Iowa Public Radio’s Ransom Demands

“Buy back a day.”

“If we get $60,000 by March 7…”

These are no lines from a corny crime drama. These are the words from the public radio airwaves, prior to a fund-raising marathon.

Despite the cheery inflections of the on-air personalities making these shady offers, I hear desperation. It sounds more like: “We hate doing this. You hate us doing this.  Give us lots of money and hate us less.”

Pledge drives don’t have to sound like hostage-taking scenarios.

Shorten the drive by one day? C’mon! Tell us how much you need to raise TOTAL. Tell us how much it costs to broadcast for a week, even a day. Tell us how many bucks it takes to get the entire drive cancelled.

Total honesty? Pure respect for listener-supporters? Are there any suggestions more radical than those?

Here’s an idea…try looking at your audience as people (even friends!), not demographics or statistics.


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