Tuesday, 5 November 2013
The Big Stories
Today 5/11/13 Immigration has returned.
The BBC Website is reporting on a UCL study into the benefit of immigration. The report suggests that immigrants since 1999 were 45% less likely to claim benefits than the 'indigenous' population.
And now the cat is amongst the foreign pigeons.
The difficulty with the 'big stories' is that there are default narratives connected to them. The right wing press will shout that it's only since 1999, and immigrants from outside the European Economic Area are a drain to the system because they tend to have larger families. The left wing press hail the report as blindingly obvious and something that they have been saying for years.
So we're no further on. The argument continues and immigration remains one of the 'big stories'.
How can a PR professional, Marketing department, or business leader use the 'big stories'?
Identify them. Look at the websites of your chosen outlet, whether it's a trade story, or a wider news theme, and see how it's reported.
Add context or confirmation. It allows the story to change within their defaults and gives another bite of a story that lots of the journalists will be bored of.
Offer content that could break one default, but lets them build it into another. For example, one of the comments on the BBC website story suggests that undereducated indigenous young people are being passed over in favour of older more qualified migrants; this feeds the 'big story' on education and the slipping of standards. It gives the journalist the ability to change the story but remain on message.
When the sector 'big stories' appear you should be ready.