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From the Olympics to the Oscars - Non-profit Newsjacking Gold

Lori Halley 07 March 2014 4 comments

We’ve talked about raising awareness through newsjacking before. But lately there have been so many non-profit bloggers offering great examples of newsjacking that we thought it warranted another post. 

From the Olympics to the Oscars, bloggers have found imaginative ways to “piggyback” on current events or breaking news (such as the Sochi Olympics and the Academy Awards) in order to amplify their message. Here’s a round-up of recent posts to inspire your non-profit or membership newsjacking gold!

Gold medal newsjacking

Over at the CauseVox Blog, Jenna Sauber offered 3 Crowdfunding Lessons from the Sochi Winter Olympics. As she notes in the post, Sauber “found a few hidden lessons that nonprofits can learn from when it comes to crowdfunding” amid the “human-interest stories about ambitious athletes, the moms who support them, and of course, the politics and passion in Russia surrounding the games.”

The crowdfunding lessons Sauber suggests include: “Stick with what works”; “Be risky not reckless”; and “Stay true to your personal story.”

Claire Axelrad (Clairification) offered up some thoughts on how we “should strive to give our donors the high of Olympians.  We should addict them to the high one gets from having made other lives glad.”

In her post, Lift Up Your Nonprofit Donors with Their Olympic Moment, Claire notes:

Please take this opportunity to channel the spirit of the Olympics and  give your donors their moment in time. Without them, your mission would fail. Your vision would perish. They’ve earned a gold medal.

Buzz-worthy teachable moments from the Oscars:

Nancy Schwartz (GettingAttention.org) is adept at “Piggy backing content to notable days and headlines”. The day after the Academy Awards celebrations, when we were all still buzzing about who won the Oscars, Nancy’s post  - Connect as Powerfully as Lupita Nyongo’o: Messages Matter @ Oscars & Nonprofits - uses the acceptance speech of  Lupita Nyongo’o (Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave)  to demonstrate to non-profits how they should “shape and deliver real and relevant messages”. Nancy notes:

The simplicity and brevity of her words and the passion of her delivery shouted authentic.Yes, she must have rehearsed her speech a few times or more. But she remained completely authentic. Nothing that connects more strongly than that.

From Oscar "selfies" to powerful Facebook posts - social media newsjacking:

Anyone who watched the Academy Awards show live knows that the host, Ellen Degeneres, organized a selfie with a group of front-row, a-list actors and tweeted it live. Later Ellen noted that all of the retweets of this selfie had “broken Twitter”.

Afterwards a number of organizations, took their own group selfies and shared them with the hashtag @TheEllenShow.  You can see some of the folks who posted their pics on Twitter here.

Other organizations newsjacked the actual Oscar selfie to get their community talking. For example,  Naylor LLC offered up this question: If you were to take a selfie of your membership, what would it look like?

While Ellen might have broken Twitter records with her selfie, John Haydon reminds us that non-profits were also using Facebook to mark the Oscars and promote their causes too. In a recent post John outlines The 5 Nonprofits That Newsjacked on Facebook During the Oscars

John tells us:

Sometimes a trending story is directly related to your community. Sometimes a trending story has nothing to do with your community, but everyone is talking about it. Like the Academy Awards.

The five nonprofits that John suggests “creatively weaved their stories into Oscar night” include:

  1. Habitat for Humanity
  2. AARP
  3. Museum of Fine Arts Boston
  4. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
  5. Stand Up to Cancer

To find out more about these organizations’ oscar-worthy Facebook newsjacking - check out John Haydon’s post. 

Newsjacking Tips For Nonprofits Infographic

So if you think it’s time your non-profit or membership organization tried newsjacking, you should check out the infographic: The Art of Newsjacking (click on the image to see the full post).

In this blog post, Katy Parker (Media Cause) suggests that non-profits take advantage of newsjacking since it is “a quick and easy way to produce new and exciting content – something that is very beneficial for nonprofits. It also can be a useful tool in marketing your organization, and establishing your credibility in a certain industry or topic area.”

The infographic offers tips for how to:

  • “stay alert” for newsjacking opportunities
  • choose your angle
  • promote your message
  • use good judgement
  • stay ahead of the curve
  • stay accurate
Has your organization used newsjacking lately? Let us know about it in the comments below.

Image source:  Oscar Statue... courtesy of BigStockPhoto.com

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 07 March 2014 at 8:30 AM


  • Scott Paley said:

    Friday, 07 March 2014 at 10:44 AM
    Joan Garry (former GLAAD ED) also did this, tying in the Oscars and Ellen DeGeneres.

    <a href="http://www.joangarry.com/ellen-degeneres-great-executive-director/">The Five Attributes of a Great Executive Director</a>
  • Scott Paley said:

    Friday, 07 March 2014 at 10:44 AM
    Ack - didn't realize I couldn't put in a link.

    The post is at http://www.joangarry.com/ellen-degeneres-great-executive-director/
  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Friday, 07 March 2014 at 10:51 AM
    Thanks Scott - great post: The Five Attributes of a Great Executive Director.

    Joanne Fritz (nonprofit.about.com) also did a great round-up: Causes Benefit From Famous Selfie and Polar Plunge:
  • Rob Wu said:

    Saturday, 08 March 2014 at 4:42 PM
    Thanks for featuring our Olympics post! Here's a recent one we did for the Oscars: http://www.causevox.com/blog/crowdfunding-campaign-oscars/
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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