Build Powerful Local Pitches to Raise More Money On-Air

Membership, pledge drive, COVID-19

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Out of adversity comes opportunity. 

Especially now, with most of your listeners stuck close to home, in extremely challenging times – the local reporting, culture and music sharing, and community building that your station has done in recent months holds even greater importance in people’s daily lives. 

Across the nation, at stations large and small, so much gratitude has poured in for the role that stations are playing right now. In most cases, this gratitude has also paid off with strong financial support. 

As the impacts of the coronavirus continue, and as the dramatic election season approaches, fall is the perfect time to make a strong case for your local station and its services in your local market, whether you’re on the ground reporting the news or providing essential music and culture to lift spirits and provide a respite in difficult times.

In a few simple steps you can make sure your whole team is prepped (and excited) to pitch the value of the vital work your station is doing – and will continue to do.

  1. Make a list of the awesome things your station has done. This could include special news reports; informational resources on COVID or the election for example; fascinating interviews; special socially distanced live music presented; any services for kids and families with disrupted school schedules, etc.

    Talk to your reporters, hosts, and social media staffers to hear in their own words what has been most exciting about the content they’ve been sharing. Use that in your scripts. Know which stories or cultural content has gained the most traction and put that at the top of your list.

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  2. Gather up all of the recent love notes from your listeners and supporters. You can use them as fodder to write scripts, and also to be read out loud on the air. There’s nothing better than a listener/member making the case for support to other listeners. 

  3. To keep your writing streamlined, Greater Public members can start with our suite of scripts as a base, and simply add local content into them. Then you’re all set.

A few additional tips:

  1.  If your station has a nice, solid list of things that you’ve done in 2020, in addition to the scripts, it can be helpful to create a one-sheet that lists it out in quick bullet style so that producers and hosts have easy access to all of this work at a glance. It can help keep pitching fresh as you get deeper into the drive.

  2. Often reporters and hosts don’t feel comfortable touting things that they’ve personally done themselves. The best thing to do here is to make sure that everyone else knows who has done the good work. That way, if Jane Jones reported an important story, Jim Smith can talk about Jane’s great work while he’s pitching. It keeps things real and adds a strong element of station pride and teamwork that donors can get behind.

  3. Don’t forget, especially in times like these, member quotes are like gold. They tell your story in ways that you can’t. And they add a level of enthusiasm, energy, and rhythm to your pitching that is difficult to achieve with formal scripts only. 

The world is so uncertain now, and it’s critical that you and your team put your best, most enthusiastic, most hopeful foot forward to encourage the support needed to continue your good work into the future. Happy fall fundraising! 

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