Find the hook others may overlook

The creation of a ‘villain’ is sometimes the perfect way to create a compelling media hook. This was among the tactics discussed by Bespoken Managing Director Sarah Morgan and Media and Communications Specialist Lisa Chant when they teamed up for a presentation at the second annual Content Summit at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Their topic, ‘Finding the hook others may overlook’, was a fully subscribed session, with many attendees disappointed to miss out. In the spirit of sharing, here’s an extract from the session.

MAKE THE VILLAIN YOUR STORY

Look to the glory days of Hollywood, and the formula for characters was a simple one – villains existed simply to cast the hero or heroine in a favourable light. But on modern day screens, both big and small, it’s the villains who are stealing the spotlight. Think Maleficent, Loki or Darth Vader, whose exploits now drive ratings and appeal in their own right. So, for those of us who work in the communications space, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) field, what’s the takeaway and the learning here? We’re glad you asked, because….

Sometimes it’s good to be bad.  

At Bespoken, we work for one of Queensland’s leading strata management companies, where the executive team is passionate about educating body corporates and related stakeholders. We were talking with the client’s managing director about Christmas decorations, and she mentioned the fact many strata residents don’t realise their front doors are often actually official fire doors.

This means they are governed by regulations in terms of what you can and can’t do – including the use of decorations.

Or, to put it simply, that gaudy, glitzy or glam plastic wreath you merrily hang up every December could potentially impact the protection of your fire door, invalidating your insurance and negating any payouts in the event of a fire.

Alternatively, it could result in a fire audit which might decide that it needs to be replaced – potentially at significant cost.

Now, that’s something the majority of people seemingly don’t know. And it allowed us to craft what might just be one of our favourite headlines of last year:  

WHY CHRISTMAS WREATHS COULD BE THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GRINCH 

Now, was this an attention-grabbing hook? Yes. 

Did it get response? Yes! Especially on radio, because it was a topic that was easy to promote, was lots of fun to discuss and served as a readymade springboard for talkback.  

At heart, it was about taking an annual media topic – the under- and overboarding of neighbourhood Christmas decorating – and giving it a fresh spin with a dark twist.  

Because in creating a legitimate ‘villain’, we were able to help media entertain and engage their audiences with informative content. But, more importantly, we enhanced the thought leadership of our client and helped advance their agenda of community education.  

As for the sales spike that likely followed for special fire-retardant glue, you’re welcome Bunnings! 

So, there you have it – a classic case of how creating a villain can make for good news.

And this was just a small sample of their talk. Trust us, they have plenty more to share.

If you are interested to know more about PR and media strategy, reach out to Sarah, Lisa or one of the Bespoken team members today.

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The creation of a ‘villain’ is sometimes the perfect way to create a compelling media hook. This was among the tactics discussed by Bespoken Managing Director Sarah Morgan and Media and Communications Specialist Lisa Chant when they teamed up for a presentation at the second annual Content Summit at the Brisbane Powerhouse.Their topic, ‘Finding the hook others may overlook’, was a fully subscribed session, with many attendees disappointed to miss out. In the spirit of sharing, here’s an extract from the session.

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