Bite me! Eileen Schuh on how sound bites can snap at you!
Reporters are always after that "15-second sound bite"--those few sentences from an interview, speech, or press conference that will grab the attention of the audience and pull them into the story. TV and radio time is limited and tightly scheduled yet much of the audio recorded during the coverage of events tends to be rambling, full of 'ehs', and 'ers', repetition, perhaps irrelevancies or self-promotion, local lingo or dialect that won't be understood by most. Reporters want sharp 15-second pieces of dialogue around which to wrap their stories.
"I have a dream..." ~Martin Luther King Jr.
"and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." [Gettysburg Address]
‘MH370 has been lost and...none of those on board survived’ ~Malaysia Airlines text message
I, too, am always on the hunt for the bite, although usually a word-bite not a sound bite. For instance, which phrase from a 5-star Amazon review should I pull out to tweet? Which words say something impressive, original and powerful and will fit Twitter's 140-character limit into which I must also put the book title and a link?
I also pull bites from reviews to post on facebook and my blog and website. Although these bites might be longer than a tweet, they can't be too long because reviewers hold the copyright to their reviews and without permission, anything more than a short excerpt infringes on copyright. I need just enough words to spike interest, then post a link where readers can go for more.
It's not just from reviews that I pull bites, but from blog posts that I want to promote, too. Whether they are blogs I've written, blogs written about me and/or my books, or important blogs others have written, I look for words that will arouse curiosity and compel my fans to click the link that leads to the full blog.
Sometimes I pull bites from news items that interest me, are about me, or are otherwise relevant to my career.
Social networkers often don't pay enough attention to the bites they use, opting to just cite the headline, or the title of the blog, or the first words of the review, or unimaginatively summarizing. Some just use the automated 'share' feature.
I think it is important to spend a moment or two scanning whatever it is one wants to promote to find that short phrase that jumps out at you, catches your eye or better yet, catches your breath. Something emotional, witty, alliterate perhaps. Poetic. Humorous. Inspiring. Original.
Which tweet would most likely get you to check out this blog?
- Today on Famous Five Plus, Eileen Schuh talks about the use of word bites in marketing http://famousfiveplus.blogger.com
- Author Eileen Schuh talks about using powerful 'word bites' on the social networks
- "The phrase that catches your breath" more about Sound Bites on Famous Five Plus
Bite me has been brought to you by:
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Eileen Schuh, Author
The Traz - http://www.amazon.com/Traz-Book-1-BackTracker/dp/0986938823/ref%3dsr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328810367&sr=1-2