Newsjacking for Real Estate Agents
New Real Estate Agent Tips
As a real estate agent, being featured in the news can be a huge competitive advantage. A news feature is free publicity and advertising for you, and it helps position you as a local expert. Some real estate agents spend years building relationships with journalist and news agencies to be their go-to source for local real estate stories. As a new or growing real estate agent, how can you break into the news without years of experience or strong relationships in the news industry?
Newsjacking is powerful way to catapult yourself into the news without much previous connection to journalists.
What is Newsjacking?
Newsjacking is method you can use to get into the news by quickly becoming a source of information for journalists when a story breaks. When there is breaking news, journalists are scrabbling for commentary and you want to become their local source of information, commentary, and sound bites.
Basically, you are hitching a ride on the breaking news story for free publicity. This can be a great way to generate exposure and establish yourself as a real estate expert, but it requires swift action and tact.
Tips For Real Estate Agents
As a real estate agent, you can leverage the local news channels. Even if there are regional or national stories, you can comment on the stories at a local level. This means less competition for the story and your local knowledge will be an asset.
When you are commenting on the breaking news, remember to make your points “newsworthy.” The concept of newsjacking was popularised by David Meerman Scott and he says you need to find the “why” in the news story.
Scott says you need to have a beginning, middle, and end to your points where the beginning is the explanation, the middle is the “why”/your views, and the end is the takeaway.
Another way to look at it is to focus on educating or entertaining the journalist and audience. Do not make your newsjacking story about just the information and facts because that journalist will already have this. Make your take exciting and “newsworthy.”
The power of newsjacking comes in the speed at which you can respond. Therefore, it is important that you promptly respond to the breaking story. Set yourself up with Google Alerts to know what is happening in your community and leverage the real time reporting nature of Twitter.
Put together a list of journalists in your community and include their email, Twitter handles, and other contact information. Make sure to have this before a news story breaks so you can quickly send your story out to the journalists.
As a real estate agent with a reputation to uphold, it’s also important that you are commenting on the right stories. Steer clear of controversial stories and use sensitivity when you are drafting your newsjacking story. Every year there are a handful of examples of where newsjacking goes south, so make sure you are using tact and commenting on the right stories.
Newsjacking can be a great source of publicity for new real estate agents and growing REALTORs. Newsjacking is when a person or company quickly begins commenting on breaking news stories in an attempt to be featured in the news. The reason newsjacking can work so well in real estate is REALTORs have extensive local knowledge.
When newsjacking in real estate, focus on entertaining or educating the public and make sure you provide newsworthy sound bites. Set yourself up for Google Alerts to make sure you quickly know about breaking news stories and make sure you choose stories that are not controversial.
[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Rev Real Estate School. The podcast with quick tips and actionable advice to help you sell more real estate in today's world. And now your host Michael Montgomery.
[00:00:11] Hello and welcome to Rev Real Estate School. My name is Michael Montgomery. Today we are talking about a concept called Newsjacking what is newsjacking and how can you use it in your real estate business?
[00:00:24] So if you haven't heard the concept of newsjacking basically what it is is when there is a news story that is breaking you have journalists and professionals that are out there scrambling trying to get information and content in order to comment on what is happening and you as the professional and basically hitch a ride on the current breaking news by providing comments and insight around what is happening and with the hope from there that the news reporter will use your content in their story. So this is newsjacking and it can be used brilliantly in real estate.
[00:01:04] So let's talk about a few ways that you can use this as an advantage to yourself and then potentially some pitfalls that we can avoid and some cautions when doing something like this. You can probably start to see the inherent risks of commenting on a news story before all of the pieces have actually unfolded.
