Journalists are a rare breed. They get this addictive adrenaline rush from breaking news. It starts with the initial tip from first responders or other trusted sources. Their heart skips a beat.

Then the mad rush starts. They frantically start calling every source they can think of to verify their initial news tip and are out the door, racing to the scene.

Nothing satisfies a journalist more than not only covering breaking news, but especially being the first one on the scene to start reporting.

You might be asking “What does that have to do with content marketing?”

Readers, journalists and editors alike all love breaking news. Journalists get the rush and satisfaction of reporting it first and beating their peers. Editors joyfully watch their website’s traffic jump off the charts once they post the breaking news article. And readers love being in the know, especially when the story is sensational.

If you’re a content marketer, you can also reap the benefits of breaking news. But you’ll have to think like a journalist and editor.

First, you have to have your finger on the pulse of the news concerning your industry. Being well informed is a given considering you’re a content marketer. But you should know what sources to look for breaking news from. Major media outlets are always safe bets, but it can help to find sources that specialize in your industry’s news.

Another great way to know exactly what’s happening and breaking in your industry is Google. Perform a Google news search of your industry at least once a day. Be sure to set up Google alerts to be sent to your inbox when news is breaking.

When news breaks, what do you do with it?

As a journalist, I was trained to look at national or regional news stories and figure out how I could relate them to my coverage area. Could I find someone in the community with a tie to the story? Does this story have an effect on my community? Could I interview a local official for commentary on the story?

We knew that big and controversial news could perform well on our news sites, especially if our community had some sort of connection to it.

And that’s how you have to look at breaking news as a content marketer. Ask yourself: “How does this story connect to my brand and/or industry?”

For instance, take a look at the Ebola news coverage. Right now, every media outlet in some shape or form reports on Ebola every day. Healthcare providers are utilizing content marketing to inform and calm their audiences about the virus.

When Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton announced she was pregnant again, those same healthcare providers used content marketing to discuss the severe type of morning sickness she was dealing with.

Remember when the lights went out in the Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII? The clever folks over at Oreo seized the moment by tweeting an ad that read “Power Out? No Problem” with an image of a single Oreo with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark.”

Incorporating breaking news into your content not only shows that you’re an expert on the topic, but it can attract new audience members.

While breaking news can definitely enhance your content, you have to be careful and selective about how you use it. “Always being on” can draw some backlash – think “ambulance chasers.”

When you see breaking news and you ask yourself, “How does this story connect to my brand and/or industry?” you should also ask yourself “Can I add original analysis and value to the story?”

You should also put yourself in the readers’ shoes – will your analysis of the news come off as genuine or that you’re taking advantage of the situation? Such was the case with some insensitive Epicurious tweets following the Boston Marathon bombing.

You also don’t want to look like you’re forcing a connection between the news and your brand – it will have the opposite effect on your readers. Just because there’s a huge audience watching the Emmys, doesn’t mean that your cloud computing platform should be tweeting about them.

For breaking news to really work with your content, make sure you have all the facts right, you’re using it in good taste and not being insensitive, and that you’re adding value or a unique analysis to the story.