Long socks and long faces: Election 2004

Apparently, the Dem's loss on November 2 can be correlated with taking long hikes in the woods without the proper protection against deer ticks: long socks, long pants, long sleeved shirts and bug repellent. Just the sort of behaviour you'd expect from citified NorthEastern liberals (:-) Two scientists have managed to turn rather mundane research into lyme disease occurrences into a nice little news bite:

    "A map showing results from the last presidential election is "remarkably similar" to a map of the distribution of cases of Lyme disease, a brief article in the current Lancet (r.r.) medical journal points out.

    The 19 "blue states" - those won by Senator John Kerry - account for 95 percent of the cases of Lyme disease reported in 2002, they wrote. The disease, caused by bacteria that are carried by deer ticks, is concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest."

    ... [As one of the authors speculated]: "We do not believe, however, that tick-borne diseases are likely to be a major factor in the 2008 presidential election."(NYTimes)

The lesson for public relations pros: be creative when looking for a news hook. Don't get bogged down in the details of your story - there may be a more appealing angle just waiting to be communicated.

And hope to god your technical experts are open to the suggestion.