This week the news is full of royal wedding mania as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare to walk down the aisle on Saturday (19 May).
And rightly so. Up to a point.
Yes, he is a potential (now unlikely) future king. Yes, she is a famous (now ex) actress. And yes, it’s the celebrity event of the year. But, as with any news story, the hook on which to hang the reason it makes the news should be strong and worthy of the coverage it generates. Not tenuous links offering no real depth just to capitalise on #RoyalWedding.
Twitter has been full of public relations people issuing royal wedding-themed news releases, and in turn journalists complaining at just how many they are receiving. With, you’ve guessed it, tenuous links. Ironing boards do not make good royal wedding presents, but if you’re supplying a wedding dress to a couple getting married on the same day, that’s great quirky local news.
When I worked up in London on media activity around the annual Chancellor’s Budget, we regularly issued stories commenting on pre- and post-speech analysis. And while we worked hard to be creative (do you remember the cappuccino budget?!), we never once stretched the link to within an inch of its superficial life.
The simple fact is that getting heard in today’s saturated, overloaded news agenda is tough. Really tough. But a news story that is clever, relevant, and most importantly new, will win through. Every time.