The Hot Button Theory: Maximizing Media Response to
Your News Releases
The Hot Button Theory
Maximizing Media Response to Your News Releases
By Paul J. Krupin, Imediafax
Do you want to see your media response improve dramatically? Send a
release that pushes the media's hot buttons.
Tell me story (a short, bed time story), give me a local news angle
interest to my particular audience), hit me in the pocket book (make
save me money), teach me something I didn't know before (educate me),
me or astound me (like in WOW!), make my stomach churn (in horror or
or turn me on (yes, sex sizzles).
Give the media what they want!
And guess what -- what "they" really want turns out to be
what most people
in America wants!
It should come as no surprise. People want an emotional experience
takes them out of their boring, hum drum lives and temporarily takes
away -- transcends their reality to a time and a place far, far away.
They want to experience the dramatic personal pain, suffering, pleasure
achievement that someone else is going through.
Look around you and you'll see that all news coverage is basically
to cater to this very special goal - this is what the American Public
They want to be stimulated. Emotionally. Not intellectually, but deep,
deep, deep inside. They want to feel what it's like to be in someone
And once you realize this, then you'll realize and learn how to push
media's hot buttons.
If you are going to be successful you must give them what they need.
This is not rocket science. It is psychology.
Editors and producers are publishers. They produce magazines and
They are in business and survive and thrive because they provide their
audiences with written, audio or visual materials that people are willing
to pay for.
They are always looking for useful, educational, entertaining and
inspirational content. This is how they make a living. This is what
You can't get them excited by sending a news release that begs for
commercial endorsement. Don't write a commercial ad. Don't ask for
advertising. This is not what they want. This will not help them survive.
You must analyze what you have that you can give an editor that they
truly appreciate you for.
So what do editors want?
Study any publication. Listen to the radio or watch any TV show.
They want distinctive, informative, remarkable and emotion provoking
They want to positively affect the lives of millions of people.
They want to generate or contribute to social controversy that produces
beneficial social change.
They want written materials that they can publish that produce enthusiastic
thank you letters for the information and insights.
They want to be appreciated by their audience by repeat subscriptions,
to the fact they their publication provides the best information available
in their field.
This is where you come in. This is what you need to provide.
As a publicist or promoter of your own published work, you can be inside
the pages of another publisher only if you provide the materials that
person needs to fulfill his or her business needs and that of their
I've studied what the media seeks and what they actually publish for
decades now and I believe you can boil it all down to one simple formula.
Here it is:
These letters stand for "Dramatic Personal Achievement in the
Adversity plus a little Humor."
If you look at almost every media around you, from the front page of
Today to the Olympics to the evening news to the sitcoms on TV, you'll
this is what the American public wants, desires, and craves.
As a culture, we crave to see the human spirit triumph in matters of
heart, and in trials of hardship and tragedy. We ask to be uplifted
out of the humdrum of our everyday reality into the exhilaration and
extreme emotional of those who are living life on the edge.
It galvanizes our attention. It rivets us to our seats. It captures
attention and our hearts.
And this is what the media seeks to provide. This is what works.
You will see these elements everywhere you look in varying degrees.
a rare media feature that doesn't contain these items. The media uses
technology to increase the assault on our senses, enhance the effect,
make our experience ever more compelling and memorable.
And if you are writing a news release, what you have to do is recognize
this desire and need, and then cater to it.
Do your best to write a news release so that it interests as many people
the audience as possible. Ask yourself who these people are and talk
them. Do your homework and know who your book, product or service will
Then, write your news release so that it tells a story.
Describe the 5 W's: the what, who, where, when, and why, in dramatic
personal adversity and achievement terms. This helps you cast your
to the widest possible audience.
There's a real business reason why this works.
Media are publishers, and authors and publishers need to look at them
publishers, in business, trying to do what all of us are trying to
make a living. Good news release converts to more subscriptions or
share for ad dollars. So when you write a news release say this to
" Fellow Publisher -- will you give me space in your publication?"
" Fellow Publisher -- will you give me time on the air on your show"
Then put yourself in their shoes, and understand that the media executive
is going to ask the following question:
" Is this better than everything else I have today?"
The answer determines their bottom line == Revenue!
So grab today's newspaper, and start thinking about it with a new set
If there are more dramatic personal stories of achievement in the face
adversity, plus a little humor available that day, you lose.
If not, you win
One thing is for certain. If you learn how to use DPAA+H you will get
It takes a little thinking and self-analysis, but you can identify
right things to say and provide to an editor.
