April 9, 2012Media Relationsprnewsonline.comDigital PRIssue 15 Vol. 68Social MediaTime to Adopt the Newsjacker’sMotto: Always Be PreparedWhen backup signal callerTim Tebow was sent to theNew York Jets, the famed NewYork Midtown institution, theCarnegie Deli, announced thatit had concocted a sandwichin his honor. The “Jetbow” isa 3.5-pound monstrosity filledwith corned beef, pastrami,roast beef, American cheese,( DID YOU KNOW? )Seven Things You WillLearn in This Week’sIssue of PR News1. A prime example of “newsjacking” is the “crocodile insurance” offered to PresidentObama while on a trip toAustralia. (p. 1)2. Alaska Airlines and HawaiianAirlines are smaller industryplayers that use social media toconnect with customers. (p. 1)3. Nathan’s Hot Dog EatingContest is a prime example of aPR stunt with longevity. (p. 2)4. “Activist consumers”—empowered by social media—are demanding more ethicalbehavior from businesses. (p. 3)5. In 2011 Barefoot Wine andthe Surfrider Foundation teamedup to clean 21 beaches nationwide. (p. 4)6. Speed is the essential ingredient for successful real-timecommunications. (p. 6)7. The lack of a consistentmessage is the biggest brandkiller communicators face today.(p. 8)lettuce and tomato on whitebread, reported the New YorkPost.In Nov. 2012, as PresidentObama was set to visitAustralia, the chief ministerof the Northern Territoryannounced that it would provide “crocodile insurance” forthe commander-in-chief (as ifrising gas prices aren’t enoughof a threat).Call it what you will—piggybacking, newsjacking or Contents How To Execute Amazing PR Stunts Quick Study Data Dearth Stumps Marcom Execs Case Study Community Cleans Beaches Tip Sheet Branding in Troubled Times2348More premium content at PR News’ Subscriber Resource Centerreal-time marketing—the factis, taking some breaking newsthat is not yours and making ityour own has been going on inone form or another since thedawn of media relations.Now, however, because ofdigital/social PR and the 24/7news cycle, this already solidPR strategy has become evenmore effective, given the bountiful news popping up aroundthe world—and Google Alerts.The practice has cometo the PR forefront to sucha degree that marketing/PRguru David Meerman Scotthas written an e-book aboutit: Newsjacking: How to InjectYour Ideas Into a Breaking NewsStory and Generate Tons ofMedia Coverage (Wiley, 2012).In the past, says Scott,media relations pros have takenadvantage of newsjacking in acouple of ways: 1) leveragingan event that you know isPage 6 Social Media Report CardTwo Smaller Airlines Build Strong SocialCustomer Bonds via Thoughtful ContentWhen promoting a servicelike travel to a niche market,many components come intoplay, such as media relations,advertising and marketing campaigns. While all are important to connect with targetaudiences, social media takescenter stage when it comes toengaging with consumers andtransforming them into effective brand ambassadors. This isespecially true for the aviationindustry as it faces the unstablelandscape of fluctuating gasprices and a tough economy.Through a savvy combination of social media tactics, PRprofessionals can effectivelyconvey the benefits travelerswill experience while flyingwith an airline. The messagingmust clearly convince travelersthey will benefit more fromflying a specialized, niche airline rather than a more general,mass-market competitor. Socialmedia, if used correctly, addsvalue to specialized brands byproviding a glimpse of a company’s services, differentiatorsand advantages that will createan emotional bond with theirconsumers.It’s essential to get loyalcustomers to become vocalabout their experiencesthrough sites such as Facebookand Twitter in order to effectively use social media. A wellexecuted social media campaign will not only attract theattention of new consumers,it will also encourage currentcustomers to urge others to flywith the airline through socialmedia sites.The following is an analysisof two smaller players in theairline industry that have a specific audience and their use ofsocial media. Alaska Airlinesflies to many destinations inNorth America and still usesthe features the brand wasfounded on, such as its caringcustomer service, to continuallyappeal to customers. HawaiianAirlines only flies from theWestern U.S. and South Pacificto the Hawaiian Islands, andheavily relies on social media toconnect with customers.We assessed both airlines’social media strategies byPage 7 2012 Access Intelligence LLC. Federal copyright law prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means and imposes fines of up to 100,000 for violations.

