Friday 20 March 2015

Weekly Wrap Up: This will blow your mind

With a headline like that, how could you NOT read this blog post? After all, that’s the point of click bait, the internet phenomenon made popular by websites such as Upworthy and Buzzfeed. Click bait essentially exploits the curiosity gap by omitting a key piece of information to entice someone to click and/or keep reading.

The digital era has created a wealth of opportunity to reach a much wider audience. But there has also been a struggle to understand how, exactly, one should go about doing so. This is certainly true for the PR industry, but also for traditional news organizations and even businesses, and it makes the extraordinary success of the click bait strategy all the more enviable.

So it came as somewhat of a surprise this week when Business Insider reported that Upworthy's cofounder Peter Koechley apologized for the sensational headlines that made him rich – and his website famous - at the Guardian's Changing Media Summit in London this week. Going forward, he’s saying “good-bye to click bait”.

Upworthy successfully embraced the digital disruption – so why change strategy now?

The problem with Upworthy’s click bait headlines is that they tend to over promise and then under deliver. And eventually readers will catch on and stop falling for the same trick.

On the other hand, if your headline is incredibly boring it doesn’t matter if your content over delivers – no one will bother reading it. That’s exactly why click bait headlines shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. They do offer something. After all, they get people reading.

So here’s where your mind is blown: the solution is actually quite simple, and Koechley pointed to it at the Guardian event. He went on to say that Upworthy’s new approach would include sharing powerful stories “…that put you in someone else's shoes to help you see the world in other people's eyes."

The Upworthy example underscores that any piece of writing in the digital era – whether it’s a press release, news article or even blog post - needs to not only capture a reader’s attention but also deliver on content.

So go ahead and write an intriguing headline that sparks interest – just make sure your writing actually fills that curiosity gap.

This week Abchurch hosted two successful market lunches and had insightful discussions with City advisers on the sentiments of the IPO market and the potential effect the 2015 election will have. We also hosted the Allenby Capital team for an enjoyable evening, as well as travelling to Newcastle to celebrate Quantum Pharma’s successful floatation on AIM party.

Investec Investment Banking appointed Serge Rissi as a director of financial sponsor transaction group, whilst Sarah Owen-Jones joined Rathbone Brothers as chief risk officer from RBS. Meanwhile, Baker Tilly appointed Rowan Williams as head of its professional services group.

"Click bait" – exploiting the curiosity gap by omitting a key piece of information to entice someone to click and/or keep reading.

If you are a beer drinker, you can’t miss this weekend Over the Hop Festival at the White Horse in Parsons Green. There will be live music, an outdoor BBQ and Six Nations screenings on Saturday.

Fancy a bit of Asia this weekend? Silk Road travels to Marylebone for one long weekend. The seventh annual Asia House Fair will feature dozens of exhibitors that represent the best in arts, crafts, fashion and design from across the pan-Asia region.

Whether you are a rugby lover or hater, the Six Nations Championship concludes on Saturday with three teams (Ireland, Wales & England) in contention for first place. Italy play Wales first at 12.30, followed by Scotland versus Ireland at 14.30, with finally England playing France at 17:30. If you are a rugby hater, we would recommend avoiding the pubs at those times!

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