Newsjacking means inserting commentary into a news story and tapping into the short term interest for your own benefit. This technique can work extremely well to market many types of businesses, but personal injury attorneys walk a very thin line with it. There are 3 core issues for attorneys trying it on their own: content, publication, and scope. Accident Data Center has emerged as an important content curation platform that solves these issues and offers a robust, ethical opportunity for attorneys to position themselves as authoritative, competent, and differentiated warriors for justice advocating for victims and families.
Tread Carefully: Stories are Real Tragedies
The most important issue attorneys face with newsjacking has to do with the story content: someone - a real person – either died or was injured severely enough to make the news. Families are confronted with grief, anger, confusion, and vulnerability, and any newsjacking attorney may be perceived as the proverbial vulture waiting to pick the carcass.
Systematic, repetitive, and exploitative newsjacking as an SEO tactic or for thinly veiled ambulance chasing is, we believe, damaging to both the attorney and the victims. However, attorneys should not just sit idly by all the time. They can bring valuable insights into a potential case and should lend their expertise in the form of commentary when warranted, and Accident Data Center supports this approach when balanced with sensitivity and care for the victims.
Content curation, on the other hand, is focused on organizing and structuring content (such as stories about accidents) in a valuable way. In the case of Accident Data Center, the end result is a large contextual framework that effectively connects accidents to legal issues throughout the United States.
Your firm’s marketing blog can’t compete with local media or Accident Data Center
If newsjackers can come up with a strategy to regularly make humane comments on current stories, then the next issue is publication. Intermittent commentary published in the form of blog posts is ineffective because attorney blogs do not compete in search with primary local media or Accident Data Center. Posts that nobody reads are, at best, a waste of time. Accident Data Center offers its sponsors a curation platform where the collective body of accident reports receive substantial traffic and an ideal location to promote humane comments, thus creating a desired effect for the attorney. No other media site offers this opportunity, and any attorney simply spinning out jacked content in a poorly curated environment is wasting effort.
What do you expect to achieve?
Newsjacking attorneys should also be concerned with the scope of the effort and outcome they hope to achieve by making comments about tragic news stories. Ambulance chasing is not an acceptable goal, so it boils down to attempting to drive targeted traffic to the firm’s site. Considering the competitive landscape, you will soon discover that a very large scope project like DallasCarCrash.com is required. While we fully approve of DallasCarCrash.com, this is a big task for a law firm to take on and looks suspiciously like Accident Data Center without the scale, flexibility, support, or optimization. It is far easier, cheaper, and faster to become an exclusive regional sponsor of Accident Data Center and achieve the same (and better) outcomes than creating your own curated content site.
Accident Data Center delivers what you thought you wanted
Accident Data Center has moved beyond newsjacking by creating a curation platform. The site provides significant value to victims and families who are navigating the news and legal landscapes by structuring emerging news content quickly, and by providing a clear pathway to legal considerations. No other national media site is focused on the connection between accidents and legal issues while partnering with PI attorneys. The Accident Data Center platform is built on a highly structured, national footprint using an artificial intelligence layer to organize and create accident reports in real time. As of late December 2015, Accident Data Center is generating over 1 million page views per month from the USA, based almost entirely on organic search.
Curation and newsjacking can work together
There will be times when you should newsjack and make comments about stories in your community. For example, Darren Miller, an attorney in Houston, added commentary on a shocking incident in Galvestonwhich we included as a primary news source on Accident Data Center for the curated report. As an attorney, you have a voice of authority in your region and it can make sense to add to the discussion. Accident Data Center provides the pathway to getting your voice heard at the right time, and newsjacking executed carefully with a solid curation partner can yield excellent outcomes for law firms.
Accident Data Center’s exclusive regional sponsors receive solid traffic, direct leads, branding, and search rank benefits quickly while creating competitive differentiation. Perhaps equally important, Accident Data Center also establishes a solid line between the attorney’s marketing site and the news stories, thus protecting the attorney from accusations of ambulance chasing or ethics violations.