The Yorkshire Post's suspicion that the article was insincere was proven right


Crafting content

High five to the Yorkshire Post this week for taking a stance against the Prime Minister and refusing to publish a bylined article from David Cameron in support of English Tourism Week.
The “very personal” article from the PM received by the editorial team began with the words “I love Yorkshire & the Humber” and was designed to highlight some of this region’s attractions and reasons why it is the UK’s premier visitor destination. But suspicions quickly arose when the editorial team read the piece which “appeared very formulaic, lacked empathy and only made passing reference to the misery caused by the Yorkshire floods.”
Their suspicion that the article was insincere was proven right when coverage for very similar articles started to appear in other regional titles including the Herald in Plymouth, the Newcastle Chronicle and the Lincolnshire Echo.
“This is not personal – it has all the hallmarks of a carpet-bomb PR drop,” said the Yorkshire Post.
As a long-established PR agency with experience of working with regional branches of national organisations, we know that national stories often resonate at a local and regional level, too. Executed well, with true originality, specifically crafted content, empathy and understanding of the local area, these stories can have a positive impact. Our view is that the Prime Minister’s press office simply conducted a cut and paste exercise and didn’t invest enough time in researching each media title, its readership and local issues. The result - in Yorkshire at first, but then further afield - was certainly not positive.
Not only did the Yorkshire Post spike the editorial, it took the opportunity to reiterate an open letter to the Prime Minister, published on January 26th, challenging him to respond to as yet unanswered questions on flooding policy following the devastating impact of December’s floods on the region.
The newspaper’s stance generated exposure in national media, and the support the YP received on social media for its decision resulted in extensive negative sentiment towards the Prime Minister’s office, defeating the point of the exercise.
The moral of the story? There are several, but ‘do your homework’ stands out to us, so that when you offer a newspaper a genuinely local angle or story, you know you can deliver one.
The Partners Group


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