The Tennessee Titans showed a mastery of newsjacking when the NFL team responded to a popular YouTube video of a 3-year-old crying when he learns Marcus Mariota won't return as the Oregon Ducks quarterback.
The Titans PR shop quickly arranged for Mariota to cut a video aimed directly at Clive Johnson, who comes from a family devoted to the Ducks. Mariota reassured the youngster the Ducks would of fine this fall without him, then promised to send the boy his highly sought after Tennessee Titans jersey.
Mariota said he hoped Clive could be both a Ducks fan and a Titans fan.
The Titans promoted the video and jersey giveaway on its website with the fetching teaser line: "You know that thing about taking candy from a baby? Try taking a quarterback away from a toddler."
The story got picked up, especially in Oregon where most people root for the Seattle Seahawks.
For the Titans, it was another chance to showcase the team's flashy new QB and his reputation as a level-headed good guy just as fall camp opens.
For PR junkies, this is a great example of converting user-generated content – a widely circulating home video – into an appealing, ready-to-go news hook.
Another good example of newsjacking involves Arby's tweets as Jon Stewart departed The Daily Show. Stewart has made relentless fun of Arby's during his 16-year run, but Arby's showed class by acknowledging the pokes, but praising the pokester and calling Stewart a friend.
Even politicians can newsjack. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders scored the most retweeted comment during the first GOP debate. His tweet – "It's over. Not one word about economic inequality, climate change Citizens United or student debt. That's why the Rs are so out of touch." – was a compact message to his expanding political base.