Part 1: The Rumor
Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk facts. It’s not virtual reality
We’ve watched the world spiral while creating engaging content, to the extent of baiting the reader in order to increase website traffic. The concept of clickbait is transparent enough – Attract website clicks to generate higher ad revenues. The execution however, hasn’t received the warm welcome it should have across the public relations industry. Without a time-consuming journey back in time, the fact remains that clickbait is a successor of the infamous practice of linkbaiting – content developed in a manner that encourages the reader to create a hyperlink to the site, eventually impacting the company’s SEO.
For over a hundred years, journalists have considered eye-catching headlines as best practice to eventually increase their circulation figures and there’s no better proof than British media, such as The Sun. They’ve pushed limits and challenged norms to create engaging content that is further enhanced by a headline to create intrigue. The backlash they’ve faced at times, is attributed to the nature of the news and the decision to use a clickbait headline for that piece of content. Given the sensitive nature of the global political situation and the introduction of “Fake News” over 20 months ago, the journalistic integrity is staggering.
The hub of clickbait is piquing the reader’s curiosity with the most enticing or customer-relevant part of the story – this is the essence of a good headline.
Speaking as a PR consultant, it is becoming an integral part of the brand generated content we develop for our clients. The misconception of ‘misleading content’ has to be revised and its time that we, as PR professionals, lead the charge.
Riya Vatnani is Senior Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA. |www.cbpr.me