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Doom and Gloom

Posted by putsimply on 26th March 2008

Look at the front of any newspaper over the past week and you would think that the next great slump is nigh and we are heading for a 1930s-style depression. Last week’s PR Week even headlined with the news that PR’s could be in the firing line if predictions come to fruition.

Well, we all know that the first budget to be cut in times of hardship is the PR and marketing spend (though some would say that surely this is the time to keep your profile high) and many of us remember the technology PR culls of the early naughties – but I do wonder if it was necessary for our industry magazine to point out this fact so readily.

I am a firm believer that a bit more “out of sight out of mind” could be employed these days, more circumspect reporting rather than jumping off at the deep end and taking a story to a sorry conclusion on day one.

This can, of course, be applied to many topics the press are focusing on at the moment, not just financial ones. I was particularly hit by a headline in the London Metro last week highlighting the fact that it was cheaper to score a line of cocaine in many pubs than it was to buy a pint of bitter. Did we need to know this? Did the vulnerable need to know this? Did it mean that people, who might never have thought of taking drugs, went out and had a line rather than a pint?

Is part of the booze culture being fuelled by every paper and broadcast programme implying to youngsters that if they are not out there getting a skinful every weekend they are not doing what their peers do?

I am not suggesting that these topics should not be reported, or that important items be brushed under the carpet, but suggesting that perhaps the time has come to think that less is more – the press did it with Prince Harry in Afghanistan so perhaps they could employ discretion in other areas.