Brexit. Even now the reality hasn’t truly sunk in. Perhaps this is because most of the doom and gloom predictions from experts and politicians have yet to materialise. That said, it could also be because we haven’t left the European Union or triggered the negotiations needed for us to leave.
In any case, Brexit certainly shocked many in the media. In fact, the day before the referendum, one national journalist quipped that his paper had not written any stories that considered a leave win for publication the following day.
Perhaps it is this attitude that explains why papers are still relentlessly pursuing Brexit stories today. Brexit has reignited the curiosity in many journalists; they are desperately seeking answers. Whether national or trade, online or print, they want research, facts and figures – any evidence that shows an intention to leave or remain in the UK.
For businesses, this is of course a sensitive issue. The wrong story about Brexit can damage confidence, impact share price and ultimately harm long term sales prospects. Assuaging a journalist’s desire for a Brexit angle against what’s appropriate for the business is therefore challenging.
When the government finally triggers Article 50, the new reality will undoubtedly sink in. It will also, however, accelerate the media’s appetite for Brexit scoops – except this time they will expect news that shows how it tangibly impacts business. As such, managing journalist relations will not only become more difficult, they will also become more important.