How to Find a Hook

find a hookYou probably know that publicity in the media can be extremely valuable in building credibility and awareness for your company.

A legitimate news story is an endorsement that can reach a wide audience for very little cost beyond your own creativity and time.  It can help you

  • Build awareness about your products/services, expertise and people
  • Drive prospects to your website
  • Drive participation in a promotion or event
  • Educate the market about problems your company can solve

Getting publicity isn’t about luck.  Just like any sales & marketing campaign, you gain publicity by knowing your audience, capturing their attention, and delivering a message that’s interesting, timely and relevant.

To do it, you need to find a hook.

Tips to Find a Hook

Before you crank out a press release, how can you maximize your chances for success?  Here are a few general tips:

1.  Start with a strategy. What’s your goal for the campaign?  Are you looking for serious coverage in a major industry publication, or do you just need links or content for your website?   Different strategies require different tactics.

2.  Who’s your audience? Are you writing to capture the imagination of reporters or are you trying to reach your market directly?  Know and write to your audience.

3.  What’s your hook? Why should your audience stop what they’re doing and read your story RIGHT NOW?  We all have thousands of options dancing in front of us at all times.  A good story has a hook, a compelling reason for the audience to read right now.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a hook, think about the last movie you saw.  Was the leading character the same in the end in the beginning?  Was life the same at the end of the movie?  No, because a real story is about change.  A character faces conflict and changes as a result.

If there’s change and/or conflict in your announcement, there’s your hook – you probably have a story.  If you can’t find any change or conflict, then you have an announcement.  You may still generate some coverage, but if you can come up with a real story, you’ll probably find greater success with your campaign.

On that note, there’s a thread on the Startup Nation message boards worth checking out – it’s a brutal dissection of a press release.  There’s a story in the release but it’s buried – one of many mistakes that you can learn from.

http://www.startupnation.com/pages/community/forum_posts.asp?TID=267&PN=2

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