The potential that radio, as a medium, has as a driving force is yet to be experienced. Yes, we know that it can provide non-stop music, content-driven concepts, game shows and the like, but when it comes to fund raising or creating awareness on a social issue, that’s when radio can be heard well above the rest.
Radio stations in the country haven’t really embraced the idea of fund raising. I’ve spoken to a few (who hold good positions at radio units) on why it wasn’t on their agenda and their reply was that it was too much paper work and, most importantly, what if their target listener didn’t respond—it would throw bad light on the stations’ ability to drive its listeners to contribute towards a cause.
Most of us want to contribute towards a good cause, but finding the time has always been the obstacle. If there was a fundraiser on radio, it makes it easy for the listener to participate as you are involuntarily on a platform where you can help—be it while driving or even at home.
Fund raisers have been a practice in many stations around the world. A radio unit in the UK raised more than a million pounds for children in need. That is what the medium can achieve and, let me also tell you, that if there was an on-air marathon that ran for a week then the amount would increase tenfold.
In India, where radio stations are formatted and want to believe that a particular segment is their target group, the idea of fund raising gets a little complicated. Would the listeners reciprocate, would they contribute, would they even tune in are the questions the station would have to answer if they had to get a charity going on-air.
Radio units shouldn’t fear the feeling of rejection if a fundraiser flops. It is up to them to get back to their drawing boards and re-figure their design. That will make us listeners reach out. See you next week!
— Niladri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.