PR Tip: Identify a News Hook

The quickest way to get your story into the news is to make it relevant to whatever’s happening right now.

Here are 5 ways to quickly create a news hook:

  1. Provide a timely twist to something relevant
  2. Localize your story for local press
  3. Regionalize your story for regional press
  4. Nationalize your story for national press
  5. Personalize it

Let’s look at each one in more detail:

Provide a timely twist to something relevant

If something is a hot topic in the news, you can bet that reporters are looking to outdo one another to find a unique angle to build upon that story.  So, let’s take the recent Mother’s Day for example. There were many stories on what to gift mom, things to do with mom, etc. Let’s say you had a mother and daughter at your inn and they were celebrating at your property to take a break from the daily grind of their mother-daughter business, or perhaps they live thousands of miles away and meet up each year at a different location to mark the holiday – now you’ve got a unique twist to a timely topic which you can (with your guests’ consent) pitch to the press. Another way to find a timely twist is to find a day of the week or day of the month that is likely to garner media coverage. Mother’s Day is a good one, though it’s also an obvious one. To find less obvious, timely, days check out: www.daysoftheyear.com.

Localize your story for local press

A local reporter cares that their story is localized. Watch a local news segment or read any local newspaper and the stories directly pertain to that particular city or town. Making a story hyper-local, is a great way to get your 15-minutes of fame.  So, if you’re participating in a national bed and breakfast promotion – say you’re part of a environmentally-conscious group that offers Earth Day discounts across the globe – pitch a local reporter a story about how a local bed and breakfast is one of 300 B&Bs across the globe marking Earth Day with green discounts.

Regionalize your story for regional press

That story you just localized on Earth Day may be too narrow for a writer with a regional publication but you can dial that back. This time, re-write your pitch along the lines of how a XXXXX county local bed and breakfast is one of 10 B&Bs in the region (and 300 across the globe) marking Earth Day with green discounts.

Nationalize your story for national press

Now let’s say you joined this Earth Day initiative because your local B&B association sent you an email and you thought it was a great idea. Go back to the person who contacted you or do a little research online to find out if this goes beyond your group? If it does, re-write that pitch once more, this time lead with 300 B&Bs from across the globe (225 within the US) are marking Earth Day with green discounts. Then highlight what you’re doing at your property. If it turns out you are participating in a localized initiative that might still work just fine for national press. You could position the news a little differently, like this: Local B&B joins national effort to preserve the planet for Earth Day by offering guests steep green discounts.

Personalize it

The best head-turners are personal. Think about it – when you watch the news or read a story, would you rather hear a cookie cutter story or something different? What makes something different is that personalized touch. So, share a personal tidbit, a surprising fact, or a personal point of view.