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A Tip on Dealing with Change 20 April 2017

You might think, as so many people do, that scowling journalists just don’t care much about the stories they report.

Murders, house fires, a failing school here, a hospital crisis there. But we do care actually, and there was plenty of smiling in the newsroom the other day when Brighton & Hove Albion clinched promotion to the Premier League.

And then, an hour or so later, we got word that Theresa May was about to appear on the steps of 10 Downing Street to make an announcement.

Viewers that evening still saw a lively report from the Amex, but it wasn’t half the feature we’d hoped it would be. The national news was extended, ours was shortened, and the top of the programme entirely rebuilt to reflect the drama in politics rather than on the pitch.

We get used to it. “Pivoting”, I think it’s known as — planning something, ditching something, planning something else, all within a few hours. My trick is to remind myself that the person on the receiving end never knows what they didn’t get. It’s a philosophy that may apply as much to planning a product, a service or an internal report for your boss as it does to a news bulletin. And if it’s delivered with a smile, then so much the better.

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