How to "Hook" the News Cycle

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It is often difficult for non-profits to place stories about their causes in the mainstream media. This presentation presents one possible solution: how to "hook" a public interest story to the news cycle.

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How to "Hook" the News Cycle

  1. 1. ORIENTATION | Fellowship in Law, Human Rights and Patient Care MARY JOYCE | for the Open Society Institute’s Health Media Initiative | October 9, 2009 | Tblisi
  2. 2. <ul><li>Challenge of human rights stories: </li></ul><ul><li>Not traditional “news” </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t change day-to-day </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to get media coverage </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ Hooking” a human rights story to the news cycle helps it get media coverage.
  4. 4. “ Hook a story to the news cycle” What does that mean?
  5. 5. News Cycle The time it takes for a media outlet to cover a news story 1) Story first reported 2) Updates 3) Commentary On story (“talking heads”) 4) Reflection on Impact News Image: Gawker.com
  6. 6. News Cycle The time it takes for a media outlet to cover a news story 1) Story first reported 2) Updates 3) Commentary On story 4) Reflection on Impact
  7. 7. News Cycle The time it takes for a media outlet to cover a news story 1) Story first reported 2) Updates 3) Commentary On story 4) Reflection on Impact
  8. 8. News Cycle To “hook” means to present your health rights story as connected to a story that is already in the news cycle. Your press release
  9. 9. Write press releases in advance about your most important health rights advocacy issues. News Cycle How to hook a human rights story to the news cycle: Watch the news cycle for stories you can hook onto. If a story connected to health rights is in the news cycle, change the introduction to the appropriate press release and send it to reporters. 1 write 2 watch 3 edit & send
  10. 10. News Cycle Of course, not every news cycle lends itself to a health rights story. But where does my health rights story fit? Coldest winter on record! Madonna’s new album! Iran launches nuclear test.
  11. 11. <ul><li>News Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Which news cycles lend themselves to </li></ul><ul><li>stories about health rights? </li></ul><ul><li>The first day of the Parliamentary session. </li></ul><ul><li>Scandal at a local hospital. </li></ul><ul><li>Member of ethnic minority falsely accused. </li></ul><ul><li>Medical breakthrough announced. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>News Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Which news cycles lend themselves to </li></ul><ul><li>stories about health rights? </li></ul><ul><li>The first day of the Parliamentary session. </li></ul><ul><li>Scandal at a local hospital. </li></ul><ul><li>Member of ethnic minority falsely accused. </li></ul><ul><li>Medical breakthrough announced. </li></ul>
  13. 13. News Cycle What health rights issue could you hook to each story? <ul><li>The first day of the Parliamentary session. </li></ul><ul><li>Scandal at a local hospital. </li></ul><ul><li>Member of ethnic minority falsely accused. </li></ul><ul><li>Medical breakthrough announced. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Write press releases in advance about your most important health rights advocacy issues. News Cycle How to hook a human rights story to the news cycle: Watch the news cycle for stories you can hook onto. If a story connected to health rights is in the news cycle, change the introduction to the appropriate press release and send it to reporters. 1 write 2 watch 3 edit & send
  15. 15. News Cycle You need to send you press release at the right time. raising interest peak interest cooling interest no interest c new story
  16. 16. News Cycle You need to send you press release at the right time. raising interest peak interest cooling interest no interest c new story
  17. 17. News Cycle You need to send you press release at the right time. raising interest peak interest cooling interest no interest new story
  18. 18. 2) Updates no interest peak interest raising interest News Cycle You need to hook your story into a period of peak interest by connecting it to the prominent story that news cycle. cooling interest
  19. 19. News Cycle The news cycles is fast , so you need to have some stories already written and ready to go. It spins fast!
  20. 20. News Cycle That’s why it’s so important to write your press releases in advance. They need to be ready when a good news cycle hits. Roma Health Rights Legal Reform Access to Medicine Educating Lawyers
  21. 21. Write press releases in advance about your most important health rights advocacy issues. Watch the news cycle for stories you can hook onto. If a story connected to health rights is in the news cycle, change the introduction to the appropriate press release and send it to reporters. 1 write 2 watch 3 edit & send Thank you!

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