How To.Launch PR Stunts With Lasting PowerBrand MarketingISSN 1546-0193Editor, Scott Van Camp,212.621.4693, [email protected] Director, Steve Goldstein,212.621.4890, [email protected] Editor, Bill Miltenberg,212.621.4980, [email protected] & Special Projects Manager, ReginaD’Alesio, 212.621.4940, [email protected] Editor, Sahil Patel, [email protected] of Marketing & Event Logistics, KateSchaeffer, 301.354.2303, [email protected] Publisher and Brand Director,PR News Group, Amy Jefferies, [email protected] Director, Steve OlsonSVP/Group Publisher, Diane Schwartz212.621.4964, [email protected] President, Heather FarleyPresident & CEO, Don PazourPR News ADVISORY BOARDPaul A. Argenti - Tuck School of BusinessNed Barnett - Barnett Marketing CommunicationsNeal Cohen - APCOCarol Cone - EdelmanPeter Debreceny - Gagen MacDonaldMike Herman - Communication SciencesLaura Kane - AflacMichael McDougall - McDougall Travers CollinsLarry Parnell - George Washington UniversityMike Paul - MGP & Associates PRDeborah Radman - Senior PR ConsultantBrenda C. Siler - Best Communication StrategiesHelene Solomon - Solomon McCown & Co.Mark Weiner - PRIME ResearchPR News BOARD OF CONTRIBUTORSDave Armon - Critical MentionAndy Gilman - CommCore ConsultingBruce Jeffries-Fox - Jeffries-Fox AssociatesAngela Jeffrey - Member, IPR CommissionRichard Laermer - RLM Public RelationsRichard Levick - Levick Strategic CommsIan Lipner - Lewis PR/YoungPRprosKatie Paine - KDPaine & PartnersRodger Roeser - The Eisen AgencyLou Thompson - Kalorama PartnersReid Walker - T-MobileTom Martin - College of CharlestonGroup Subscriptions - Kate Schaeffer,301.354.2303; [email protected] Copies & Article Reprints Contact Wright’s Media, 877-652-5295;[email protected] weekly by Access Intelligence, LLC4 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20850Client Services:Phone: 888.707.5814 Fax: 301.309.3847e-mail: [email protected] York Editorial Office:88 Pine Street, Suite 510, New York, NY 10005Phone: 212.621.4890 Fax: 212.621.4879Subscription/Renewal Coupon I want to subscribe to PR News for 797/year or 1,494/2 years, and receive weeklyissues plus unlimited access to the onlinepremium content and archives.Name:Title:Organization:Address:City: State: ZIP:Phone: Fax:Email: I want to renew my 797 or 1,494 subscription to PR News. My account number is:Charge my Card No.Exp. Signature: Check enclosed (Payable to Access Intelligence, LLC)In MD add 5% tax. Postage and processing add/yr: 20 within U.S., 99 outside U.S. Fax to 301.309.3847For subscribers only: full access to PR Newsarticle archives at www.prnewsonline.com2It used to be that stunts were amainstay of PR. Over time theycame to be considered passé.But smart PR practitionersare realizing they can extendthe life of a one-off stunt viaonline channels and the viralnature of social media. Procter& Gamble’s Charmin TimesSquare portable potties are agreat example. They’ve becomeiconic in the digital age andhave generated ongoing traditional and social media buzzyear after year.With celebrity endorsements getting harder to comeby and more expensive, andtraditional media difficult forestablished brands to secure,smart communicators and marketers are maximizing existingcontent, events and traditionalfodder online. But, many of thenovices doing this work cameup in a social media world; theyaren’t often grounded in theneed for a long-term strategythat fits their client brand’spersonality and heritage. It’simportant to make sure that astunt—as cool and viral as itseems—is based on the client’score business objectives. And, itneeds to be integrated into thefull marketing campaign to giveit a longer shelf life.A Dec. 12, 2011, Wall StreetJournal story, “PR Stunts in aDigital Era,” features a youngPR firm that promoted a retailaccount by wearing promdresses around New York Cityfor a month, culminating witha fake prom at a hip NYC hotel.Although this is very clever,it would be even smarter tokeep the momentum goingwith ongoing contests to findthe coolest holiday dress, thebest nightclub dress, the mostromantic Valentine’s Day outfitand other similar ideas. Thatway, the retailer’s name stayscurrent and top-of-mind