Danny Rogers: NOTW will be missed – by certain showbiz PRs
Monday 11 July 2011
How do PRs feel about the demise of the News of the World? Will they miss a vital outlet for their stories and content?
In the longer term, probably not.
Despite being Britain's biggest circulation newspaper, the News of the World's reach had been falling for years. Yes, it still broke the odd blockbuster – not least cricket's match-fixing scandal last year – but beyond that the content and credibility could be quite limited.
Those who'll miss it most are certain showbiz PRs whose clients – Katie Price, Kerry Katona, Lily Allen – provide regular fodder for its pages. And of course Max Clifford's legendary "kiss and tells" will have to find a new home – although Max's relationship with News International has been less than healthy for many years.
In the short term there will be more competition among PRs to get coverage in the NOTW's rivals.
Internet data suggests that the paper's audience, at least until the Sun on Sunday makes its debut, will drift towards the Mail on Sunday or the Sunday Mirror. The NOTW's approach to content was running out of steam in any case. Its ability to reach younger consumers was questionable.
We are likely to see a temporary change in content across the media. There will be a period of high-mindedness, which may push the more sordid scandals off the tabloid pages for a while. American talent, already wary of this country's aggressive media, will be even less likely to engage with our red tops following what has been a global scandal.
Longer term, the demand from the public for juicy gossip and scandal will inevitably return. By then the Sun on Sunday will be up and running – in new web-friendly formats – and gaining in confidence.
Danny Rogers is editor of PR Week
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