Bad news and The Olympics

With the Olympics coming to town and the opening ceremony this Friday I am officially VERY excited about the start of The Games. I literally can’t wait. I remember sitting around the television at a previous employer watching the news come in that London had won the bid and thinking this is going to be a once in a lifetime event. I still feel that way.
A former colleague Laura Slade wrote a blog last week calling on the press to stop being so negative around the games and to get behind them. She explained that positive stories also sell papers and pointed to the Royal Wedding as an example.

At Berkeley PR, we believe there are three things that make a great story. My colleague Matt Brown wrote a blog recently that opened with the infamous moto of Lord Northcliffe, founder of the Daily Mail, “Get me a murder a day!” This might sound like a cynical approach to journalism but time and time again it has proven to be successful. People like drama. They like having something to gossip about. Think about the stories you have read recently and actually retold to someone else – I bet they were all bad news stories.
That said, there are two other elements that can make a great story which seem to be forgotten at the moment. Human interest and topicality.
This was why the Royal Wedding sold papers like hot cakes. Not because it was a nice story but because people felt they were part of something and because, regardless of who you are, everyone loves a wedding.

I sincerely hope that the British press embrace these elements of a story of the next couple of days and help bring a sense of occasion to the whole country. The Games should be a source of pride to this country and more importantly an opportunity for businesses to prosper after a difficult couple of years. The Olympic flame went through Reading and Theale recently and the whole of our company was excited about the fact.

The eyes of the world will be on London this week so let’s show them that we can put on a show but also approach the reporting of The Games in a creative and imaginative way that we can all be proud of. Don’t forget, bad news sells…..but so does human interest and topicality.