Your hook has to be a little more focused

You're searching, searching, searching ... Where is the hook in this new study your clients are insisting be pumped up and pushed out? What possible link can you make to a contemporary story, a popular concern that will pique a reporter's interest? Here's some advice from a network editor: don't depend on a "theme" month to move your pitch up the editorial calendar:

    A friendly reminder from Roger Sergel of Good Morning America ...

    Subject: RE: A disease "month" does not make a news story

    Note to all in our public realtions group. Any pitch that begins "October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month" will be deleted. Months do not make news. Months are not the reason to do news stories. And if I looked I could probably find diseases with weeks or months that are also in October, just as there are diseases or months that are also February, other than heart disease. The ground rules for what is of interest to us do not change just because someone declares that a disease will get a month.

    If you have a legitimate news story on breast cancer, that you were saving for October that is fine, but it needs to be a good story also in May or any other month.


    Roger Sergel Managing Editor, Medical Coverage, ABC News