The Humble Leaflet

In these days of instant communication, internet chat rooms, SMS messages and the domination of discussion by a highly centralised fourth estate, it´s important not to forget the important role the humble leaflet can play. Irrespective about what we think about the corporate world, they know what sells. Come home any night and you letterbox will be stuffed full of leaflets selling this or that wonder product. The corporate world wouldn´t be wasting all that time and money to direct market if it didn´t pay dividends.

In the age of instant communication, we tend to understand the power of the leaflet and the pamphlet. Leaflets can be very effective in localised campaigns. There is no point in ´standing like a shag on a rock´ under a banner, unless you have something to hand out that puts forward your point of view and gives the reasons why you believe embarking on a particular course of action is important. The beauty of putting out a leaflet is that you can place it on your website and other people can download your ideas and use them on the other side of the world. The ´humble´ leaflet gives you the excuse you need to find and chat with somebody face to face who has the same concerns you have. You can talk in as many chat rooms as you like, but unless you have face to face communication, it´s difficult to set up activities to promote your idea.

Leaflets should be relatively simple; they should express ideas in logical, clear language. It´s always a good idea to give a copy of your leaflet to someone who knows nothing about the subject you´ve written about, to see whether it makes sense. There is no point in printing thousands of leaflets if nobody understands what you´re on about. You should also have contact details so people who are interested in the issue you have raised can get in touch with you. A mobile number, a post office box and an email address are relatively anomous contact points. Something´s got under your skin? Want to change the world? Sick of internet chat rooms and talk back radio? Want to contact some real people? Then write a leaflet about what you want to change, get somebody to have a look at it. If it seems up to the job, sort out some contact points and hey presto, before you know it, you´re a part of a mass movement.

From: Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 654 1st August - 7th August 2005.