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14 June

Weekly Media Trends (14 June)

14 June

Borkowski Weekly Media Trends: Charlie Hebdo vs Jo Brand | The Rise of the Unicorn | The Inevitable Rory Stewart

Borkowski Weekly Media Trends

Despite attempts to avoid a political trend, the recent Tory leadership is impossible to ignore, as is the rise of Rory Stewart - he's walking on and giving it a go. We also have the inevitable cancel culture taking its share of victims as well as our thoughts on this year’s London Tech Week.
Hebdo vs Brand - who will survive the media: 
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has caused controversy, again, after their front cover image featuring a football entering a vagina with the caption: “We’re going to eat it up this month,” was released in their latest issue.

Their crude and unashamed depiction of the vagina is designed to be offensive. At a glance, you succumb to the sheer bizarreness, and ultimately, taken by repugnant nature of the image.
Whilst it has picked up initial coverage and caused social media debates, it failed to build momentum or further conversation off the back of the picture.

In contrast, Jo Brand has been under severe scrutiny for a series of jokes that are, on the surface at least, less offensive than Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of women’s football.

Despite this, Brand finds herself on the ropes as the headlines come thick and fast! Even the OAP ex-Para who was milkshaked campaigning for the Brexit Party has weighed in calling for Jo Brand’s head.

The through-line here is that people don’t care. The difference is that the media have picked up and built the story forcing Brand’s hand – having to apologise for jokes that she’s paid to deliver.

Once the story is in the cycle, you can’t get away from it. The media dictates who the people like and who should be cancelled.
London Tech Week - the rise of the unicorn

As London Tech Weeks draws to a close, we can conclude that we have droves of unicorns (is that how you say it?) galloping (do they gallop?) through the streets of Britain. We have 17 start-ups that are valued at over $1 billion… huzzah!

Does anyone actually care?

As the UK tech sector booms, we are in danger of throwing another meaningless piece of jargon into the fiery pit of overused clich├ęs like disrupters, thought-leaders, innovators.

Whilst the term ‘unicorn’ represents the value of a start-up it won’t matter. The allure for communicators to link their project to this new buzzword will be too strong to resist. Whether you’re describing your project as the next unicorn or blurring the lines of conversion rates; as long as there’s will there’ll be a way.

The problem for start-ups is saturation. Everyone’s vying to be the next Facebook, Uber, Google, Apple.

It’s all about the who.

Getting the right players backing your product is an invaluable asset – a talking point that creates genuine buzz and excitement.

The tech universe craves leaders who are straight-forward with a no bull approach.
It’s not about the idea it’s the people. We want to see tech business leaders motivating the brightest young minds to create the culture of success – to be the next… Zuckerberg…….?

A terrifying thought but being the next unicorn isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s about instilling a culture around your brand. Be the next Jobs not the next Billy McFarland.

Rory's Walking On Sunshine (Wow!)

One candidate in the Tory leadership contest stood out to Borkowski this week: Rory Stewart.

Stewart was relatively unknown before the race began, but he’s since begun to stand out with some interesting campaigning moves, not least his ‘Rory Walks’ videos on social media. But Stewart has been willing to attack front-runner Boris Johnson where it hurts, unlike other candidates. Describing him as a “clown” at his campaign launch, he asked whether Johnson was really the person voters wanted to have access to nuclear submarines. Deploying a similar argument to those that question President Trump in the USA, Stewart has been able to simultaneously produce headlines indulging in the blue on blue battle, while presenting himself as the candidate of moderation. That’s a tough game to play, but Stewart appears to be pulling it off.

So what comes next? Stewart has gone from being one of the least interesting candidates to one of the most. To succeed, he’ll have to keep that momentum going. He should resist the temptation to shift to an old-fashioned campaign, or he could lose every inch he’s gained so far. Short-term publicity is one thing; keeping your flame alive is another. But if Stewart can continue to present himself as the candidate of the middle ground who is willing to take a bit of heat, and to dispense freely with his opinions, he could do very well indeed.
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