Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why it’s OK to respond to some breaking news events

Disclaimers: The information provided is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Links in articles maybe affiliate links.

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It’s totally OK to respond to and insert yourself through your blog and social media into the discussion surrounding breaking news events. Some people call this newsjacking, which sounds kind of negative to me, so I don’t use that term.

It’s should be about adding something meaningful and useful to what’s going on out there in the world and that is reported through (traditional) news media.

This can look like this:

  • News event is publicized
  • You decide that you have something to say about it, something in addition to what’s been reported. Restating or saying “I agree with that” usually doesn’t add much value.
  • Blog post is published and distributed and content is reformatted through social media posts.

Perspectives shared can lead to a  good-sized audience and sometimes even earned media coverage.

To get to any kind of outcome – just like any kind of blogging – the content that you share has to be:

  • Informational
  • Educational
  • Thought-providing
  • Not promotional

Depending on the breaking news situation it can also totally backfire. Most tragedies are best to be avoided to blog about, unless you have some true expertise to share. For example, media relations organizations can most likely offer their expertise and analyze how an organization performed or didn’t perform with their media relations during a disaster.

There’s certainly the additional question on whether or not we really want to critique somebody else’s performance.

I’m a fan of responding to breaking news, when we can do it in a way that’s meaningful to our audiences and non-promotional.

Some things to consider before deciding to participate:

  • Why do you want to?
  • What’s in it for the organization?
  • Are there any obvious drawbacks?
  • What unique angle can you offer?
  • Is the author prepared to talk to the media?
  • Are you prepared to answer people’s questions? (That doesn’t mean that we have to prepare answers to 5,000 possible questions. It means to be aware that people might have questions and that you are willing to answer them.)
  • Can you get your content written quickly and get it published soon? Let’s say the next two hours?

Sharing our knowledge and expertise is what content marketing and authentic storytelling are all about. That can be during a breaking news event or during regular weekly blog posts. Either way it’s about adding value. Content marketers sell without selling by being useful with their information.

Adding valuable information to breaking news events can be part of the content marketing plan.


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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