There are, throughout the year, certain days which PR consultants will know to be ‘one of those days’ and expect the day to be a hive of activity, such as the Budget, where all eyes are fixated on everything the Chancellor announces: changes to the amount of tax we pay, how much benefit people will receive and measures to address a wide variety of issues, that enhance the economy.
The pressure is now more than ever to comment on developments as soon as possible after they occur, with media outlets racing to get the facts out there (with or without their own opinion), with papers, newswires and magazines competing with live television broadcasts to cover events as they happen. Extra points being scored by those keen few who identify new issues and loopholes, and present it in such a manner to appear much more interesting to the reader. Such is the demand for breaking news commentary that this sort of tactic has now to be used around the clock for the whole year.
Today’s digital journalists rely on email comments from industry experts to flesh out articles, which can turn out to be a godsend for those under the cosh to produce an article before anyone else does. Such emails should be short, clear and to the point, a few sentences at the most, and flow naturally like a conversation, using normal language rather than some austere, artificial corporate statements. It should appear colorful to easily migrate to the actual article; scattering creative phrases and a few drops of controversy can add essential juice to an emailed comment.
To keep a finger on the pulse, today’s PR offices are much more like the form of a media newsroom, planning forward for future events, and scouring papers, news websites, live feeds and of course, social media to be the first to capitalize on a new event. News websites in particular are on priority distribution lists, receiving announcements before PR companies or the general public are aware. This precious extra breathing time gives the journalist the opportunity to research deeper, do some original analysis and discover a new slant to take the story to another level.
However, even with a head start, some industry pundits still tend to deliver lengthy, academic content leaving the journalist searching t to find the necessary bits to convert into an article, where a succinct comment with only the most important facts would have sufficed -a perfect example of where less is actually more.
Tim Aldiss writes for Broadgate Mainland PR.