Goodbye to the ‘silly season’

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Working in PR and monitoring the daily news, the summer holidays has always spelled silly season; that period in the year when the news agenda weakens and we see the emergence of light-hearted stories in the media.

The summer recess in parliament and the fact that everyone in business is taking their annual break leads to a slowdown in true newsworthy events every year and means the media must turn to a different type of attention grabbing story to attract readers and viewers.

Now September has arrived and silly season is coming to an end, we will start to say hello to a harder news agenda, but before then, I wanted to highlight some of my favourite ‘soft news’ stories from the summer:

1: The news that the Big Ben bongs are to stop for four years while renovations are carried out led to shock and upset across the country, and made every national newspaper and TV news bulletin. Londoners and MPs even gathered to watch the clock fall silent after one final bong.

2: The fact that President Trump looked at the sun during the solar eclipse in America created international headlines and was the major talking point of this rare event, leading to a raft of social memes being created and shared.

3: Reflective road markers, known as cat’s eyes, have been renamed as road studs in Suffolk because tourists take the signs literally, according to the national news in August. Suffolk County Council said signs saying ‘cat’s eyes removed’ troubled those from other countries, who were concerned by the apparent animal cruelty.

4: ‘Catch him Derry’, was said to the Bat Dad from County Kerry, who made the ‘And finally’ slot of the evening news this week thanks to the hilarious footage of him running around the kitchen using a tea towel to try to catch a bat that had got into the house!