[00:01:22] First off why can this work so well as a real estate agent? Well the reason is is you are a local professional and it all comes down to the local side of things. You have local journalists that want to have a spin on the stories whether it be a local story or whether it be a national story or international story. They do want it to have a local flair to it. So you being a real estate agent that is very tied into the community. You can then have your own say on things as it appears in a local sense. Now how do we go about conveying our message. So when we are putting out content you may have heard this before when you're putting out content there's usually three ways that this content goes out whether you are trying to educate. Number one entertain. Number two or inform the recommendation with news jacking is to drop the information. The information is already out there what is happening instead what you want to do is educate or entertain. So when the story is breaking, is there something that you can do to help educate the public or is there an entertaining approach that you can take to this? Again we're going to get into the cautions behind it but you can also comment and have a say on things and take a side and that is educational but it can also be very entertaining.
[00:02:44] Now there's an ex journalist that actually came up with this concept or He popularized the concept David Meerman Scott and his website is going to be linked up in the show notes lots of great information on his website about this but there's one really important part. And he says when you are going through this whole newsjacking process you have to understand how the journalist wants to receive the information. So when the journalist is receiving the information there's usually a beginning there's a middle and then there's an end in the beginning you're just explaining what's happening in the middle. This is very important. He says it's the second paragraph you are putting in your views your comments your thoughts and then the end is the takeaway. So if you are doing this and if you are submitting your newsjacking story to your journalist make sure that you have a beginning you're explaining it your views are the middle and then the takeaways are the end. If it doesn't have this it might just end up being information or something like that and it becomes less of a newsworthy story. So head into the show notes and have a look at his website.
[00:03:46] There's also a video and of course more information on this whole concept. Now how can we make sure that we are getting the news A.S.A.P. other than just I guess sitting on Twitter and refreshing constantly and which won't happen because we have homes to sell. So what I'd recommend is just set up a Google News Alert a quick daily update on what's happening in your community. I also have a Google Alert for real estate in my community just to know what's happening what stories are breaking and then you can be very very quick on it should something come out now in order to get the journalist's attention. You can use Twitter social media email get a list of all of their email addresses. Oftentimes journalists email addresses and contact information is out there and reason being is they they want stories. Right. So if you have something important to say you have something newsworthy to say they do want to hear from you. So accumulate a list of the journalists emails within your community and then also add them on Twitter because that's another great way that you can give your story off to them.
[00:04:49] Now let's talk about some cautions and some things to avoid. This can go south really quickly and you can imagine why right you have to use common sense. I'm sure every year you see these stories of a real estate agent whether be in your community or elsewhere that is doing something along these lines but it lacks sensitivity and it ends up going south of very very quickly. So you have to think before you post which seems obvious but isn't always unfortunately. But one tip here is just steer clear of controversial items. Once you start jumping into very politically charged news items and some other things that are just can be controversial and dividing then you end up running the risk of your story being covered even potentially your words being twisted a little bit on you and then you can end up getting a bad rap very very quickly. So there is enough news out there there is enough news out there where you can comment on things and you can use newsjacking to your advantage without necessarily jumping into these very controversial news stories.
[00:05:55] Finally understand that news is quickly moving right. So if there is a news story that you don't end up catching that's all right. There will be another one that comes as news breaks. There will be more news that comes down the road too so don't worry about missing the odd one but you do have to be quick it is speed and in real estate we know that it's important we've heard speed to lead and these other concepts on a constant basis. It's the same thing we have to be fast but we also have to be calculated on what it is that we are commenting on. So that is newsjacking and that is how you can use it to your advantage in real estate. Feel free to head over to those show notes if you would like more information on this concept. And if you have a second please head over rate and review this show it helps so so much I am very very grateful. You will of course get a shout out on this show if you do do this. And if you go to revrealestateschool.com/free-coaching, you can actually get free coaching when you do a review as well. Don't worry of course there's nothing to sell on the call. It's just a good human conversation about real estate. And we have a handful these every week. So please head on over review and then go over to the Web site so that you can sign up for your free call. Thank you so much for listening.
[00:07:07] And we will catch you in the next episode this episode of Rev Real Estate School. Thank you for tuning in. We'll see you back here for the next lesson.
Follow Up Reading:
Question: Have you ever tried newsjacking? Let me know in the comments below.