How To Use a Journalist’s Hunger for Being a Predictor to Take Over a News Cycle

Cathay Pacific Wins Day With Brilliant “What If” Scenario

Cathay Pacific: Is winter of discontent soon to come?

You have to give credit to whoever at Cathay Pacific came up with this story pitch for the travel sections around the world. If you are a student of how to use the news for your marketing efforts, here is a classic case showing that you can get a story that hasn’t happened yet into the news cycle.

Cathay Pacific may increase the number of economy seats in all of its planes. Or, so write the headlines.

You might think, from a PR perspective that this can bring no amount of good press to the airline. Groans everywhere as business and holiday travelers contemplate being crammed into yet another of an Asia carrier’s cramped cabins. Or, so you think!

This turns out to be a genius move.

Because Cathay may in fact never increase the number of seats in their planes. Who said they would?

They’re thinking about it.

This strategy fed into two things: 1. A hunger for any copy at all to keep clicks going. 2. The ego drive of the writers, who, in their attempt to write a breaking story also want to be seen as someone who can see trends.

In the heart of almost every online journalist is an analyst waiting to come out. An analyst who may one day be paid for telling the truth about business and trends.

Here are some screen shots of this story. They reveal that the only real thing that emerges from the copy is that everyone but Cathay has horrible leg room and seat widths.

Qatar Airways…. for shame!
Cathay Pacific should thank the South China Morning Post for basically writing them an advertisement for why they are a much better experience compared to ALL of their competitors, and for showing exactly who and why. Well done, journalists.

At the end of the day, you have to wonder why journalists write articles about things that never happen, or haven’t happened yet.

They are in the news business, not the predictions business.

But if you are a startup or someone who needs to drive customer awareness through massive reach, there are poorer examples of story manipulation. This one is a bold and genius move.

Happy travels!

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