PR lacking from media silly season?

Just checking my RSS feeds, I found my eye drawn to a number of bizarre headlines from the Guardian (all fed within the last 5 hours).

The Summer is a “silly season” when creative PR types often take the opportunity to generate hype off the basis of an odd tale or two.  But my sample stories each seem to lack the hand of the public relations professional.

The frog story is a typical controversial artwork from a German gallery, so is deliberately seeking controversy.  And, the car trip does set out to highlight the power of alternative fuel.  But they don’t seem to be the work of professional publicists.

In the case of the Afghan spider, the MoD may require some crisis management, and the mushroom soup is routine matter for Ryanair generating more interest this week following the recent emergency landing in Limoges.

Does this indicate journalists are finding sufficient silliness without any evidence of Flat Earth News allegations of “PR tactics and propaganda” (such as last year’s fake shark story)?

Lewis 360 recently noted attempts by the Daily Express to refute the Silly Season label as:

a post-modern masterpiece: the silliest of silly season stories, which attempts to disprove the silly season… you could lose yourself thinking about that for weeks!

Maybe that’s the problem, the world at large has become so silly, it is almost impossible for publicists to top reality. 

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

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