What were the news stories that shaped 2017?

Senior Account Executive, Samuel Rowe, looks at the stories that shaped the year, and why understanding the news agenda is a crucial part of any media relations activity.

As media relations specialists, it’s our job to keep up-to-date with the very latest news, spot emerging trends and ultimately frame the angle for news relevant to our clients.

In order to get our messages into the wider conversation, we need to know – and really understand – the stories that are making the headlines in UK press.

A recent report* on the number of media articles per world event from one media monitoring service on the biggest news stories of 2017 was met with a keen sense of intrigue in Freshwater’s London office. So what were the most-reported stories of 2017?

With a snap election, Brexit negotiations and a new US President, we expected a politically-charged news agenda – and these were indeed the top three most reported stories by UK press in 2017, according to the report. But beyond that, many of the news stories that we expected to rank highly, and which dominated our discussions in the office, barely reached the top 25 ‘most covered’.

Here are three of the most surprising highlights that grabbed our attention:

  • Philip Hammond’s budget announcement gained less column inches than England and Scotland playing in the Six Nations.
  • The allegations against Harvey Weinstein, so devastating that they have brought down leading authority figures in almost every sector in the western world, made less of an impact in the UK press than Lewis Hamilton winning the Formula 1 world championship.
  • The resignation of Priti Patel, the ransomware attack on the NHS and the war in Pakistan were all less interesting to the media than the OS updates for Apple.

Of course, the quantity of articles is only part of the story. The outlets that cover the story, and the quality of the content, also factor when measuring the overall impact of media coverage. But the report does show that where media interest is concerned, water-cooler conversations aren’t always an effective litmus test for what will become column inches.

Freshwater provides bespoke media relations, media monitoring and media analysis as a stand-alone service or as part of a holistic communications strategy. Contact us on 0207 067 1595 or email: hello@freshwater-uk.com.

*Source: Signal


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Impact Report 2017

Impact report 2017