I listen to WBUR/NPR every day on my 50 min drive to/from work. I listen to the BBC World news (and it really is world news) at 9am and to OnPoint with Ashbrook at 7pm. At last, I had found one radio station that I looked forward to listening to and getting quality news in the current day and age where you get everything else from the Internet.
Everything was going so well until WBUR started its fall fund raiser. I am a big fundraising proponent for worthy causes and I consider WBUR to fall very much into such a category. The first time I heard about it, I immediately called them up and donated money. But I started finding out that as days went by, this fund raiser announcements were becoming a nuisance. They have been so frequent that I get to listen to these fund raising pitches more than I get to listen to what I tuned in for. For example, BBC world news used to start at 9am sharp. These days, at 9am, I get to hear the fund raising pitch that the BBC news is now getting delayed.
It has become so annoying that I now think twice before switching to WBUR and even when I do, I immediately switch to another station at the very sound of the fund raising pitch. So has WBUR/NPR overdone it – absolutely yes, if you ask me. With such frequent fund raising requests interrupting the programs their audience want to listen to, WBUR/NPR has forgotten the needs of their audience and instead has become more tuned into their needs. Don’t get me wrong – they need the funds, but so do other radio stations.
What would I recommend WBUR do? – have a smaller pitch – a 20 sec slot every 30 min that points people to a website where they can donate. People like me who really like their service will take the time to contribute. Screaming loudly at your listeners and even to those who have already donated is not going to help. In fact, it may do just the opposite. You are likely to turn them away.
My impressions of wbur has soured a little because of this campaign and I strongly believe they could have executed this a whole lot better with a little more thought.