What a silly thing the “Daily Mail test” is

Image via The Poke
Image via The Poke

At an otherwise interesting event last year, the familiar canary of the “Daily Mail test” came up.

For those lucky enough not to have come across this, this test introduces the idea that decisions should be taken with at least some consideration to the question of how it would look if the Daily Mail (or some other venerable vessel) ran the story on their front page.

If you give it a moment’s thought the “Daily Mail test” is clearly silly, especially in the world of social care we’re particularly interested in here.

I can think of at least three reasons why this is the case – one specific, and two general:

Specific: When has the Daily Mail actually covered anything on social care?

General one: Social care gets such little coverage that having it on the front page of any newspaper is an opportunity, not a threat

General two: Why do we care what the Daily Mail thinks?

Recognising, though, that organisations make decisions based on reputation and risk more often than not, here’s a suggestion: what we should do is not sit and make decisions based on a hypothetical possibility of some press coverage that might come to pass. Instead we should proactively capture and share stories, success and progress and how these things make a positive difference to people’s lives.


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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