Newsjacking became an industry buzzword in 2015, coined by David Meerman Scott. In short, it is the process of leveraging trending news to elevate your brand’s message.

Great right? Your google alerts are set, you’re reading the business journals and trades, keeping tabs on influencer blogs and probably see stories that your CEO could comment on or that someone in your office would make a great source for. Perhaps you have social media content or an old powerpoint that you could easily repurpose and become a part of the story, right?

If you’re ready…here are a few tips to keep in mind so you can newsjack like a pro.

1. Is there a connection?
You can’t newsjack everything. In fact, you probably can’t n most stories that could apply to your brand. Keep an eye on trends and understand your target and goals enough to know what works for you. If there’s not a natural connection, wait for a better opportunity.

2. Timing is EVERYTHING.
This is one party that if you’re late too, you look lame. David Meerman Scott himself suggests that the best time to newsjack is right before a story gains momentum and journalists are actively seeking information. The later you wait, the more you miss your chance, Cinderella. A great tool to help  you is Google Alerts. Create alerts for key words, key phrases and whoever you’re following so you can see the news happen in real-time.

3. Stop, Collaborate and Listen.
We just told you that timing is of the essence…it’s true, but brands need to learn to be critical about what stories make sense for you to jump in and specifically how you’re going to do it.  Most marketers and PR pros are knee deep in strategy and managing tactics, which is why it’s sometimes hard to come at things with an objective eye. Get a second set of eyeballs before launch. Really do that for everything, but especially this. Once you’ve confirmed that your message connects, you’re on the front end of the media cycle and that you’ve gotten a second options…. get it girl/guy.

What does good newsjacking look like? Oreo does it pretty well.