NEWS HOOKS God, Dog and Basketball

Typically news producers and writers steer clear of mixing religion into their headlines. Today’s news serves up a large dose of it, though. That’s because the Presbyterian Church has changed “husband and wife” to “two people” to define marriage. So, if you’re a gay rights advocate or a person who specializes in the history of religion, today would be a good time to reach out to the media to offer your insights on this historic event.

Religion is nothing new to me having grown up in the South after living the first five years of my life in Bavaria. Yup, this girl was raised saying my prayers “before I lay my head down at night.” After college, I conducted marketing for a Chicago theater group out to reform the Catholic Church. I worked with former nuns and priests. The whole experience was eye-opening because it was the time-frame Sinead ripped the Pope’s photo on Saturday Night Live, an episode you won’t find airing in official reruns but who knows what you can find on the Internet. Her PR stunts continue to make headlines and today Sinead’s refusal to sing one of her most famous songs is making headlines. I just played her song in my St. Patrick’s Day music mix during the Spinning class I taught last Friday morning at the gym. (You know I teach Spinning to beat blogger butt, right?!?!) Sinead’s Irish. I also played U2. And the Cranberries. Irish experts who track popular music and can also talk about religious history have several media opportunities this week to speak publicly about what they know. Thanks Sinead: Nothing compares to you. Especially when you made your middle-aged search for love very public by stating, “I’m in the peak of my sexual prime and way too lovely to be living like a nun.” It’s a perfect tie-in for any matchmaker, online dating expert or author lauding love. Relationship media not just religious media. Come on. If a young girl who looks like Sinead can’t get a man, then what’s a middle-aged girl who looks like Sinead to do?

Maybe they can play fill out Basketball brackets? Who President Obama picked for the final four now makes annual news and if you have any sports expertise, now’s your time to mix politics and b-ball.

Speaking of politics. Whew. Today’s jammed packed with news about presidential hopefuls. Maybe it’s because of Hillary Clinton’s “email-gate?” You got all the players in today’s news: Jeb Bush (and his mama), Donald Trump (and his exploratory committee) and even the guy who allegedly “started the Internet,” Al Gore, whom The Atlantic reports as ‘warming up’ (a fun play on Gore’s global warming advocacy work). These news headlines open media coverage doors for all kinds of professionals: global warming nonprofit executives, internet security leaders, political commentators, business legislation experts and ‘what mama says goes’ believers. (Cue the tweets now. #MamaSaysVote4Jeb)

Listen, mama knows best. Does she? In fact, a new study shows breastfeeding a child can enable him/her to earn more money later in life. A new study links breastfeeding to a higher IQ.  This is a great news hook for medical and educational professionals working with expectant parents. These medical pros can even talk about the successful penis transplant this week. (Whew! I’ve been trying to work that news in all week! LOL. Tricky little one. I mean… back to breastfeeding.) After they stop breastfeeding, maybe the parents will go back to drinking coffee. Most of my friends couldn’t wait to start drinking caffeine again. Starbucks or bust. Today, Starbucks is a bust.

Yesterday, I reported on how Starbucks is initiating race relations chats by writing on their coffee cups. Well, today, there is huge backlash. So corporate peeps still have an overflowing cup of opportunity with the media to talk about business do’s and don’ts.

Here’s a don’t. Dropping your dog off at the gas station and forcing the dog to run home through busy traffic. People making stupid choices like this always makes the news. Calling all dog trainers. The media need to know why this type of ‘hood’ training simply doesn’t work. Who knows why this truck owner tries to train his dog this way. Maybe he wasn’t breastfed as a child. Ba dum tssshhh.

While dog abandonment is clearly a “don’t,” nature news hooks are always a “do.” Whether it’s weather or how we cope, Mother Nature is always talked about. California’s drought makes public discussion now four years running. Yesterday’s Northern Lights set off a wonderful green display, maybe a gift from God for our St. Patrick’s Day? I’d like to think so.



By |2016-10-13T16:38:02+00:00March 18th, 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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