withits target audience all year long.Snapple has done it rightmany times. Its stunts alwaysreflect its hip, young andoffbeat personality. And theNathan’s Hot Dog EatingContest on Coney Island hasbecome a classic PR stunt thathas actually morphed into along-term brand campaign.with other marketing efforts,and build it into the plan. Forexample, you might considerprint or online advertising tobuild buzz around the stunt, orperhaps it makes sense to tie into a retail location or promotion (like offering discountsMAKE A STUNT LASTtimed to the event in order toIt’s a very exciting time to be in help drive retail traffic).PR. We can and should learn3. Execute it flawlessly. Evenfrom the great marketers’ andthe most creative, well-thoughtPR folks’ past successes. But,out plans can backfire if youthe question we need to askaren’t careful to consider allourselves as we brainstorm forpossible variables. For example,the next big thing in TimesSnapple’s ingenious idea toSquare or Grand Centralcreate the world’s largest popStation is, “How do we makesicle in Times Square turnedthis one-off stunt work hard for into a disaster when the sculpthe brand all year long?”ture melted into a gooey messThe answer is to give itall over the street. Although thelegs. No more are PR stuntsconcept was creative and strarelegated to just a one-off event tegic, something as seeminglywith the hope of B-roll footage minor as not considering themaking it on to broadcast for a weather (it was 80 degrees thatfew days of prolonged life. With day) and how fast the 25-footthe explosion of the Web andpopsicle would melt caused theits global reach, an event hasstunt to fizzle into a flop, as thethe potential to live on indefistreets were closed off and firenitely, if you plan and execute it fighters were called in to cleanproperly. Here are some tips on up the sticky to maximize a PR stunt in 4. Extend its life. Once youthe digital world:have all the ingredients of asuccessful PR stunt, take it1. Conceive the right strategic to the next level by making itstunt. Every brand has a perviral. Tease the event online.sonality and a target audience.Post photos, footage and inforEnsure the stunt stays true tomation about the stunt on thethe core brand values and willbrand’s Web site and socialbe impactful to its audience. Be media sites. Tweet and post keycreative and make it big, butmessages before, during anddon’t stray from your client’safter the event to create viralstrategy, or else you risk doingbuzz.more harm than good for theEncourage fans to do thebrand. Although you want thesame, and create ways to constunt to be a bit outrageous totinue the conversation throughbe effective, you also want tostrategic and relevant contests,convey your message clearly.promotions and special offers.2. Sell it to the client or inter- The stunt will then take on anally. Develop a foolproof plan life of its own. PRNthat clearly outlines the concept, how it fits into the overallbrand strategy and providesCONTACT:details about the execution ofThis article was written bythe stunt and measurable media Marcie Klein, senior VP atresults/impressions. Determine Pollock Communications. Shehow else the client mightcan be reached at [email protected] to maximize the 04.09.12

Quick StudyTrust in Government and Business in Downward Spiral;Data Deficiencies Hinder Real-Time Marcom Decisions As Access to InformationIncreases, Trust Decreases:A study by Hill KnowltonStrategies reveals a significantdeterioration of trust in government and business since 2010,as less than one-third of thosesurveyed trust the governmentto do what is right (30%), andjust 35% trust corporations todo what is right—down from53% and 45%, respectively, inSeptember 2010. Other findings include: More than half of Americans(52%) feel they have moreaccess to information aboutthe business practices of corporations, but only 30% feellike it is easier to hold companies accountable for theiractions. 