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Dominant topics in the UK media: 2017-20 research

By Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

What are the current popular current themes in the media? 

Well, no prizes for suggesting virus-related articles completely dominate everywhere.  How different the first quarter of this year looks to the recent past.

Our research into the major themes across the UK media since 2017 shows that in March 2020 alone there were over 1.3 million articles mentioning the Corona Virus (or Covid-19). 

To put the enormity of this number in context, during the whole of 2019 there were 2.6 million articles across the British media mentioning Brexit

That was a year when Brexit, up until then seemingly the defining issue of the decade, was central to everything from the never-ending Parliamentary turmoil, a leadership challenge to the Prime Minister (January), her subsequent resignation (announced in May) after dreadful results in the European Parliament elections, a Conservative Leadership contest, to the subsequent General Election... all had Brexit at their heart.


Wishing for the return of the minor worries of "Brexit uncertainty"

Oh for a return to the days when we were fed up with yet another "Brexit uncertainty" story.  

Say what you like about Covid-19, at least it is not an excuse for delaying things.  It is a proper full-blown catastrophe that within under a month has already delivered some of the most far-reaching political and business decisions seen in Britain since at least 1960, when the National Service call-up stopped.  

As our research (see the chart below) shows, the once dominant topic of Brexit has been sidelined, as have other big topics of 2019 such as Climate Change and Sustainability - already overtaken by virus-related themes such as Quarantines and Self-Isolation. 

Home-Working / Remote Working articles showed a notable pick-up too in March.

Research - popular UK media PR topics


Climate Change, #MeToo and Wellness - au revoir, you've been furloughed

Sign up for quarterly media topics updates - CTA-6-1So au revoir, but not goodbye, to such recent popular themes of climate change, diversity, wellness, and #metoo.  You had a good run in recent years (see chart below), and I am sure we will see you back as popular themes, perhaps even by the summer... but for the time being you're furloughed. 


Popular media business buzz topics 2017-2019


Get our next quarterly buzz topics summary

To receive Kelso Consulting's future quarterly reports on the UK media's popular buzz-topics, simply click here to join our PR insights mailing list... we promise not to bombard you!



Topics: Communications, media, Media Buzz Phrases Research

Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Written by Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Director of Public Relations agency Kelso Consulting. We specialise in working with B2B tech companies, management consultants, financial and professional firms to help them build business-winning reputations. We do this through award-winning PR skills and a proven approach to creating high-impact thought leadership campaigns. I am the author of The Thought Leadership Manual: