Readers of this blog will recognize the name David Meerman Scott – he’s a bestselling author and successful speaker and a client – and will be interested to know that he’s done it again. He’s pointed the way forward in the publishing industry by putting out an e-book, on Amazon and iTunes, and published by Wiley. Here’s the news flash: there is no paper form of this book. It’s electronic only, yet published by a major publisher.
The book is Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. David introduces the idea of “the second paragraph” in a news story, and the opportunity to generate free media for yourself, or your company, or your idea by injecting yourself into that second paragraph.
How do you do it? The first paragraph is the who-what-why-where-when facts of the story, and those are easy to get (for journalists) and involve the basics of the breaking news, whatever it is. The second paragraph then goes deeper into the background of the story, and that’s where your opportunity comes in, according to David. That’s where you add your expertise, your products, your insight, your take.
For example, when the Chilean miners were finally rescued, they were widely photographed the instant they emerged from the ground wearing Oakley sunglasses. Journalists noticed, and commented on the brilliant, simple bit of product placement around the world. Oakley sunglasses thus newsjacked the biggest news story of the week, probably the month, and maybe the year. By one estimate, the company generated $41 million worth of free publicity for the price of 33 pairs of their sunglasses.
David’s point is that anyone can do this if they move fast enough, catch the right news item, and have something interesting to offer for paragraph two. As he notes, there’s nothing wrong with paid advertising, but free marketing is a whole lot less expensive, and often more far-reaching.
The concept is worth studying for anyone who runs a business, or seeks promotion of their products, ideas, or services. And David’s embrace of the e-book format is a gamble on one possible future of the book business. Stay tuned.