponsor Name
- The Brand Olympics: What are the Most Recognizable Brands in the World?
- Why Emotional Storytelling Works Better for Brands
- Off the Beaten Path Spa Destinations: Sochi’s Luxurious Past and Reincarnation
- Siberia: A New Frontier for Intrepid Travelers
- Sochi: Worst Winter Olympics Travel Destination Ever?
- Black Sea Boom: Will the Sochi Olympics Attract Ongoing International Tourism?
- Why Travel Russia: The Biggest Country in the World Awaits
- Drinking Flavored Vodka and 7 Other Ways to Look Like a Tourist in Russia
- Crowdsourcing Travel Info: A Wiki for Tourists in Russia
- Can You Speak Russian? You Can, if You Own a Smartphone
- The Black Sea: Home to Ancient Empires
- 15 Incredible Russian Destinations You’ve Never Heard Of
Health & Fitness
- Conditioning Secrets of Olympic Athletes
- Eating Like an Olympian: Balancing Calories and Nutrition
- How Much Do Sex Differences Matter in Sports?
- How to Set Goals (and Meet Them) Like an Olympic Athlete
- The Most Popular Cross Training Activities of Winter Olympians
- Why Russia’s Drinkers Resist AA
- How High-Tech Rehab Gave these Olympians a Second Chance
- Off-Season Workouts Olympians Use to Stay in Shape
- World-Class Athletes, Generations Apart: Age and Peak Performance
- De-Stress in Seconds: Lessons from a Biathlete
- How to Binge-Watch the Olympics Without Gaining 10 Pounds
- Mental Toughness: Defining Success When Failure is Likely
- On Falling and Getting Up Again and Again and Again
- How These 5 Olympians Manage Grueling Training Schedules and Full Time Jobs
- Big Stages Beget Big Performances: What the Olympics Teach Us about Public Achievement
- You Want to Learn Something about Grit? These Paralympians can Teach You
Business & Management
- Project Management Lessons to Learn from Sochi
- Now That’s a Proposal: On Winning an Olympic Bid
- The Olympics as a Story of Risk Management
- Saving for a SUNNY Day: Sochi’s Snow Stockpile and Other Brilliant Back Up Plans
- The Plans Already Underway for the Next 3 Olympic Games will Amaze You
- When Your Budget is in the Billions: Controlling Costs on Large Scale Projects
- Meet the Project Managers of the International Olympic Committee
- 8 PR Lessons from Sochi 2014
- How to Raise an Olympian
- 9 Kid Activities to Bring the Olympics into Your Home
- Finding a Healthy Balance: How to Avoid Overtraining a Growing Body
- How to Start Your Kid in an Olympic Winter Sport
- Epic At-Home Olympics: The Craziest Parents on the Block
- 5 Ways for Your Family to Enjoy the Olympics Digitally [Infographic]
- Crafts! From Olympic Rings to Torches and Bobsleds Made of Boxes
- How the Hell do Mothers of Slopestyle Skiers Learn to Let Go?!
- Olympic Geography Games: Find the Medal Winner’s Home on a Map and Other Ways to Make TV Time Educational
- How Many Countries Border Russia? What do You Know about Them?
- Learn Why Curling has So Much Sweeping because Science is the Best Part of Sports
- The Olympic Torch Went to Space and Other Super Cool Photos
- Educator Toolkits Help Teachers Incorporate Olympic Ideas in the Classroom
- What Sports are in the Winter Olympics? How did They Originate?
- Olympic Bling: What are Medals Made Of? How Much do They Cost? And Other Cool Facts
- How to Spell Your Name in Russian and Other Languages at the Olympics
- 5 Vodka Cocktails for Your Olympics Viewing Party
- 18 Things You Didn’t Know About Russian Vodka
- How to Take Manly Photos like Vladimir Putin
- Young, Rich and Russian: The New Jet Set Class
- How to Party Like a Russian
- Moscow Style: Russia’s Influence on the Fashion World
- 17 Bizarre Foods Every Russian Grew Up With
- Don’t let them Sochi Your Kitchen: How to Ensure Your Contractor Keeps His Deadlines
- Plumbing Fails that Sochi Can’t Touch
- Painting Grass and Other Home and Garden Hacks We Learned in Sochi (and Some We Didn’t)
- Water Safety Kits: Helpful for Any Home Emergency or Traveler, not just for Sochi
- How to Start Budgeting Now So You Can Attend the PyeongChang Olympics
- Are the Olympics Actually Good for the Local Economy in the Long Run?
- Not So Sustainable in Sochi. Can Rio Do Better?
- Are the Olympics a Vehicle for Human Rights, or a Corporate Steamroller?
- Only Rich Countries get to Host the Olympics. Smart Collaboration Could Change That
- Do Our Complaints about Sochi Tell Us More about Our First World Problems?
- Bobsled + Skeleton + Luge + Two-Man Luge + Luge Team Relay? I don’t get it.
- How Economics Affect a Country’s Olympic Medal Count
- Raising Awareness: What the Paralympics Teach Us About Living with Disabilities
Image Credit: Business Insider