Today, the NC teenage shark survivor speaks up with profundity beyond his years. He wants to fight and live “with the cards he’s been dealt.” Cable TV boasts shark week. Network TV challenges entrepreneurs to swim with the sharks. Animals causing human pain and suffering are always memorable news hooks. Shocking stories and big business ventures will always get the media to bite.

Try to include inspirational sound bites, like the one from this teen shark survivor, because everyone wants to be uplifted after hearing about such tragic news like two young lives being affected so intensely during a day at the beach. People will try to make sense of it and will ask questions like: 1) What are shark fishermen doing in the area and is their “chumming” making it unsafe for swimmers? (Chumming is the practice of dumping bloody bait into water to attract fish.) 2) Could the beaches have reacted differently to avoid two tragedies of this kind? 3) Should swimmers be banned from these areas?

Swimming accidents every summer are big news items. They’re heart wrenching stories some times. Drownings, shark attacks, amusement park accidents and other stories where we’re all left wondering how to be safer outside when enjoying our summer time activities.

If you’re a safety expert in any industry, chances are, the summer time is a great time to pitch your tips. These include swimming instructors, lifeguards, wildlife professionals, marine biologists, adventure outdoor guides and more.

Sharks fascinate us and we also fear them. It’s why TV shows and networks use them to “chum” (or in other words, bait) us. Stories that shock us or play on our fears will be of interest to the media. When the sun is out, a hot news hook is to focus on what’s at risk for human safety and teach people how to avoid tragedy. This week, it’s all about sharks. And the story is heart-breaking, shocking and inspiring … now that we can see this teen’s view of rising above his circumstances. What bait do you use? Bait your life with inspiration … just like this teen and then tragedy will never stop you.

By |2015-06-17T11:50:19+00:00June 17th, 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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