the power of the soundbite
When you click on any major masthead’s news site it’s filled with catchy, short, and clickbait headlines. Chances are you will read an article purely based on the soundbites and “click like” language used in the title.

This is a very deliberate method that journalists use to draw in readers.

The media love punchy soundbites, and will immediately draw attention to your story if you can successfully and cleverly implement them in your pitch.

Want to master this skill? Continue reading to hear our best tips!

What is a soundbite?

In theory, a soundbite is a short extract of text or speech used to summarise a wider story. In journalism, the technique is often used when reporting stories. This can range from audio clips to headlines to quotes from talent.

Ultimately, a soundbite helps journalists frame their stories in a particular way, which is why it is a fantastic opportunity for your organization to use this technique when pitching to the media.

As the public, our attention is naturally drawn to the emotive language and sensationalist stories.

Soundbites help encapsulate core messages and are a captivating way to lure the reader in.

Why does the media love soundbites?

It comes as no surprise that soundbites make a story compelling and digestible. The media love using soundbites because they can be implemented as quotes or used in headlines.

If you open any metropolitan or national paper, you will see tons of punchy and catchy soundbites scattered throughout news articles.

As the audience, we unconsciously crave this language because we’re exposed to it constantly.

When pitching a story, try to think of some bold and emotive language to use. By providing compelling soundbites, journalists won’t need to edit down much of the interview to make it suit their story angle.

How to create a punchy soundbite

Creating a soundbite won’t be a problem if you are passionate enough about an issue. The key is to keep it simple and short. Remember, that journalists love soundbites because it helps bring their story to life.

Below are some techniques that will help:

Alliteration is a creative way to convey an emotion. It helps create a rhythm to your language by using repetition and will help make your soundbite more memorable.

A rhetorical question is a compelling technique to challenge opinion and influence debate, particularly when it surrounds an important issue.

Superlatives help emphasize your messaging. The suffix -“est” encourages the audience to perceive the seriousness of the issue at hand e.g. “The greatest mistake made in the history of the federation”

Emotive language is a captivating way to communicate your message. Using words such as “debacle” or “heartbreaking” when being interviewed, will help accelerate your chances of appearing in the media.

Puns are a clever way to catch the media’s attention. They help make your soundbite catchy, punchy, and memorable.

Final thoughts

Soundbites are a great way to place your story in the spotlight; the audience loves punchy soundbites and so does the media. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your story more compelling, and start brainstorming now!

To learn more about the power of the soundbite, listen to our podcast episode here.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.


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