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The attention threshold

Updated: Jun 17


A print cartoonist made a perfect point this week about an issue we have worked on. In one static image they summarised the issues which make the matter so poignant and vital (see above).


In PR times past, we used newspaper cartoons as an informal test of whether our client’s point of view had captured public attention and sympathy.


That’s because the job of PR is a lot like cartoonists: to make an easily understood vital point about complex arguments, evidence and culture.


This week’s cartoon was intelligently conceived and well-drawn, but it is out-stripped every day by the speed and volume of public-created and shared memes. They are raw, and rarely acutely expressed, but they make the same points.


Although higher order issues are less likely to be meme-ified, this is changing. More people are entering public affairs battlegrounds having grown up consuming and making social media content. The intelligent newspaper cartoon has been democratised, and PRs should be aware.



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