90% of those surveyed citeda “friend or family member”as the most trusted sourceof information on policyor product issues. In fact,less than four in 10 say theywould trust boards of directors (39%), company spokespersons (30%), governmentofficials (30%) or CEOs(30%). Less than one-third trustthe government to do whatis right (30%), and just 35%trust corporations to do whatis right.Source: Hill Knowlton Strategies Marketers Don’t HaveSufficient Data: According tothe Columbia Business Schooland the New York AmericanMarketing Association’s“Marketing Measurement inTransition Study,” marketers’desire to be data-driven is notyet matched by a consistenteffort to collect the data necessary to make real-time decisions. In fact, 29% report thattheir marketing departmentshave “too little or no customer/consumer data.” The studyfindings mirror data shortcomings with PR. Study highlightsinclude: 39% of marketers say thattheir data is collected “tooinfrequently or not real-timeenough.” Marketers today are stillmuch less likely to collectnew forms of digital data likecustomer mobile device data(19% collect it) and socialmedia data (35%), than theyare to collect traditional customer survey data on demographics (74%) and usage(60%). Just 14% of the social networking users are tying themto financial metrics. PRNSource: Columbia Business School/NY American Marketing AssociationSocial Media Puts Businesses Under the Microscope51A new Euro RSCG Worldwide PR study, “Blueprint for a Sustainable Brand,” finds that activist consumers—empowered by social media—are demanding more ethical behavior from businesses.Source: Euro RSCG Worldwide PRMeasuring your PR activities has never been more critical for communicators. Weknow your time is limited - so we’ve put together a one-day information-packedconference featuring top measurement experts, so you’ll come away with costeffective tactics for measuring your communications efforts.Sponsored by:April 18, 2012 JW Marriott, Washington DCRegister today PR Measurement Conf Strip Ad2.indd 2We look forward to seeing you April 18 at the JW Marriott in DC. Register Today!Questions: contact Saun Sayamongkhun at sa[email protected] 04.09.12199233/27/12 5:31 PM3

Case StudyNonprofit PREvents ManagementMedia RelationsBarefoot Wine & Bubbly Shows Its Heart and ‘Sole’Through Beach Cleanup Partnership and Media OutreachNot all wine brands alignthemselves with pristine NapaValley-like landscapes andupscale tasting events. Formore than 20 years, BarefootWine & Bubbly has craftedits unique image by makingwine fun and by supportingnonprofits and local communities through donations of time,money and, of course, wine.In 2007, Barefoot andHunter Public Relationschanneled this tradition ofsipping alongside great causesto develop the Barefoot WineBeach Rescue Project, aprogram that highlights thebrand’s passion and spirit fortwo things: bare feet and cleanbeaches.It’s hard to have barefoot fun on beaches when somany are closed or posted asunhealthy. That’s why Barefootrolled up its pants and gotits toes wet—literally—bypartnering with the SurfriderFoundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of theworld’s oceans and beaches.The partnership goes beyondjust ocean beaches that flankthe coasts, however, and strivesto keep pristine areas amongrivers and lakes across America“barefoot friendly.”What makes the SurfriderFoundation the ideal partnerFour Tips for Happy andHardworking VolunteersYou’ve spent months on your communications plan to earn mediacoverage and attract volunteers for your community event. Now thatyou have volunteers ready to get dirty for the cause, don’t miss anopportunity to inspire them to become brand ambassadors. MattMcClain, marketing and communications director for the SurfriderFoundation, provides four tips to do just that.1) Tap Into Your Volunteer’s Passions: The adage that peopleprotect what they love holds true, says McClain. The SurfriderFoundation’s activists are generally beach enthusiasts, and protecting the ocean is part of their lifestyle. “You want people toequate the brand with what they’re doing while volunteering,”says McClain.2) Have a Team of Vocal Leaders on Site: On-site events requirea well-detailed game plan. “There’s nothing more frustrating as avolunteer to show up and receive no directions,” says McClain. “Ifyou don’t have someone providing clear directions like, ‘Here’s