*Photograph: John Mangan
The Clare Echo caused quite a stir online following the conclusion of the US Presidential Election on November 7th.
An article by Head of News and Sport, Páraic McMahon referred to Donald Trump as a West Clare hotelier and detailed Biden’s victory plus the links of both men to the Emerald Isle while adding local reaction to the result.
It wasn’t long before Páraic’s headline was making headlines of its own, both nationally and internationally. The post received over 630,000 impressions altogether, accruing 9,000 likes and 3,000 retweets.
A number of prominent media and news outlets picked up on the ingenuity of a local angle on perhaps the most prevalent international issue. On the headline, The Sunday World said it had “won the internet.” Similar sentiments were expressed by Lovin.ie who said the Echo had “earned themselves a gold star.” Irish News and The Irish Mirror also picked up on the piece, lauding the creativity employed by McMahon.
Media coverage even extended beyond the border, with The Guardian in the UK picking up on the headline and adding to the running joke that, “There was speculation the outgoing president might hunker down in Doonbeg to lick his wounds.”
Individuals of all shape, size and stature joined in on the fun, with the likes of Obama’s chief speech writer, Cody Keenan, actor Chris O’Dowd, the Rubberbandits and Jim Sheridan all pitching their own views on the headline.
A number of prominent journalists also joined in on the fun. Peter Vandermeersch said, “how to bring world news to a local level! The Clare Echo is mastering this art!” Newstalk presenter Sinead Ryan pegged that, “all politics is local” and Senior Editor of Time magazine Alex Fitzpatrick also shared The Clare Echo’s post, entreating the headline as the best of the day worldwide.
Summing up the whirlwind of media attention, Páraic puts a few words on his own reaction to the media attention on Twitter, “It’s been great to put a few smiles on faces all over the world. The headline has certainly been a conversation starter and one we are very proud of”.