If you are considering engaging the media about your latest endeavor, you have to ask yourself how you can create buzz or get noticed. After all, producers and editors receive a ton of story ideas and you want yours to stand out. What you need is a hook. What’s that?
A hook is something that draws attention to your story that the media can easily relate to its audience. Creating a hook is simple if you keep the following tips in mind:
Make it relevant and timely
A hook is all about what is current and happening in the world around you. If your latest book is about the educational system, maybe there is a current story about the local school board or university that relates to your book. Use that as a hook to engage media for an interview. Your book makes you an expert on the subject. Media is always looking for an expert when breaking news happens and you could be the one they turn to if you can show them how you are timely and relevant.
Make it local
Media covers world events but you are probably trying to catch the eye of the local newspaper or news station. Even if your topic is global, find a local hook that makes it hit closer to home. For example, if you want to write an article on the latest fashion trends from the Paris runway, find the local boutiques that are selling those fashions and pitch your knowledge of fashion and how to find it locally.
Give them a reason to read or watch
A good hook will cover the five “W”s of journalism – Who, What, When, Where, and Why. The “Why” is the strongest part of your hook. Give the producer or editor a reason why they should cover your story. What makes your angle of the story compelling enough to spend two minutes on camera or quote you in a column?
A hook is the opening conversation you have with the media that gets them interested. Getting the hook right will take practice. Read and watch media that interest you and see if you can find the hook in those pieces. Once you start to recognize it, you can start understanding how to craft your own exciting hook.