In part one I unwrapped some ideas
on setting the stage to tell your stations story. But when it comes
to delivering that message, the approach is everything.
Embrace Your Listeners Opinion
As soon as the pledge drive dates
are announced the first step for many of us production-types is to
jump to a list of pieces we know we'll need: imaging liners, liner
copy, listener stories, etc. But it's not the written elements
that will help you meet your goal; it is tapping into the listeners
motivation to give.
And to do that we need to
understand who they are and what they really think of us.
Do you have a bio for your
target listener? Have
you given her a name, an age, a family, a job, a church? Where does
she spend her free time? What TV shows does she watch? The more
specific you can be about your target listener the more effective
your copy will be. And the result is a listener driving down the
road thinking, "I swear they're talking just to me" because you are.
Now that you know more about
your listener, what does she think about you?
Make a list of the most often used
words or phrases that your listeners use when talking about you.
They are the buzzwords chosen for you. (Wasn't it nice for them to
do that for you?) If these words are not the keywords you're
pushing in your station copywriting, they should be.
When you use the buzzwords your
audience already embraces you are saying, "We agree that we're your
families favorite station", and can then move straight to "Now
wouldn't you agree you want to support that?"
Make It Real and Approachable
At it's beginning, reality TV's
appeal was….reality. People long to connect to something real. And
when they hear honest, transparent copy they are drawn to respond.
You couldn't keep 'em away with a ten foot pole spanning two
skyscraper roofs with the added windstorm of a helicopter camera
crew if you tried.
Speaking to your target listener
instead of the masses is a great way to break away from anything
that approaches a sales pitch.
Favoring phrases like "…That's the difference knowing God can
make. And that's why we're here…" over "Christian radio; Inspiring
you to believe 24 hours a day…" opens up your message to people at
any point in their walk with God. (see how I used that Christianese
just for you?)
Another way to avoid begging or
selling in donation copy is to paint still life pictures with your
Set a scene.
(kitchen dishes clattering, kids
in the background)
Address a problem
in a way that includes honest,
believable emotion. (…mom sharing to a friend…"don't get me
wrong, I love being with them but sometimes…it's just…lonely.")
Explain your solution.
(anncr: …"That's why we're here. To remind you of just how much
you're loved"…..song about never being alone….)
Ask for an investment
in the value you bring. (…and your monthly support helps us pass
it along….call letters/phone number/tag)
Harness the Power of Listener
Having a title for your campaign, a
concise list of buzzwords and concrete idea of the story you want
people to literally buy into enables you to writing around listener
calls much more easily.
In addition to the traditional
listener call tags, write up some lead in's and out's that match the
buzzwords you know people will use. When listeners use them, have
their calls catalogued in folders for quick and simple production.
For instance, if one of the things
people tend to say is "you encourage me", consider something like
In: Why are we
here? To make your day a little bit better. (to remind you of
Gods love, etc.)
(listener story of
encouragement from station)
Out: Have we encouraged
you? Call 800-555-GIVE to share your story and keep the
encouragement coming. WBBB - Together we can make a difference.
Presetting these 'mini-themes' will
not only make your message more effective. It will also make
writing simpler and production more streamlined. And who couldn't
use that during a pledge drive.
Next time we'll take a peak at a
few ways to button up your pledge writing campaigns for maximum
Kim Snyder has
written. produced and voiced extensive pledge drive copy for the
K-LOVE and Air1 Radio Networks, and donation appeals for Samaritan
Purse, World Vision and many other donation based ministries.
Formally heard on the Air1 and KLOVE Radio Network's at EMF
Broadcasting, she has written, produced and voiced thousands of
pieces for nearly 500 stations and major network clients. Her voice
talent credits include Sprint, Hallmark, the NFL, Christian Dior and
Media, provides imaging, tracking, voiceovers and
production services for radio and multimedia.