I was a guest on Michael Rosen’s programme, Word of Mouth, on BBC Radio 4 last week, chatting with Michael and Dr Laura Wright for half an hour about jargon, the art of PR and how NOT to do it.  Most of my soapbox subjects rolled into one.

At the end Michael asked how I would go about promoting their programme.  Nothing like being put on the spot.

I said I thought it might make sense to run an experiment, involving the listeners, encouraging them to tell their friends about the show, using word of mouth or ‘word of mouse’ – and measuring the outcome.

Word of mouth and mouse are now central to the sharing of idea, which is sort of a return to origins of storytelling and story sharing.

Think of songlines and the oral tradition.  The means of sharing has advanced to the extent that the means no longer matters.  It is far more important to have something interesting to say than it is to worry about how it gets around.  Before we wrote things down, the things that carried were the things that resonated. Words became smooth stones.  How true that is today.  It’s what you have to say that matters. Not how you say it.  The travelling of the message is in the hands of others.

This post is my contribution (aside from flagrant self-promotion on Twitter) to that experiment.

Have a listen (here’s a link).  No bricks through the window so far.  I hope you enjoy it – oh and do feel free to share this post.

PS: I love Michael Rosen’s poems and books.  My favourite poem is Keith’s Cupboard, about a boy who has the best toys but keeps them stashed in his cupboard and is reluctant to share. It’s in a book called Don’t Put Mustard in the Custard, which you can buy here.  Or try and find the audio version read by Michael.  He does a great Keith.

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