Skip to content

Are You Hijacking the News in Your Industry?

Real-time content marketingMy good friend Morgan Hurley from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers sent me this article from Fast Company on how brands like LEGO and Nike are working to “hijack the news” to take the focus off the real news and more attention put on their brands.

Case #1 – LEGO

To celebrate the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April this year, a team of LEGO designers created a replica of Westminster Abbey for the British Legoland Park. It included the royal bride and groom, along with thousands of LEGO spectator figures witnessing the marriage of their future king. In return, Lego was given news-style publicity that reached millions.

Case #2 – Nike

At the 2010 World Cup, Nike managed to ambush the ads of Adidas, who have been the official sponsors of the world’s premier soccer event since 1970. Nike’s World Cup campaign featured three-minute sporting biographies of soccer’s superstars — their triumphs as well as their failures. The payoff was phenomenal. In a matter of days the global football community was convinced that Nike was indeed the official sponsor. Nike managed to achieve this prestigious status without paying a single dollar to FIFA, the World Cup’s governing body.

First, I’m not sure hijack is the right term.  Sounds so negative.  I think what the author is getting at is how can our brands be more relevant when there is a story that revolves around our customers.

So, how can you actively insert your story into the news of the day that is interesting to your customers?

The key is this…your organization must be set up AHEAD OF TIME to actively take advantage of these types of opportunities.  This quote from the article says it all:

I’m convinced that most senior marketing executives would love nothing more than to focus the spotlight on their brand at every major event, but they are hampered by the inflexibility of the bureaucracy and politics of their organization, making them unable to react instantaneously.

Of course, we all want to be the news.  We all want the spotlight. We all want our prospects and customers to talk about us.  But here is the rub…that means you must truly understand the needs and pain points of your customers and be prepared to help make the news.

David Meerman Scott (Content Marketing World keynote) says it best (check out these results from David on the Power of real-time):

  • You need to plan for real-time results.  That means creating a strategy.
  • You need ownership of real-time.  That means someone in your organization has to be responsible to make the news happen.
  • You need to think real-time.  That means looking beyond our internal silos and start thinking like a news organization would.

Think about it this way…if you wanted to take advantage of a big news story that just came out in your industry (by reporting on it, let’s say), could you do it if you had one hour?  Are you structured that way?  Would you have to go through three departments PLUS legal?

Most organizations simply can’t do it…and that’s why our organizational structures in most companies are, simply put, messed up.

We’re publishers today.  We have to react quickly and we have to understand what our readers truly want…or maybe better put…need on a real-time basis.

So, should you hijack the news? Well, do you want to be a profitable company for the long-term?

For more on this topic, don’t miss David’s keynote at Content Marketing World…”Real-Time Content Marketing”.