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Bits and Pieces

Behind the scenes at a GPB Radio fund drive

October 10, 2012 12:17pm (EDT)
GPB Radio control room in the thick of a drive.  Left to right: Pat Marcus, Eric Nauert, Sarah Zaslaw.
GPB Radio control room in the thick of a drive. Left to right: Pat Marcus, Eric Nauert, Sarah Zaslaw.

October! GPB’s fall on-air fundraising campaign! Pledge drive! Busy! No time to blog in complete sentences, let alone well-sculpted paragraphs! Rest of life on pause!

Contrast, if you will:

Five minutes in the studio during a normal day of Midday Music: Enjoy the final movement of a nice long piece. Ahhh. Sit quietly alone in the dim light. Peruse information online. Back-announce (or "outro") that piece. Mention what’s coming up later. Play a promotional spot. Introduce a new piece. Write a careful email. Think a deep thought. Hum along. La la la.

Five minutes behind the scenes during a fund drive: Lights! Microphones! Action! Papers! People! Say this! Don’t say that! Say this some more! Keep an eye on the clock! Interact naturally with pitch partner! Remind listeners how much they luuuuuv the music we bring them everyday! Sound relaxed! Give the web address and phone number! Mention something they just heard! Suggest the installment plan! Describe a thank-you gift! Update the goal! Stay focused! Remind listeners that we really and truly rely on them to help cover the costs of the programs they value! Mention secure website, gpb.org! Forward promote what’s coming up next! Thank the phone volunteers! (Grab a bite of sandwich! Food in, words out! Chew faster! Swallow before opening microphone!) Thank the caterer! Explain how public radio works! Connect emotionally! Update the goal! 800-222-4788! Assure them it only takes a couple of minutes! Sound articulate! Sound upbeat! Sound urgent! Sound personal! Don’t nag! Read this! Read that! Segue seamlessly to the other! Concentrate! Hit the right buttons on the right machines at the right times! Sarah, don’t talk too fast!

. . . Pant, puff. It’s both exhilarating and exhausting. After five hours, I’m spent.

And then the day’s off-air work begins.

But we do what it takes, for as many days as it takes, until with your generous help the job gets done. In truth it's not quite as frenetic as all those exclamation points suggest; forgive me a little bloggistic license. But we really and truly do rely on you to help cover the costs of the programs you value. Please do your part right now to assist us in reaching our goal by contributing online, efficiently and securely, at gpb.org. Thank you for listening, and from those of us behind the scenes, thank you for supporting GPB.

All volunteers receive training, free parking and a catered meal provided by Carole Parks Catering.

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