Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No credibility? Borrow someone else's.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a brief appearance on a Radio 4 programme called Word of Mouth, talking about persuasive communication. The following day, my book's Amazon sales rating soared to 371 (up from 870,000 just a few weeks ago).

Why am I telling you this? Partly, I admit, because I'm hoping you'll be impressed by my brief brush with best-sellerdom. (Very brief: I see I'm back down to 23,741 today.) But mostly because I think this story illustrates an interesting point about credibility.

With no false modesty at all, my performance in the interview wasn't particularly brilliant; and, of course, for radio listeners, my name means nothing at all. But the fact that the BBC had invited me to take part in the programme gave my book an endorsement that persuaded quite a few listeners to log on and order a copy.

Sometimes, what you say matters less than where you say it.


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