You do this by analyzing your own experiences to identify the successful
First, think very carefully about who your customers are. Visualize
Identify the representative customer and create a word picture of who
Now think about the last time you were in front of a person like this.
fact, think about all the times you've been in front of people like
Now ask yourself: "What you do very specifically, that resulted
buying your product or service?
Make a list of the things you said, the order in which you said them,
think about the other person's response.
Think very specifically about what you say that turns them and that
in them on deciding to buy your books or services.
If you don't know, then you need to first pay close attention when
speaking to them. You may need to have someone watch you and take notes
record what you say. You may even need to ask them "Why did you
book?" and pay close attention to the answers.
In particular, you are looking for the specific statements and phrases
use when talking that absolutely rivet their attention.
You must identify the emotional triggers that persuade people that
must have whatever it is you are selling.
These are your hot buttons.
Here's what I mean.
If you are driving down the highway and listening to the radio and
announcer says something that literally forces your attention off the
and you find yourself staring at the radio dial.
Your hot button has been pushed. Think again about what the announcer
that was so
earthshaking that it really got your attention. It literally motivated
to take your eyes off the road and stare at those little numbers on
Yes, it doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it is really that
You need to do learn how to do this yourself. This is the first step
You need to identify the hot buttons you can use to galvanize attention
get people to buy your book, or your product or your service.
It may be things you say or do individually, or when you speak in front
a group. The key is that you must know what you do and be able to repeat
again and again.
What you must then do is be sure that you've identified the right sequence
You must repeat the experiment till it works just about wherever you
The theory is simple:
If it works, do more of it. If it doesn't work, stop doing it.
So the first step - identify what works!
The second step is to apply these hot buttons to your news release.
Each and every hot button gets clearly identified and incorporated
sentence in your news release.
But instead of selling you are using it to persuade a busy publisher
you have publishable news and information.
Your hot buttons convince the editor that you have what it takes to
audience emotionally engaged.
It's not the products or features, it's the way the product or features
produce emotional feelings.
This technique works with media and with news releases the same way
works with advertising and direct marketing.
It works because media are human beings, too.
Human beings in our society are remarkably homogeneous.
What turns them on in one corner of the country can turn others who
similar interests or demographics on in other parts of the country.
respond the same to the same physical communications stimulus.
You can get up in front of a group of people in San Francisco for
minutes and sell lots of product.
You can repeat the speech to a similar group of people in New York,
Denver, and Des Moines and produce the similar result.
You can make people's mouth water and produce a Pavlovian response
everywhere you go.
You can use this to your advantage.
What this means to you is that when you publicize, promote or sell
books you must identify the things you say and do that motivates people
buy your materials. This is usually some of your best writing, ideas,
material. It could also be things that come from reviews, since it
that what other people say about you is even better than what you could
Whatever it is, you must identify what it is. Then you capture it and
it into a program.
They key hot buttons reveal the emotional triggers that convince a
to want what you are offering.
Emotions trigger deep personal attention. When people feel fear,
happiness, horror, laughter, concern, hate, envy, jealousy, hunger,
material desire, sexual desire, they pay attention and revel in the
The depth and duration of the feeling experience creates the lasting
It is the feeling that produces memory, not the information itself.
When you have discovered what you can do to trigger and produce emotional
feelings on command, than you have figured out the key to your success.
The emotional feelings trigger a desire to have and control and this
turn create the buying impulse to purchase and to own.
This is why people buy what you are selling. They want to have what
have. They want to be able to experience more of what you've just allowed
them to taste or experience.
These are your hot buttons.
In a news release you use these hot buttons to persuade an editor to
publish a feature story or a book review. With a producer, you use
hot buttons to help a producer decide to give you an interview or create
show around you.
You use these hot buttons to stimulate editors and producers into sharing
your message with their audience. You let them experience it and let
visualize and imagine what it will do to their audience.
You then tell them exactly what they need to do to get what they need
deliver the message to their audience. This is your media call to action.
This is what you need to identify and incorporate into your news release.
And this is what I need to know to help you write a good news release.
So when you send me a draft news release, tell me the statements that
galvanize people's attention when you speak or appear on other media.
Tell me the hot buttons you can push to get people to stare at you
We need to know what these hot buttons are and then we need to turn
into news release content.
Once we incorporate your hot buttons into your news release we'll watch
what happens when we push the media's buttons.
Sound like fun?
- - xxx - -
Send me your news release and together we'll create a news release
gets you better response than ever before.
If you have any questions, feel free to email or call.
Paul J. Krupin
Custom Targeted Publicity, Improved Search Strategies & More ...
Paul J. Krupin
Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
Have a nice day!