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What’s my line?

What's My Line

As a journalist who used to conduct celebrity interviews, I’d always be looking for ‘the line’; that is, the one quote which was inflammatory or astonishing enough to work as a headline, to pique the readers’ interest enough to read on. 

As a PR looking to get maximum exposure for your clients, you probably use the same technique. I was reminded of this yesterday when I was asked by a colleague whether it was worth following up a news story in another newspaper about there being “a 1,000 people waiting list for alphonso mangoes”. 

I chuckled as I remembered getting a press release with that line a few days earlier – briskly passing it by since a) anyone who wants mangoes need only go to their nearest Asian supermarket to find them by the boxful and b) I wrote extensively on searching for the perfect mango in India a few years ago and, as they say, alphonso ain’t it.

But clearly that line had jumped out, so it’s still a clever tactic. Ditto today’s news of Gordon Ramsay saying that the pandemic had been useful in getting rid of “crap” restaurants – it’s currently being picked up everywhere and is one way to promote his new TV series on, er, launching restaurants.

Journalists always have their eye on the “line” so if you don’t already, flag that to your client. There are, though, a couple of notes of caution: if it’s completely spurious or misleading, the longer lasting implications won’t be worth the one-day attention. And if it is something unique, new or amazing, be prepared with plenty of additional material for all those curious writers…


What Lisa thinks…

At first glance, this new chocolate brand looks and sounds like it’s trying to stir up controversy for attention but the product itself sounds good (and ethical). Still mulling over the name, because it did make me read on…

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