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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Reasons to be cheerful. Number 3.

Welcome, especially if you’re new here. I’m currently posting a series of short daily pieces about the fundamental strengths of radio. Qualities as powerful and relevant in today’s multiplatform environment as ever they were. You may have noticed that few of these thoughts are particularly insightful! Doing insight requires a better brain than mine and it’s not really the point. Instead, these posts are back-to-basics reminders of radio’s intrinsic characteristics. I believe they’re points worth remembering and hope that by thinking about them you too feel good about radio. Orson Welles

Pictures of the mind.

The pictures are better on the radio. It’s the first thing you’re taught at radio school, other than not to commit libel, pour Coca-Cola down the mixing desk or play “swearing radio hangman for the under 12s” more than once per career. The lesson about pictures of the mind is often illustrated by the 1938 Orson Welles War of the Worlds story. Given the age of this episode, and the more recent rise in less obviously dramatised forms of radio, it’s easy to think that pictures of the mind only applied in ages past. Not so. Whether your preferences are for Allan Little, or Adam and Joe, today’s radio’s storytellers involve you and let you generate your own pictures. John Humphrys persistently challenges Gordon Brown and you can picture the frustration on their faces. Heart runs The Time Tunnel and songs you haven’t heard in years suddenly bring vivid memories back. Every kind of radio has the ability to catalyse pictures in your imagination. Pictures of the mind are your unique and personal involvements with radio. When you do some of the work you’re rewarded with a connection. Of all electronic media, radio has always done that best.

Link: Denis Nowlan, the network manager of BBC Radio 4, on radio’s pictures of the mind.

Tomorrow (or possibly the next day): Cheapness.

Charcoal picture of Orson Welles by Patrick Charles. Used under licence.