Danny Rogers: This silly season shows a serious side

It's the end of July. Parliament and the schools have broken up. This is traditionally known as 'silly season'. But still the news climate feels far from flippant.

Danny Rogers: This silly season shows a serious side
Danny Rogers: This silly season shows a serious side

Of course there have been some horrific international stories - famine in Africa, senseless slaughter in Norway. But even closer to home, the news agenda has been relentless.

Hackgate dominated the July headlines - a quintessential media story - and Britain's continuing economic woes are now to the fore.

Could it be that such woes, along with spiralling inflation, actually make going on the traditional summer holiday more difficult for us?

A more interesting theory is that, quite apart from a wealth of 'organic' news, profound changes in the nature of the media are feeding the frenzy.

With hackgate we again saw how 24-hour rolling news combines with social media to create a feedback loop of information. New revelations continuously emerged from this stream of chatter and comment. When social media threw up a development, it was picked up and given credence by BBC News or Sky News - and in turn fuelled further social media speculation.

The newsmakers - journalists, politicians, businesspeople - are now just as likely to post their news and views via social media as they are through traditional media filters.

As I have said previously, this relentless and ubiquitous information flow creates almost total transparency in public life. The truth really will out; not eventually, but quickly. The truth, however, is often submerged under a current of ill-informed speculation or amateur comment.

The PR industry has been similarly lively in July, partly because it is inevitably drawn into these big current affairs developments, partly of its own accord.

Over the past month we have seen a raft of senior in-house moves. There has also been a spike in agency mergers and acquisitions, from Engine Group's purchase of Mischief, to Finsbury's merger with RLM.

So when, earlier this week, LOCOG kicked off its 'one year to go until the Olympics' PR drive it no doubt believed it would be vying for the headlines with David Cameron's choice of Vilebrequins for Cornwall. Unfortunately not.

More worrying for LOCOG is the apparent lack of awareness of some of the official Olympic sponsors, which will focus the mind in their autumn campaigns.

But, in the meantime, I hope you all get some well-earned rest this summer.

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