The Wagatha Christie saga has reached its conclusion. About time, many people might say. But at Communicate Media training, we’re always interested in what makes a media story so that we can analyse it and use it in our media training courses.
To build our participants’ confidence and help them prepare, we start most courses by exploring what makes a media story. We ask: what are the raw ingredients, and why do they appeal to journalists and the public?
What makes a good media story?
Understanding what makes a media story removes some of the fear of the unknown and having a good idea of what will be of interest to the journalist doing the interview helps with preparation; you’ll have a sense of what you’ll be asked – good or bad.
So why is this spat between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy such a big story? This might sound obvious because we have two celebrities involved here, which makes it of particular interest. More importantly, though, it’s got that classic ingredient of a good media story – a confrontation between two prominent individuals. Conflict or one side fighting another is always good for the media. As we point out to the lawyers on our media training course, much of the stuff we see in the news is based on this concept. Just think about the situation in Ukraine, a major football match or a big city takeover. They all involve confrontation. This, of course, is the situation in any court case, but Vardy versus Rooney has many other factors.
Why do the media love Wagatha Christie?
It’s very human. Two strong women locked in mortal combat is the stuff of soap operas and great fiction. It’s little wonder, then, that the mailonline and other tabloids are so excited about it. Another factor is that we can, in a way, relate to this case – most of us know of the people involved. Gossip, rumours and backbiting don’t just extend to those soaps that I’ve just mentioned – they are, unfortunately, a fact of life for most of us at some point in our lives. Anyone who’s worked in a newsroom, as our media trainers have, can tell you all about that!
The story is also visual. Images of people coming and going from the High Court or the Old Bailey work well for newspapers and TV news. Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy’s glamour air and carefully planned wardrobes certainly add to their appeal to news editors. Appearance is so important in the media. That’s why one of the things we cover in our media coaching sessions is what to wear on TV and during panel discussions.
Another reason why this case works so well in news terms, by the way, is its moniker. You don’t have to create a witty pun like “Wagatha Christie”, but thinking of a catchy phrase or punchy sound bite always helps with media coverage. One client told us that sustainability had moved “from niche to norm.” A great sound bite.
Why is it a good media story?
So, what are the other lessons that companies and their Comms teams can learn from this case? The first is that making issues easy to relate to for the audience is important. We’ve taught technology lawyers to translate complex issues into everyday experiences, such as shopping online. We’ve advised M&A experts how to use simple, punchy phrases that get across their messages effectively to all audiences. In our media coaching, we advise on how to make intangible concepts and theories into the kind of concrete everyday examples that even business journalists and the trade press appreciate.
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Love it, loathe it or leave it well alone – whatever your opinion of the Wagatha Christie saga, it does have some valuable lessons for those interested in media training.
At Communicate Media Training, we offer training courses for all companies, from fashion brands to financial services. So, get in touch today.
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We even offer a free media training taster. Get in touch on 07958 239892 or email email@example.com. We can’t wait to hear from you.
To read more about the Wagatha Christie story, click here.