This is the lead news story on the Yahoo! homepage which is the most visited website in the world, at least last time I checked. With the decline in ratings for television news and in the subscriptions for daily newspapers, the Yahoo! homepage is the prime news source for many people.
While I will admit to a great childhood memory of when I actually got to see the Wienermobile in-person, I just don’t think this is headline news. Sadly, this is the trend in news coverage on the web. News today is fast, sensational, and quickly forgotten. If the facts were not properly checked, the story is taken down and replaced by something equally sensational. Speed counts. Add some irony or innuendo. Now that is news!
I pity the trained journalists who must write this new type of “news” story instead of traditional investigative news. How trivial it must seem to them.
Interesting to note is that this Wienermobile news story shares the front page with the story of Walter Cronkite’s death. Cronkite, largely regarded as the premier television journalist, would no doubt be horrified by this shared front page since he felt so strongly about the integrity of journalism.
What this means to the marketer who seeks publicity is that a straight press release has no chance of being covered or even read. Instead, the potential story must have a twist or an element of intrigue. The headline on the press release must sizzle and captivate. The lead paragraph must grab the reader and hook them into to reading more. Facts are important but know that the reader demands something different.
The typical editor or reporter is bombarded with information and just can’t be bothered with humdrum news events such as grand openings, new product announcements, and organizational changes. They know that this stuff won’t get read.
Instead, think Wienermobile.
John Bradley Jackson
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