What is “Healthcare Newsjacking”?
Newsjacking is the practice of using the popularity of a news story to amplify exposure of your content. The term was brought into the online mainstream by David Meerman Scott in his book, Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Healthcare Newsjacking is doing the same thing in the context of your online healthcare brand.
For your purposes of increasing exposure of your healthcare brand, using healthcare newsjacking, you will increase the likelihood of your content being found by offering professional commentary on a breaking – or trending – news story. You’re “riding the wave.”
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The Holy Grail of Healthcare Newsjacking
If you have particular expertise in an area of healthcare, you may actually be “ahead of the curve,” not just riding the wave. And by that, I mean you may be creating some trending news-worthy content yourself. An example of this would be that you have been trying a completely new treatment – something that isn’t mainstream yet. Whatever your experience, good or bad, will be valuable for your audience. Let them know what your experience is. As a result, if a journalist is assigned to report on that topic, they will find your content when they perform a search: YOU will become the go-to resource for those news stories. This is the “holy grail” of healthcare newsjacking.
To increase the likelihood that you will be a news source, be sure to register with Help-a-Reporter!
So what to do if you are not personally setting the healthcare news trends? You can still ride the wave of trending healthcare topics. Here are some examples …
Healthcare Newsjacking Examples
- Has a new clinical trial shown promise for an ailment that you treat? Offer your assessment on your blog.
- Has the government changed the way patients are insured in a way that affects your patients? Write an editorial article for your blog.
- Has the FDA just confirmed a new treatment for diabetes, or another ailment that you treat?
- Or has there been a recent FDA warning about adverse effects of a common treatment? Get the news out to your patients; add your valued analysis and recommendations for your audience.
Your audience will come to view your blog as their “go-to-resource” for information that is relevant to their health. They will come to respect and expect your professional opinion on issues that are in the news, and that affect their healthcare.
It’s All About Timing…
Of course, providing timely commentary on your blog requires preparation and editorial agility to stay current. It’s just the opposite of “evergreen” content. For newsjacking to be effective, you can’t simply ‘set it and forget it.’ For healthcare newsjacking to be effective, you must somehow stay on top of trending news that affects your field of practice.
How to Stay Current?
The answer is less burdensome than you might think: use technology to automate and simplify the process!
Set Up Your Alerts
Use technology to monitor the news for you. Use Google Alerts to notify you when your topic appears in content appears online. Open an account on alltop.com to customize the news-topics that you monitor. Or simply perform a search on alltop.com to see current relevant topics.
Visit Google Trends to see what is trending right now, or to perform a search for your topics of interest.
Perform Your Search
Even a simple Google Search for your topics. But don’t accept the default search parameters. Instead, click on TOOLS in the upper right Google navigation options:
Then refine your search by limiting it to the last 24 hours, or perhaps the last week or last month (at most):
And finally, in order to prevent your own search results from being influenced by your own search history and social contacts, also change the ALL RESULTS to VERBATIM:
Make Your Content Unique
When writing your healthcare newsjacking editorial on the trending health topic, provide unique value to your specific audience: How does this news story affect them? Where can they go for more information? What value does this news add to their lives? Remember: it’s all about them.
Get the word out. Post your newsjack article on your LinkedIn account. Tweet it out! Share it on your Facebook page. Send it out to your email list. Invite others to do the same.
Some Final Tips
Be VERY Discerning
- ONLY comment on news items that are highly relevant to your practice and your patient audience. Don’t stretch an unnatural fit simply to connect to a trending topic.
- Monitor local events and news too! There will be times when local events will be important to your patients.
- ALWAYS verify news items with other sources before newsjacking! There is nothing worse than spreading false news!
- Consider adding a “hashtag” to your search terms. In our example above, you would include “#alzheimer’s” in your article. Why? Because so many people have been conditioned by social media platforms to perform hashtag searches. Adding your keywords as hashtags may increase the probability that your audience will find your content.
Write your commentary as soon as possible for newsjacking to be effective. A week following the even is too late.
Keep it Positive
Stay away from disaster or tragedy.
Have you commented on trending health news? If so, you discovered the benefits of healthcare newsjacking for your brand exposure: your article rose in search engine rankings based on the popularity of that topic. If you haven’t tried this yet, do: your patients will appreciate your opinion on current news that affects their health. And in return, you will grow your brand and your practice … a classic win/win. Please share your thoughts and experiences below!
As always, thank you for visiting, and for sharing. See you here again, and until then … keep chillin…