How To Create A Hook For A Story

Creating a hook for your press release is an important aspect of crafting it correctly. The hook can appear in one of three places. The most important place will be the headline.


Hook them with a powerful headline

Headlines need to grab attention right away and should draw the reader in. In these days of information overload, there are so many things to choose to read that the only thing a reader such as a busy journalist has to go on is the headline when they are scanning through a press release distribution service. If the headline doesn’t grab them, they’ll just skip to the next. Then all your hard work will be for nothing.

A good headline should have facts, keywords, emotive or strong power words, and above all, a hook that will make readers them curious to learn more. Look at these three examples:

1-SpaceX’s Elon Musk Unveils Interplanetary Spaceship to Colonize Mars

2-CDC whistleblower claims agency has been using wrong Zika test

3-How advertisers turned the presidential debate into a new Super Bowl

All three of these are interesting, topical, that is, newsworthy, related to current events, and intriguing or potentially controversial.

For most people reading headline 1, they would love to know more about this idea and how soon it might be happening.

Headline 2 has a two powerful words, whistleblower, and wrong, offering controversy and hinting at a story that might have serious health implications for many people.

Headline 3 has an interesting hook because most of us know how powerful Super Bowl ads tend to be. We will probably want to read on to learn more.

2-The sub-headline

Many press release distribution services have a section for crafting a sub-header, which is a brief summary of what the story will be all about. This is also an opportunity to create a hook to draw in the reader. It will give more information and an incentive to read on by being interesting and enticing.

Here are a couple of examples of a good headline and a good sub-head that both have hooks.

  • Earth Is the Warmest It’s Been in About 120000 Years, Study Suggests – The Weather Channel
  • Meteorologist Danielle Banks explains a new study that says greenhouse gasses may cause the planet to get warmer than we thought.
  • Measles Has Been Eliminated in the Americas, WHO Says –
  • Measles has been eliminated in all of the Americas, from Canada to Chile, the World Health Organization declared Tuesday.

Each element encourages you to read more.

3-The first paragraph

You should also put a hook in your first paragraph because you want the reader to keep on reading. You want to entertain and engage them and give them the facts, but you would also ideally like them to continue reading your story to the end. Here’s a good example.

  • Obama Nominates First Ambassador to Cuba in Over 50 Years – New York Times       
  • WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, President Obama nominated the first US ambassador to Cuba in more than a half-century, defying opponents of his policy of rapprochement with the government of President Raúl Castro…

If you are not already including hooks in your press releases, it’s time to start practicing writing attention-grabbing headlines, sub-heads and first paragraphs and see what a difference it makes to your marketing results.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy