Okay, so this isn’t PR and comms exactly…
But a special case for the BBC Brexitcast podcast needs to be made in the theme of looking to communicate with a human voice.
The idea is simple. BBC journalists put together an occasional podcast to summarise what is happening with Brexit and give intelligent informal analysis.
What you get are BBC journalists you may see for 45-seconds on the BBC News at Ten given space to breathe and to kick around ideas. Free from the shackles, they’re also allowed to behave like human beings. So, their frustrations fatigue and nail colour also form part of it.
It is 10 per cent Newsnight, 25 per cent humour, 10 per cent tiredness, 40 per cent insight and 5 per cent speculation about the significance of the colour of Laura Keunssberg’s coat (baseless as it turns out).
Fascinatingly, the informal approach also rubs off on occasional guests such as this MP who talks about his Brexit coping strategy:
“How long do you spend in your hole?”
MP Andrew Percy tells us about his special hiding place in Parliament.
— BBC Sounds (@BBCSounds) April 6, 2019
The podcast itself gets published late at night and is my way to get up to speed on shifting developments. As a former journo, I get that the most interesting stuff often doesn’t make the news story and Brexitcast gives some degree of flavour.
But what’s also fascinating is that downloads of the podcast on the itunes chart may give future historians an insight into how bothered people were about Brexit itself:
Pic: itunes chart, April 2019
At a time when MPs are being threatened in the streets and dodgy money is funding Facebook attack ads this is a wonderful reminder that at heart we are still British. We have a sense of humour, intelligence and tolerance. And the BBC are finding ways to be as relevant in the 21st century as Robin Day’s bow tie was when I was a kid.