Articles: Blogs

When you’re in a hole, stop digging

Integrated PR - 3rd December 2008

‘This recession is being made worse by the media. Discuss.’  Something we probably all have a view on, but which is hard to quantify.  However, we got a telling snapshot yesterday that makes you bang your head against the wall.

We were speaking to a contact on the business section of one of the UK’s top Sunday newspapers – a serious paper respected for analysis.  Our story would usually tick all the right boxes for them, and they have devoted a half page to the same client previously.  However, groans our contact, this time our story has one failing:  it is POSITIVE at a time that the business editor only wants to run stories that are doom and gloom. 

The other problem, he continues, is that space is under real pressure in the paper right now.  Why?  For the same reason that jobs are being trimmed back right across the Fourth Estate – advertising revenues are down.  Any why is that?  In large part, a crisis of confidence amongst consumers and business leaders.

You can see where I’m going with this.  Obviously, there have been major structural issues that have got our economies into this mess.  But, right now, we need to haul ourselves out of the hole by not panicking.  But what do editors like this do?  Make everything seem as bleak as possible, and thereby worsen their own fortunes.  They seem to live in mortal fear of being branded as the next Martin Lewis, the newsreader who was widely rubbished by colleagues for calling for more ‘good news’ on TV.  But how about having a little balance?  A crisis for one person is surely an an opportunity for another, and it’s that fact that ultimately should stop us all losing our homes.