20 Feb The key to creating compelling and contemporary content
Written by Luke Ambler, Junior Account Executive
‘Man Bites Dog’. For anyone who attended journalism school this content would have undoubtedly been one of your first learnings. Its premise is simple. Nobody wants to read the expected, the ordinary or the everyday – like a dog biting a man – they want to hear about the shocking, the bizarre and the ridiculous. And somebody nibbling on a Chihuahua undoubtedly satisfies the latter.
As a PR, the story is very much the same. In order to reach our clients’ objectives and obtain the required level of media engagement, we need stories that sell, inspire, educate and turn heads – preferably in the direction of our client’s work, their products or expertise.
Fleet Street’s evolution
Traditionally, obtaining national print exposure was a PR’s holy grail. This is now, however, not necessarily the case. Although still lauded, print media readerships are falling and social and digital media have revolutionised the way we consume content. This has led to an industry, which was previously set in its ways, to adapt and implement fresh, bright and innovative strategies for creating and delivering great content. In particular, picture-led and video content have transformed the media’s reporting on important stories. Like them or loathe them, the Mail Online are the masters in this respect. Their stories are visual, interactive and they utilise SEO strategy effectively by planting keywords in their article’s titles – a tactic contemporary media is still learning how to master.
The power of the digital age
Bad PR still can consist of a front-page scandal (just ask Sir Philip Green) but an Instagram story or Tweet from someone influential can be just or perhaps even more damaging. Last year, Snapchat’s shares plummeted as a result of a Tweet from Kylie Jenner to her 24 million followers at the time. ‘Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad’ was all it took.
With traditional print media struggling to attract readers en masse as it previously has and with social and digital media thriving, the opportunities for exposure still exist, but publishers, news providers and PR companies alike must make use of contemporary tools and the creative minds of younger employees who are attuned to social media culture and modern news agenda and storytelling.
Content that bites
Despite the various changes to contemporary consumption of news and media, the goal remains the same: seek the story that shocks, disgusts and intrigues. So let’s hope media exposure might help stop any puppy munchers once and for all!