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Hook the Media: Come up with an Angle that gets you Noticed (Part 2)

Hook the Media: Come up with an Angle that gets you Noticed (Part 2)
by Pam Lontos

What are the most appealing hooks? Those that tease, tie into the news and offer solutions to common problems.

Here are examples of hooks – and how they came about – that succeeded in generating rich media coverage. You will easily see how your own experiences, knowledge and expertise can be mined in a similar way.

o Hook: “Obama out-Googled McCain: Do you?” Area of expertise: Search Engine Optimization, specifically how small business owners can maximize their Internet exposure. The idea: How small business owners should use Google keyword search results to better understand how their potential customers search the Internet. The news angle: the presidential election, which was then in full swing. Research showed that Barack Obama had 100,000 more searches than McCain, therefore he was the more popular search, which gave an unprecedented view into the mind of the searchers.

o Hook: “Will Microsoft survive Gates’ retirement?” Area of expertise: business consulting, specifically how organizations achieve success by adopting a practical framework of thinking during times of change and opportunity. The idea: adapting to large changes and transitions in the business world. The news angle: Bill Gates’ retirement and Microsoft’s predictable adjustment process.

o Hook: “Trick or Treat? Halloween Etiquette Rules for the Office.” Area of expertise: business etiquette. The idea: how to incorporate the fun, party aspect of Halloween at work, but in an office-appropriate way. The news angle: Halloween!

And here are three hooks that tied directly to serious breaking news. These hooks scored homeruns with the news media:

o When President Bush announced his new green initiatives, an environmental expert felt his action steps were too small for any kind of environmental change. She wrote a strong opinion editorial commenting on this timely issue, which was picked up by several newspapers.

o When Heath Ledger’s death was exposed as an accidental overdose derived from mixing too many prescription medications, a medical doctor and clinical pharmacy specialist was the perfect source for stories on this topic. Several celebrity magazines agreed to interview him, including Star Magazine and US Weekly.

o When a major earthquake hit China, a disaster readiness and recovery expert spoke with authority on preparedness and why China recovered so quickly when compared to Myanmar. This resulted in an interview with the Associated Press, which was distributed internationally.

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what the source of your expertise is. You may be Joe the Plumber or you may be a life planner. You may be an alternative-medicine author or you may be an accountant. Whatever your field, you offer a unique perspective because of your background, so use this to your advantage as you develop a hook.

Adaptation is the foundation for creating your hook. Use the examples above as inspiration. Soon you’ll be developing your own unique hook with each Web site, magazine, newspaper or talk show you approach to get more interviews and more articles published. Watch your scrapbook – and your fame – grow!

About the Author:
Pam Lontos is President of PR/PR, a public relations firm that has recently placed clients in The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, USA Today and on social media and blog sites. As the former VP of Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting and author of the book, I See Your Name Everywhere: Leverage the Power of the Media to Grow Your Fame, Wealth and Success, she knows how to get you great publicity to boost your business. Call for a free consultation at (407) 299-6128, and sign up for a free publicity tips e-newsletter at