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Hit the accelerator on breaking news

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Hit the accelerator on breaking news

Newspapers now have a digital first policy, in most cases officially.

That means, in case it’s not obvious, that stories will go online as soon as they practically can before they appear in the physical paper the next day.

Exclusives or campaigns might be held over for a print hit first, but even then, less and less so.

The implications of this for the PR trade are many, but the most obvious is this: it has to move a lot faster.

Two examples of big stories that first emerged late yesterday.

1)    Car maker Stellantis warned of factory closures if Brexit is not renegotiated.

2)    MPs said crypto should be treated as gambling rather than as part of financial services.

This morning and into the afternoon, my phone was buzzing and my inbox pinging with flaks offering expert comments on these developments.

Some of those comments were interesting or helpful to read for the hack playing catch-up.

What none of them did was take the story forwards. They were comments on what we already knew had happened which would have worked just fine 12 hours ago.

It’s almost sad to think of the amount of work that went into getting approval for releases that are out of date almost the second they are sent.

The flaks on the other end seem genuinely surprised to be told that the story they are talking about is old, it is done, it is fish and chip paper.

This is not to say those stories won’t keep moving, but moving is the key word here.

What the flaks or their clients need to come up with is the comment that shoves things along, that has an insight into what the implications of the news might be.

Tell us the angle we haven’t yet thought of. We can already see what’s on the BBC.

I don’t think this is easy; I think the whole game has become harder. For us too.

Press release of the day

The average wealth of the top 500 billionaires is up by $1.1 billion each this year, says this from Communications Specialist.

Around 35% of these people are in the US, while China has 14% of them.

They come from tech, 14%, industry, 13%, and banking, 12%.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) How much longer will Philip Jansen stay at BT?

2) When does easyJet return to profit?

3) Where is Premier Foods seeing the worst food inflation?

4) What can be done outside of monetary policy to tame inflation?


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