A Reminder in Disguise

I support public radio. That is to say, I listen to it, but in my tax bracket find it hard to give anything back. Whenever my local NPR station is pledge-driving, it irks me to listen to them repeat the same lines over and over:

  • “This station is funded by you, the listener”
  • “This is just an example of some of the quality programming on this fine station”
  • “For a pledge of $x, you will receive a complementary y”
  • “Supporting community radio is supporting the community”

And the list goes on. The uncanny familiarity comes from research in the area of effective pledging, and NPR stations are proof that the techniques work. But WBUR here in Boston is using a new tactic: piggyback on a popular holiday.

Every time they come on the air to distract you from your intent radio listening, the preface their practiced pledge-jargon with “This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and what better than to support your mom (and public radio too).” At first I was appalled and the underhandedness.. I mean, taking advantage of helpless mothers? But after an entire weekend of relentless pushing, I see the light: for those of us who can’t pledge, we get free reminders, every hour, on the hour, that Mother’s Day is next Sunday. 6 days until Mother’s Day. Don’t forget your mom, she’d be sad. Thanks WBUR, I won’t this time.

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