abag and gloves, and we’re going a quarter-mile down the beachin this direction,’ you’re leaving people up to their own devices.”3) Keep Things Animated and Dynamic: If leaders can’t keeppeople activated and moving, volunteers won’t be enthusiastic,says McClain. Events have to be authentic, engaging and fun foreveryone.4) Be Appreciative: The immediate sense of accomplishment fromvolunteering is a motivating factor for people to share and consider your brand above others, says McClain. “So take a groupshot and e-mail volunteers the picture and encourage them toshare it among their networks and say, ‘While everyone wassleeping in I was out cleaning up the beach,’” says McClain.4Photo courtesy of Hunter Public RelationsCompany: Barefoot Wine &BubblyAgency: Hunter Public RelationsTimeframe: Fall 2010 - PresentFor the June 4, 2011, Chicago cleanup effort at the Navy Pier, BarefootWine and Surfrider Foundation volunteers combed the beach for trash,and afterwards enjoyed free Barefoot Wine and a concert.for Barefoot? ElizabethWindram, brand managerat Barefoot Wine & Bubbly,says Barefoot identifies withSurfrider’s grassroots approachof bringing attention to localcauses through communityactivism. “It mirrors the paththat Barefoot takes with its fleetof local wine representatives,known as ‘Barefooters,’ whospread the word about BarefootWine while giving back totheir local communities,” saysWindram.For the 2011 edition of theBeach Rescue Project, the twoorganizations, with the help oflocal community volunteers,embarked on a tour of 21cleanups, nationwide. Specificobjectives included: Raise awareness by earningpositive press coverage forthe project. Recruit at least 50 volunteersat each Beach Rescue event. Tangibly demonstrateBarefoot is serious aboutkeeping America’s beachesbarefoot-friendly. Engage Barefoot’s target consumers by providing positiveand memorable brand experiences at 04.09.12 Continue a national legacyprogram that Barefoot Winesales specialists can activateat the retail level in orderto drive sales and Surfriderlocal chapters can activate todrive local membership. Maintain a PR CPM (cost per1,000 impressions) of 5 orless.BEACH RESEARCHProprietary research showedthat Barefoot Wine’s targetconsumers become loyal toproducts that support causesclose to them. Additionally,the brand’s “Barefooters” lovebeaches and shorelines—placesthat are inherently shoes-offlocations. Barefoot also commissioned a survey in conjunction with Surfrider throughWakefield Research to learnabout the habits and concernsof America’s beachgoers, whichshowed: 75% of those surveyed gavetheir beach a grade of “C”when asked about overallbeach quality. 37% of respondents saidwater pollution and debrishas kept them out of the

water. 98% of respondents said theysee litter when visiting thebeach, and 78% of beachgoers are willing to removelitter on their own and havepicked up others’ debriswhen visiting the beach.Secondary research fromSurfrider showed that eachyear, more than 25,000 beachesare either closed or postedas unhealthy, and that plasticis the most common type ofmarine debris and comprises90% of debris in the ocean.Clearly, there was still workto be done by both beach andwine enthusiasts to protectthese barefoot havens.RESCUE STRATEGYThe combined 11-person communications team’s strategywas to leverage Barefoot’s funpersonality and charitableheritage to connect with consumers, Surfrider membersand distributors and retailers intheir communities by creatingopportunities to volunteer.Gigi Russo, partner atHunter Public Relations,says that in order to expandthe beach rescue experiencebeyond the physical cleanupand earn wider support, theteam identified folk/pop singerand songwriter Brett Dennen,a Surfrider supporter whowas named by Rolling Stone asan “Artist to Watch” in 2009,to serve as spokesperson andperformer at cleanups in largemedia markets.In order to generate mainstream news and catch theattention of multiple audienceson and off the wine pages, theteam kicked off the summerwith Dennen and the SurfriderFoundation’s communicationsmanager Alexis Henry participating in a national radiomedia tour.Throughout the spring andsummer