Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Ken Ungar, Founder & President of U/S Sports Advisors. Ken is a "newsjacking" expert and author of the book Ahead of the Game: What Every Athlete Needs to Know About Sports Business.
Newsjacking, which Ken defines as "When a brand takes advantage of a popular story or topic and inserts itself in the news cycle," is becoming an increasingly popular tactic for companies that want to ride the wave of someone else's popularity.
But can newsjacking work for nonprofits and causes?
In this podcast and post, you'll learn:
- How causes can plan to respond to a breaking story
- Why your cause needs to think and operate like a newsroom
- What cautions you should take to avoid a negative backlash
- Good and bad examples of newsjacking
- The difference between newsjacking, causejacking and charity-jacking - and how they can all mean more awareness and money for your organization!
The Art of Newjacking via Media Cause
How Causejacking Can Raise Money & Awareness
Causejacking is when you ride the wave of a cause's popularity to support their efforts AND/OR to further your own prospects for success.
Two great examples of causejacking are Boston Strong and the Ice Bucket Challenge.
After the 2013 explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, causes and companies rushed to help the victims with cause marketing campaigns that raised money for the victims and awareness and favorability for the supporting organizations. Many of the campaigns included the iconic Boston Strong battle cry!
Another example of causejacking is the Ice Bucket Challenge. At the height of the challenge-mania last summer, New England convenience store chain Cumberland Farms jumped at the chance to support the fight against ALS and earn karma points with customers and employees.
Cumberland Farms donated 20 cents from every bag of ice sold in its 600 stores to the ALS Association. I chose the promotion as one of the best cause marketing promotions of 2014.
Cumberland Farms wasn't the only organization to causejack the challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge wasn't linked to any one nonprofit - although most dollars flowed to the ALS Association. This encouraged other ALS-related nonprofits to scramble to have challenge dollars directed to them.
Charities outside the ALS community responded with their own challenge events, which Beth Kanter calls Charity Jacking.
Good fundraising ideas are borrowed. Great fundraising ideas are stolen!