01 July 2021

A new lease of love with the news

Farrer Kane PR Assistant Freddie Fitzgerald reveals how settling in to his role here at the agency saw him fall back in love with the news.

Brexit. Covid. Trump doing something outrageous. Brexit. More on Covid. Trump doing something even more outrageous. Brexit. Covid. And so on, and so forth, seemingly for eternity. For much of 2020, such was the news cycle that dominated news mediums. As a, then, recent graduate looking to go into PR and communications amid a pandemic, I was naturally committed to stay on top of the major news trends.

Only, during the six or so months that I was searching for a job, there was nothing trendy nor current, and definitely nothing new about the news! As someone who had always enjoyed engaging with both the mainstream and some more niche corners of the media, I found my relationship with the news going undeniably stale. By January, I knew I was staying with the news out of necessity.

And then, lo and behold, my dedication to staying news-savvy seemed to pay off, and I was offered a job with Farrer Kane. But, more to the point, the news was subsequently offered a second chance with me - and it certainly made good on the opportunity.

Suddenly, I wasn't reading with the news for conversation, nor my own desire to stay in the know, nor even to fall back on when I stumbled in an interview. I was engaging with the news in a professional capacity, with a view to become a part of its cycle, playing a small role in the ecosystem of information. It was as if someone had handed me a pair of squeaky clean rose-tinteds, and followed it with worlds and corners of the news that I had never even looked at before.

Perhaps at the core of this new relationship with the news is what you could call 'The Client Effect'. One of the bread and butter practices of good PR is being able to engage with the news whilst taking on the mindset of your client, which introduces a sort of role-playing aspect to your critical reading, and in turn unlocks a creative way of understanding the news that I had not previously had need to experiment with.

Very few things can make an old headline feel new quite like trying to reading it through the lens of somebody else's perspective. There is an undeniable allure to the chameleon-esque process of understanding a client's position, viewing the relevant news cycles from it, and working with them to contribute back into the conversation. It allows a creative approach that simultaneously prompts one to challenge their own views and organically discover new opinions.

Ultimately learning some fundamental PR skills, and having a totally different context in which to employ them, has brought a new lease of love to my relationship with the news, and it seems set to last.