The New Year is the perfect time to review your marketing activities and look ahead to the forthcoming year.

No doubt you will have specific marketing goals in place and will be planning campaigns to promote your business. But have you considered those seasonal, industry or topical events you could be using to market your offering? Eventjacking, or newsjacking, is a marketing technique you could be employing to reach local customers and raise the profile of your business.

Even if you’ve never heard the term “newsjacking” you will already be aware of countless examples, no more so than on Twitter where hashtag use piggybacks off trending stories online. Thinking back to major events such as #WorldCup, how many tenuous connections have you seen made by brands trying to capitalise on trending hashtags and news events?

We also see companies and brands using seasonal events to promote their offering. While for many retailers Christmas is a significant event in their diaries, there are plenty of examples of other businesses using Christmas as a to market themselves without real justification for the link. My December inbox was full of “Christmas emails” – many were thinly veiled sales pitches with no real relevance to Christmas at all.

So how can you get eventjacking or newsjacking right for your business, without being accused of jumping on the bandwagon or falsely capitalising on someone else’s event? Here’s what we suggest:


  • There are natural matches such as Valentine’s Day and florists, “back to school” and stationery suppliers, but there may be other calendar events that are more relevant to your business. For example, if you sell strawberries what about the Wimbledon fortnight?
  • Consider industry events and trends. Look at what’s on the calendar for your trade association or industry organisation to see whether you can benefit from their marketing power.
  • There are also plenty of National Awareness Days for all sorts of topics and causes, is there something closely aligned to your business that you can get involved with? Have a look at for ideas suitable for your company.
  • Keep a close eye on the news. Why not set up Google Alerts to notify you of any news stories that are relevant to your business. This works by trawling the web for specific phrases or keywords you select, and notifying you by email when new content is published containing them.
  • Finally, have a look closer to home. What’s planned in your local area? From carnivals to festivals, fetes to rallies, are there opportunities for your business to get involved?

How To Eventjack Successfully!

Once you’ve identified opportunities you can build these into your marketing campaigns. Make sure that any eventjacking has real value and relevance to your business; people are put off by obviously opportunistic behaviour.

Get involved. While a guerrilla marketing technique such as using a trending hashtag to promote your offering may be enough in some instances, you’ll get more value by adding something more. For example you might apply #SmallBizSatUK to all your tweets in the run up to this event, but what about promoting a unique offer on this day? You’ll get a lot more interaction and exposure if you have something tangible to share.

On a local level rather than just intimating yourself with an event without any official connection, get in touch with the organisers to see how you can really get involved, contribute something and benefit from their goodwill and audience.

If you need help with your 2015 marketing campaigns why not speak to us at Stop and Stare Marketing? We cover the whole marketing spectrum; offline, online, PR and even newsjacking! Call us on +44 (0)1252 717373 or email