Newsjacking may be defined as the art of using news events or stories for marketing and advertising purposes. The principles are to jump on the back of popular news stories for gaining visibility, media coverage or other benefits (backlinks, viral video views, cheap PPC click-throughs, etc.).
At first, newsjacking was essentially a PR concept but digital media development has brought up many new forms of newsjacking.
Forms and techniques of newsjacking in digital media context are numerous:
Google News SERPs "squatting"
seo for news related queries or search trends
use of PPC search ads related to news related queries
Two kinds of news can be used, calendar and predictable news stories and "classic" more or less unpredictable news. Newsjacking related to calendar and predictable news (sport events, calendar celebration, politic agenda,..) may be planned ahead. Newsjacking related to more unpredictable events needs news watching process and reactivity (see real-time marketing and brand newsroom).
Newsjacking may be used for news specifically related to a company industry or for more general breaking news.
An example of News hijacking service offered by a PR company:
A video interview about newsjacking:
A book dedicated to newsjacking: