The tales of a Hotel and Newsjacking…
I always have thought that the best way to explain or describe things is to present them as simple as possible. That’s why I’m going to ask you, do you remember when you were a child and found out about something because somebody told you or simply because you heard or saw it? What was the first thing that you did? I guess most of us are going to have the same answer. We ran and told our parents, brothers or sisters or our friends about it because we wanted to be the first ones to bring the news and tell our version of the story.
Well, that’s what “Newsjacking” is in simple words. However, here is the exact definition given it by its creator, David Meerman Scott, Newsjacking is “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”
You know when people tell you to live the moment but, prepare for the future. That’s what you do to be successful at Newsjacking. You need to be aware of what’s going on and react right away. The key element is speed and agility to win the moment or like Mr. Meerman Scott says develop a real-time mind-set.
The best opportunities for Newsjacking come as breaking news but, sometimes they can be holidays, sporting events or award ceremonies, that can be difficult to get noticed but still there is a chance. Actually, that’s the example that I’m going to describe you to clarify the concept better.
The London Hilton Hotel had the idea to create a stunt around the topic of Blue Monday, which is known as the most depressing day of the year, in order to encourage British people to take more holidays. After a study of 2,000 workers in the United Kingdom found that the majority of annual leave is spent catching up with household responsibilities (looking after ill children, doctors appointments or attending funerals) or just doing food shopping. In addition, the research showed that only 8 days (from the average 24 possible) are taken as days off and more than half did not have a vacation in a year.
Hilton Urgent Vacation Care Centre team built a pop-up Hilton Resort on the banks of the River Thames on January 21, 2013, a snowy Blue Monday, to cure Vacationitis and make that the British people would take more vacation days, creating a good feeling on those onlookers who passed by the artificial beach by inviting them to participate in a “mini vacation.”
The pop-up beach consisted of sand and palm trees with Lumie lights- designed to fight the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which causes people to feel depressed in the winter months because of the low temperatures and the lack of sun. There were models in bathing suits chilling out and relaxing over towels, prancing and running in the snow bare foot in Baywatch style and playing with beach balls in temperatures almost at the freezing point.
The campaign was posted in the Hilton Facebook page, that connected visitors through a link with a Hilton website “Vacation Diagnostic Test and Prescription Center.” In addition, there was print and broadcast that resulted in a lot of media attention and reached around 3 million people (information provided by Hotcow, agency that worked with Hilton Hotels on this idea.)
Even though this is not one of the best examples of newsjacking is a good one in the hotel industry. I think one of the most successful newsjacking ideas was when Oreo took advantage of the blackout at the Super Bowl back in 2012 . Besides, it has been one of the reasons why more people started paying attention and tried to do it.
In case, that you want to learn and take advantage of this concept I’ll leave you with this graphic that described the best way to do it.