Updated: Jan 20
If you’re on the fence… and you’re not sure that scripting is the right thing for your station, do this:
Grab a recorded aircheck of a pledge break. Now transcribe it. Write down every word, indicate pauses, and note every sound.
Now read it aloud and ask yourself, “Is this the best your station can do?”
Is it convincing as a fundraiser? Does it represent great marketing and promotion? Is it good radio? Does the break encourage listeners to stay tuned?
Three or four times per year stations dedicate 15 to 20 minutes per hour of prime broadcast time for a week or more to fundraise. And if the drive falls short of goal, we reward our listeners with more pledging! No wonder our listeners hate pledge drives.
If your drives are lacking, you might look to your own station for guidance. What does your station do at other times during the year to adhere to public radio's core values?
All year long your station breaks sound purposeful. Breaks in the middle and at the end of programs are tight. They’re informative and contain pre-determined messages such as news, underwriting and the weather, positioning statements and forward promotes. How do stations let on-air staff know what to say in these breaks? For most of the words hosts rely on the good old-fashioned traffic system.
The procedure is that the hosts don't have to figure out exactly what to say. The words come from the traffic system. Hosts have to figure out how best to deliver them.
Then why not use a traffic system for pledge drives?
Here at PledgeDriver we came up with one. We think it’s pretty darned good and quite flexible.
PledgeDriver is cloud based and can be accessed from any browser on any internet connected desktop, laptop, tablet, iPad, or smartphone. You can plan each break individually and use our rotator and copy-and-paste functions to quickly assemble a week's worth of scripts. With our password-protected Talent Dashboard, you can deliver scripts to your hosts online. You - and your on-air hosts- can quickly edit scripts on the fly. And producers can use our chat feature to keep in touch with talent across the glass.
PledgeDriver may not be the only way to script drives, but we think it is the most powerful and economical.
Pledge drives have been referred to as the “last black hole of public radio programming.” We believe that things can only get better with scripting.
For great advice on building a better pledge drive, take a look at our partner site PledgeLab.com. There you'll find great advice on how to make every word count.
OnAirFundraising LLC, creator of PledgeDriver firstname.lastname@example.org 651.797.2161