NEWS HOOKS Cracks in the System

Natural disasters are everyday headlines. Over the weekend, the Nepal earthquake death toll has risen to 4000. If you have expertise in raising emergency relief funds, how to prepare or respond to such tragedies, the media can use your insights. At first, the news cycle will analyze simply what happened. In this case, the specific data around the earthquake in this region of the Earth. Next, the human story will be told: how many people are affected and how the human spirit will triumph no matter how badly it’s shaken. Finally, at the end of the news cycle, news makers will turn to ‘lessons learned.’ If you have something to share with media friends about Nepal’s earthquake, make your ability known. If not, simply give to relief efforts. Here are six ways to help.

All systems are fragile, not just the Earth’s. Political systems affect human hearts and souls every day, and can be seen as fragile depending on who is looking. Tomorrow, at the center of many systems is: marriage and what it means to be a family. Gay marriage in America gets in front of the Supreme Court. If you have something to say about marriage, now’s your time to get in front of news makers. Marriage is really about defining families.

Family is the center, actually, of most stories. I had a playwrighting teacher in college who announced that epiphany from the front of the classroom. “Wait, I can’t think of one play that doesn’t revolve around family,” he said. That was in the early 90’s when I was getting my theater degree from DePaul University. I never forgot that statement, always posing that question: are all great stories about family? After 25 years contemplating this question, I’d have to agree. Most great stories are about families: mine, yours, ours.

It’s what naturally stemmed from Bruce Jenner’s story on Friday. I blogged about his epic announcement in my entry, “Boys and Girls.” Over the weekend, the media was transfixed with what Jenner’s family had to say, what they didn’t say and mostly what they Tweeted or didn’t Tweet. See, we’re all human. We work, live and love in groups of other humans. Any change to these networks will get us talking. If you’re telling a human story, you’re telling a story about … family.

And as they say, every family is imperfect. So is our Mother Earth. She shakes, cracks and leaves us wondering what’s next in our human experience. If you can explain a crack in our system, we (& our media storytellers) want to hear your story.

By |2016-10-13T16:38:00+00:00April 27th, 2015|

About the Author:

Good Morning America Producer Mable Chan calls Michelle Tennant a “Five Star Publicist.” Tennant, a partner and executive publicist with Wasabi Publicity Inc., calls herself a “storyteller to the media.” Her passion is telling “truly good stories” and “exclusively representing people who make a positive difference in the world.” For 25+ years, media friends have solicited her help in crafting news stories by requesting sources, sound bites, and statistics. An award-winning writer, Michelle peppers campaigns with insight from her master’s degree in human development, BFA from a top 25 drama school, and expertise seeing PR transition from typewriters to Twitter. She’s either spinning stories or spinning at the gym. After hours, she savors the Smoky Mountains with her husband, Siberian Husky, and backyard chickens. Learn more about her work through her column at The Huffington Post. Check out the clients she's currently pitching at

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