Home > engagement, inspiration, storytelling > The best content case study ever – The Archers

The best content case study ever – The Archers

I recently discovered The Archers as I was working on a project that necessitated us to harness the power of stories to educate people.

It’s apparently the most enduring show in the world having started in 1951 and still going strong.

4 million people still tune in every day to listen to it on Radio 4 and 1 million people download the podcast.

That’s some very big numbers for a radio show.

Anyway, what’s even more interesting than the show in itself is the context surrounding its creation that I’ve put in a presentation you can read below.

It was basically created in as a way for the Ministry of Agriculture to educate farmers on new techniques that would help to feed Britain in the after war.

No one was interested in big lectures and government messages at that time. They had to create a story to educate people.

What’s surprising about the story is how the idea of the show came to life as well. It’s a perfect example of ‘creative collaboration‘ so dear to Keith Sawyer.

It’s also a perfect example of planning, communication planning and creativity done by one single man that had experience in the matter.

Godfrey Baseley (BBC Midland programme assistant!) did a lot of research, found some great insights, came up with a proposition, shared it with people to make it better, picked the best media for the job, and used the right ‘creative team’ for the job.

It’s also a wonderful example of resilience and creating your own luck. Farmers didn’t want to hear what he had to say. The BBC didn’t want to run the show. He had to finance the first episodes out of his own regional budget.

Anyway, it’s all in the presentation. I’ve also applied the reason of this success using the Made to Stick ‘SUCCES’ criteria, which you can find at the bottom of this page.




I’ve nicked and edited the story of the Archers from Urma. Hope they don’t mind.

I’ve also nicked too many pictures on the Internet to remember where they come from (google images!).

It’s quite possible I got some things wrong so feel free to let me know!

  1. Rob
    August 1, 2008 at 10:08 am

    More evidence that intelligent creativity is the only legal means left to counter distribution, money, heritage and economy. Great post – thanks for this mate.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: