You may find no better subject for newsjacking than Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. The New York Times op-ed piece by Angelina Jolie—My Medical Choice—caused a big stir and lit up the interwebs within hours of its publication on May 14, 2013. And it was still going strong a day later.
Did you get on the bandwagon? Did you newsjack this story? Or were you curating content? Each approach has its merits, but you need to be aware of what you’re doing so you can be effective and efficient. Since trend data on this topic may not even show up for a couple of days, you want to engage the conversation at the sweet spot where everyone’s still talking.
Newsjacking provides your expert, quotable insights on a topic. (See our recent post, Newsjacking: Seize the Second Paragraph, for details.) It offers your original perspective and helps position you as the go-to source for more information on the issue. If breast care, cancer care, or genetic testing are important services for your organization, be prepared to join the conversation quickly.
Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, took that approach by repurposing relevant content for the current context. Key points? They knew they had an existing piece that fit the bill—a patient’s decision after genetic testing—and they understood how to reframe and expand it with original information to hit the topic of the day. Of course, they were paying attention to the news and took advantage of the opening.
When you curate content, you sort through the fire hose of online information, pull out interesting links from assorted sources, and republish them under a cohesive theme with a bit of context as framework.
Curating content is a valuable service—one that definitely should be part of your marketing toolkit. But why not take a few minutes to talk with the breast care/cancer care/genetic testing specialists at your facility, gather comments on the issues involved, and be ready to make an original contribution to the conversation? You’ll build credibility in your own market, as well as with news organizations who will recognize your value and come knocking the next time they need expert input.
Whether you newsjack or curate, go light on the self-promotion. Just being in the conversation—and providing information that helps your readers—garners more than enough attention. Remember, it’s always about being helpful to your audience first.