Meet the advocates of ‘newsjacking’

As if PR needs another self-inflicted injury, this movement is a stain on the industry.

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Promotional piggybacking off timely topics isn’t new. Journalists welcome legitimate sources’ offers to share expertise, a tradition that predates tweets, trending topics, and Help a Reporter Out (HARO). But when the usually sober Cision media-monitoring firm titles an Aug. 13 blog post Newsjack the Newsjackers, we’re in shark-jumping waters.

Nate Shafer, promoted this year to digital media specialist by the Chicago company, starts by admiring “best practices” in a 2011 e-book, Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media. At least there’s no pretense to subtlety or sophistication.

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