The July Fourth holiday week typically throws newsrooms and reporters into a scramble for something other than pools, camping, and gas price stories.
Mondays, in particular, are usually slow news days. But as the hours passed this Monday, it became glaringly obvious that the upcoming holiday would be far from the norm. News sites, bloggers, and other outlets had enough content and breaking news to last through Labor Day. Tuesday was almost as busy.
Unless PR and marketing pros can newsjack a story from the sorted headlines and tweets below, it’d likely be a bad idea to pitch a story or press release this week. It will likely appear mediocre at best. At worst, one could ruin his or her credibility.
Newsjacking has been around for decades, but with social media it’s now been given a spiffy new name.
When I was working as a broadcast news director and reporter, we called it “piggybacking” on a story meaning we could find the local connection to a bigger story that was making news at the moment. The goal was to beat the competing media outlets to the punch with a fresh angle and fabulous quote or sound bite. Get creative. And hurry.
Pitch your story only if you have a new and relevant angle that clearly connects to this big news:
• Contraception, The Supreme Court, and Hobby Lobby
• Immigration reform
• BNP Paribas $8.9 billion fine
• New GM recalls
• Israeli teens found dead
• JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s throat cancer
• The World Cup
• Facebook study
Oh, and there’s a tropical storm heading for the East Coast
, just in time for the holiday weekend.
Maybe there’s a silver lining in this news cloud. Perhaps this busy and frightening few days the only way to bump the baby bumps and Kardashian escapades that masquerade as interesting or newsworthy from the headlines.
Nonetheless, be warned: As reporters gear up for a likely day or two of vacation, it may be worth holding on to your big press release or announcement until next week.