Early on in our business relationship, there was some sort of tragedy like a tornado. His promo person, to her credit, had a “send a check to the Red Cross” PSA on the air within minutes.
Rick, handled it deftly. He explained to her that a small percentage of the cash would ever actually make it to the people who needed it and besides, “It’s just not tangible”.
She asked what he meant and he said, “So, when you send your check to the Greater Tri-County Emergency Food Shelf Relief Fund this Thanksgiving, where does the money go?”She said she had no idea.
“That’s right. It’s not tangible. You want to do something that has a beginning, a middle and an end” and that’s what they did. They collected supplies, they drove them 500 miles, they dropped them off. It was tangible. I could drop off a case of water and 72 hours later hear Rick’s morning guy handing it to someone whose neighborhood was without water and power.
It was tangible. It was physical. It was something you could touch and TV could film.
The Boxx in Houston did arguably one of the best Thanksgiving food drives ever. They did a traditional solicit BUT they then bagged the bounty and the airstaff personally delivered groceries to listeners who they’d been tipped to on the stations’ Hunger Hotline. I could drop off some green beans and know that four days later it was being delivered to a fellow listener’s door.
The best charity drives and “reactions to disasters” have events, and people, and a story line and you can see the result of your helping out.
KS95 in Minneapolis and 95.7 Jamz in Birmingham have both mobilized listeners to help cleanup communities and neighborhoods hit by storms. That’s tangible, and honestly, any time you can activate the audience to do more than text a code, that’s huge and powerful.
So when you need to help out, will it be tangible?