months, the BeachRescue Project team set up fourlarge-scale events, starting onMay 21, 2011, in Washington,D.C., and moving to Chicago,Seattle and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.,and 17 smaller-scale cleanupevents and volunteer appreciation celebrations.MEDIA WAVETo help increase awarenessand turnout leading up to theprogram launch, Hunter PRconducted national and localmedia outreach for coverageof the project, targeting severalbeats including wine, lifestyle,philanthropy, music and theenvironment.On the day of each event,local camera crews were invitedon site to capture volunteersjoining together to give backto their communities. In citieswhere Dennen was not present,local Surfrider Foundationchapter heads and Barefootersserved as spokespeople for theBeach Rescue Project.Comprehensive PR Outreach Enables VolunteerBeach Cleanup of More Than 8 Tons of TrashBWBRP2007- ANUPEVENTS6005251,8501,2501,300 VOLUNTEERS TRASHCOLLECTED(lbs)TOTAL79TOTAL5,525VOLUNTEERS efoot Wine, the Surfrider Foundation and close to 6,000 volunteers have participated in beachcleanups since 2007, enabled by comprehensive event and media relations efforts by Hunter PublicRelations.Source: Hunter Public Relations“Picking up trash alongNewsChannel 8 Washington,the shore isn’t necessarily theD.C., and DailyCandy.most glamorous experience, so The campaign outperformedwe focus on making the entirethe 2011 CPM benchmark atcleanup fun and memorable,” 3.67.says Russo. More than 1,400 volunteersOne of the campaign’swere recruited throughoutbiggest challenges is that thethe summer (approximatelySurfrider Foundation is a65 per event).volunteer-based organization, To date, the Beach Rescuewith only a handful of paidProject has activated morestaff members who are vital tothan 5,500 volunteers andBEACH GREETthe planning of every event tocollected more than 3,000In each market, volunteersscout cleanup locations, obtainpounds of marine debris;gathered to help clean theirpermits, help recruit attendeesmore than 8 tons of trashlocal beach/shorefront.and even serve as spokespeople.have been removed fromVolunteers were greeted atAlso, pitching the media inthe coastline. Surfridera check-in table at Barefootcities like Washington, D.C.,Foundation’s local memberWine and Surfrider Foundation Chicago and Seattle presentedship base and awareness havebranded tents where theya unique set of challenges foralso increased, breathing newsigned in and received supplies securing coverage of beachlife into smaller chapters.for a safe cleanup. Participantsevents.were given a commemorativeThe results, however, wereEvery year, Barefoot’s goalT-shirt and encouraged to wear stellar:is to expand the Beach Rescueit during the cleanup. After In 2011, the Beach RescueProject. For 2012, Barefootgiven instructions and safetyProject campaign garneredhas increased the number ofprecautions, volunteers took117 million media impresbeaches it’s visiting and will beon the challenge of cleaningsions, 113% more than thesupporting Surfrider’s newestthe shorelines, planting nativeset goal of 55 million.chapters. The campaign hasgreenery or sorting through the Noteworthy national andalso gone global, with Barefootcollected litter to separate recylocal placements for thecleanups planned in Europeclable items. After the two-hourprogram included: USAand Australia—cheers to that.cleanup, volunteers gathered toToday, Women’s Health,PRNdeposit their full bags and poseTime Out Chicago, Bostonfor a group photograph.and Phoenix, Miami Herald, CONTACT:Following every cleanupSeattle Times,,Gigi Russo, [email protected], volunteers 21 and, NBC &; Matt McClain,were invited to attend an appreFox Miami, NBC Seattle,[email protected] celebration at a nearbyvenue to reward them for their Measurement Tip of the Weekgood deed. Each event featuredPowered by:complimentary surf-inspiredMake media measurement more than afare and Barefoot Wine, andscorecard. It should be used as a toolat four locations, Dennen perfor learning and managing performance. Measure, learn, impleformed and participated in thement and 04.09.125

