Keeping abreast of the news agenda is obviously crucial to any
PR or comms professional. But when I came across this
headline the other day I was quite literally stopped in my
Google News tracks. Firstly I felt quite apprehensive for 3.30pm on
Wednesday to roll around - note to self: apply some anti-wrinkle
cream on Tuesday. Secondly, I felt excited at the prospect of a
romantic Thursday and a fun Friday…
…Or did I? No, of course not. Instead I felt quite the opposite.
Seriously, what is the world coming to? And more importantly, how
is this actually deemed to be newsworthy?
Headlines like this are all too familiar. Research related or
otherwise, here are a few classics.
- Playing computer games can help beat childhood obesity, study
- Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel
- Could just one can of diet fizzy drink make taxpayers' money
We're not foolish, (well most of us aren't) obviously headlines
are there to reel us in. And, to give this particular story some
credit, I did read on. But the more subtly ironic headlines I read,
the more I wonder if they are now actually intended to be taken
seriously. For instance, take the computer game example. I had
visions of a child sat on the sofa, barely exercising their thumbs,
however, upon reading the full story it became apparent that
actually it's the dance mat games that help beat obesity.
Obviously, I should have known - *slaps forehead with
As the integrated world of media and communications continues to
evolve, research and striking headlines all form the basis of a
strong and engaging story. The media landscape will always be
littered with questionable headlines, some of which we struggle to
find any sense of purpose - we can't (and shouldn't) stop that. But
what we can do is ensure that those we create are insightful and
engaging, without bordering on useless or downright ridiculous.