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Brighton SEO: Shannon McGuirk – 5 Point Checklist to Evaluate New Hooks and Supercharge your Digital PR Strategy

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Shannon McGuirk from Aira started by talking about two different types of content. She says that there is good content; content that is well designed, has a great back story and comes from a well designed brand, but then there is also good content that gets links.

An example of content marketing she used is a piece created called the wonders of the world according to Instagram – which created over 120 links.

She asked, why is your content not getting links?

‘Just because you’re worthy, doesn’t mean you’re newsworthy’

Shannon claims that the reason that your content isn’t getting links is because you’re not evaluating news hooks properly. Before you start, you need to start thinking about the audience – put them at the forefront of what you’re doing.

Firstly, what’s a news hook?

‘The ‘thing’ that makes influencers interested in your story’

‘The critical piece of newsworthy information that will capture the attention and interest of both the news reader and the audience’

She details five steps to evaluate your news hooks to supercharge your digital PR campaigns. 


  • Awareness days – loads of national days, B2B
  • Latch it onto an awareness day – trending on social media
  • Seasonal events – take a step backwards and sell content on themes that come with Seasonality – think what is happening right now


Can you get an expert to provide credibility? You don’t always have to pay for it. Start to think about these few things:

  • Charities
  • Internal spokespeople, MD or CEO or specialist internal spokesperson
  • Think about who you know – brother a docotor? See who can comment on your story


  • Be realistic about the media outlets and think about tailored prospecting lists
  • Shouldn’t be building media lists 500 journalists long
  • 50 journalists on a media list
  • Go for golden websites – what are your top 5 golden
  • See what journalists are writing about


  • How do you add a new dimension to a topic already covered?


  • How is your content different to everything else out there?
  • If it’s not new and already been done, it won’t be covered again

To sum up:

  1. Timeliness
  2. Credibility
  3. Different
  4. Tension
  5. Prospecting

Shannon mentioned that these points are not mutually exclusive, and you can utilise a mix to create successful digital PR campaigns.