The Newsjacker’s Motto Page 6coming, like the Super Bowl,and 2) reach out “manually” toreporters to get their attention.Those days are gone, says Scott.“What is different now is thatGoogle indexes in real time,creating a piece of content thatreporters will find at that precise moment,” he says. “That’swhy the technique for newsjacking is different now.NEED FOR SPEEDAnd the major component ofthis technique, says Scott, isspeed. For many companies,speed is scary. If they want topartake in real-time communications, there is no time tocheck with the lawyers to see ifa story angle is OK.The problem is that PRpros spend a lot of time onlong-term planning. “Theyforget about ‘right now’,” saysScott. Yet “now” is when theopportunity is. Scott tells thestory of B2B software company Eloqua, and how itnewsjacked the story about acompetitor, Market2Lead, thatwas acquired by software giantOracle.Within two hours afterOracle issued a rote pressrelease about its acquisition,the CEO of Eloqua had writtena blog post relating how greatOracle’s acquisition was for theindustry, filling in the blanksof the press release with greatinformation and context.Then Eloqua e-maileda link to that post to everyMarket2Lead customer forwhich it had an address. Theresult was more than 1 million worth of new business toEloqua. Who says ROI is difficult to prove in PR?GIVE IT THE SMELL TESTAll of this sounds bulletproof,but there has to be a smell testbefore you commit an act ofnewsjacking. “There are timeswhen it’s distasteful to jump on6the bandwagon of a story,” saysDave Armon, president of marketing/PR monitoring serviceCritical Mention.Armon gives the exampleof a former client that madefire detectors. When news ofa fatal fire broke, the companywould send out a press releasethat stated: “This is an exampleof a death that didn’t have tohappen.” Granted, the companydid it through the guise of a“safety institute,” but the message was much too obvious andharsh.On the cusp of newsjackingbad taste was Hustler magazine’s Larry Flynt, who jumpedon Anthony Weiner’s resignation after the New York politician was caught with his pantsdown on the Internet. The dayWeiner resigned, Flynt decidedhe wanted to be in the “secondparagraph” of the nationalstory, says Scott. So he publiclyoffered Weiner a job at Hustleras VP of the Internet division.There’s is only one LarryFlynt, however. So Armon saysyou need to ask yourself, “Ispiggybacking off this news ingood taste and on message?”Speed and flexibility will give you a leg up on your competition when itcomes to real-time communications, says David Meerman Scott, whorecently released a book on newsjacking techniques.FLAGGING HOT TOPICSYet there are companies thatdon’t shy away from the speedof real-time communications.CSC, a B2B software company, scans the news daily foropportunities. “If a hot topicfalls within our expertise, weimmediately flag it to a subject matter expert,” says ChrisGrandis, corporate director ofglobal public relations at CSC.When the White Houseannounced its “Big Data” planon March 29, Grandis pushedthe news to a subject matterexpert, who quickly wrote abylined article on the subjectthat was pitched to the media.CSC often gives context tobreaking news stories throughposts on its blog, ExecutiveViews, which then gets pushedout to the media. On a morebreaking basis, if there’s a security breach story, for example,CSC experts are quickly offeredto a variety of outlets for comment.Grandis says there areparameters that are followedwhen riffing on breaking news:They must have an expert whocan address the topic; and thenews source must be credible—a reputable business or tradepublication.Being ready to handlea media onslaught if yournewsjacking strategy works iscritical, says Armon. So thatmeans making sure that 04.09.12are nimble enough and havethe resources to jump intomedia relations in real time.Not being prepared for what’st

Snapple's ingenious idea to create the world's largest pop-sicle in Times Square turned into a disaster when the sculp-ture melted into a gooey mess all over the street. Although the concept was creative and stra-tegic, something as seemingly minor as not considering the weather (it was 80 degrees that day) and how fast the 25-foot