CLICKBAIT WARNING: THE END OF CLICKBAIT?



As far as clickbait headlines go, there is nothing more eye-catching for a journalist turned PR Account Manager than a splash reading “New publisher owner vows to shun clickbait”.


2020 continued a dangerous trend towards creating hyperbolic headlines in an attempt to catch the attention of online readers, making clarity of information harder to find than ever at a time when it was needed most.


However, the statement made by National World, the new owners of regional publisher JPIMedia does bring with it some positivity as we start a new year.


The quote in full is as follows:


“We will use technology to provide a more bespoke service to the communities we serve and forge a journalistic formula that replaces irrelevant or clickbait stories with exclusive content to enhance local lives.”


This should be music to the ears of those on both sides of the media fence, from the journalists who set the news agenda to the PR agencies who strive to enhance those stories and shine a light on the work of their clients.


As an advertising strategy clickbait was surely worth a try, however I personally can’t help but feel it is better suited for YouTube blogs than the news.


Whether a story focuses on crucial public affairs information or the positive development of a regional business, it is of the highest importance to those at the centre of it. They deserve better than having their tale judged by how clickbait-friendly it’s headline could be.


Hopefully this is the start of a new era, where substance and talent are allowed to take centre stage again.


PR by Reeves Public Relations agency in Birmingham and Newcastle.