Newsroom collaborations -KBBF & KRCB- can do more for broadcasters & audiences

LPRC member station KBBF and KRCB in California, received a grant awarded by the The Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Communication.

This is a great example of collaborative news projects which can generate new funding opportunities and high quality content related to the quality of life of our communities.

KBBF & KRCB will produce a series of bilingual TV and radio programs focused on interactive community engagement and news reporting to drive dialogue, exploring health conditions and disparities in the City of Santa Rosa, which recently incorporated Roseland – a largely Latino community.

This project will take on different news and media formats: a public affairs show with call in segments (Informe KBBF), five news stories for the radio, a three-minute report for TV, a community meeting, and online data visualization.

“We have a history of working with KRCB so we are enthusiastic about our continued collaboration with them on this news project. We bring different approaches, talents and resources thus enhancing the success of the project”, explains Alicia Sánchez, KBBF Board President.

Andy Unity Park 2-adj

KRCB and KBBF were both out in the community recently at the opening of a park dedicated to the memory of a young boy shot by police in 2013. Eighteen doves were released on what would have been the young man’s 18th birthday.

Building on their past experiences working together, the LPRC facilitated this collaboration looking to increase opportunities where general market stations partner with our Latino public radio stations to better serve both of their audiences and expand reach.

“This time we’ve set up the project with an emphasis on community engagement,” says KRCB news director Steve Mencher. “For us, this is a chance to serve an audience of Spanish speakers that we don’t ordinarily reach. Our goal is to grow our partnership with KBBF and to make a difference in the health of an underserved Santa Rosa community.”

Congratulations to KBBF and KRCB! We are looking forward to see and hear about this project.

LPRC Board Member selected Visiting Professor at prestigious university in the UK

Federico edited
Dr. Federico Subervi, member and secretary of our LPRC Board of Directors, was selected to be Visiting Leverhulme Professor at the School of Media & Communication at the University of Leeds, UK.

The purpose of the invitation is to conduct academic work and enhance the knowledge and skills of the academic staff or student body.

This is an important distinction. The selection criteria includes academic standing and achievements, as well as the potential contribution by the visiting professor to the receiving institution.

Subervi has been a professor of communication at Kent State University and Texas State University. He earned his doctorate in Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since the early 1980s, he has been conducting research, publishing and teaching on a broad range of issues related to the mass media and ethnic minorities, especially Latinos in the United States. At the LPRC, he has been a driving force behind our efforts to conduct audience research for Latino public radio.

While at the University of Leeds, Subervi’s research will focus on political communication in Puerto Rico, his home country, and also on topics related to media and governance in Latin America.

All of us at the LPRC are happy with his achievement and look forward to learning about his research. ¡Felicitaciones, Federico!

Upon his return at the end of the year, he will continue his full participation and assistance with LPRC projects and goals.

LPRC Board Member Named Digital Media Innovator

LPRC Board Member and founder of NPR’s Next Generation Radio, Doug Mitchell, was named one of 2017 MediaShift Digital Media Innovators.

¡Felicitaciones, Doug! Congrats to Doug!

MediaShift is a digital publication dedicated to media and technology. It launched a new annual feature called the MediaShift20, to recognize top innovators in digital media and other fields, such as education and metrics.

Here’s what MediaShift published:
Doug Mitchell has dedicated his career to supporting aspiring journalists. He founded NPR’s Next Generation Radio program, a week-long program that trains young journalists how to report for radio. His work as a mentor began in 1999 when he watched a group of NPR interns struggling. “I was right there and I’d walk across the hall and say ‘No, no, you do it this way,’” Mitchell said in an interview on the “It’s All Journalism” podcast. “I thought, nobody’s helping them, so maybe I should help them. So, I helped them finish their show that summer of ’99 and I thought, you know what, this is a really good idea. Let me see if I can carry it forward.” A supporter of diversity in media, Mitchell sits on the board of the Latino Public Radio Consortium, is a peer reviewer for the Fulbright Association and consults with the International Women’s Media Foundation.

LPRC Board Member Wins Emmy

Dr. Luis Rosario Albert won a Suncoast Regional Emmy in the category Historical Documentary for “El Coleccionista” about Dr. Jorge Luis Crespo Armáiz and his research on stereoscopic photography in Puerto Rico.

Stereoscopy is a technique to create images with the illusion of depth. It was most popular in the 19th century and well into the 1900s.

The documentary was produced and directed by Dr. Rosario Albert, LPRC Board member and communications professor at Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. Two of his students, Roberto Sylva and Carlos Rivera, were part of the production team.


Sylva, Dr. Rosario Albert and Rivera

It’s encouraging to see Latino productions recognized, especially in noncommercial and educational media.

“It is an honor to receive the award given by a professional organization such as the Emmys. I trust that this will serve as a stimulus to the students of Communications at a time when the documentary genre continues to strengthen in Puerto Rico,” said Rosario Albert.

You can watch “El Coleccionista” here.

Other big winners include productions by the TV unit of LPRC member WIPR. “Mater Atómica” by Guillermo Gómez, “Lorca es Todos” by Caridad Sorongo, and “La Mujer Maravilla Sobre Ruedas” by Yamara Rodríguez and Omar Camilo. Congratulations to all!

The Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a Florida nonprofit corporation devoted to excellence in television. They offer annual Emmy Awards, called The Suncoast Emmy Awards, to the television markets throughout the state of Florida, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and New Orleans, Louisiana, Mobile, Alabama, Thomasville, Georgia and Puerto Rico.

LPRC Member Station KUVO Makes the Local News

KUVO 89.3 FM and Canción Mexicana were featured in a local newscast for keeping the tradition of Hispanic music alive in Colorado for almost three decades. Watch and see what the DJs and musical director have to say. You’ll also see a photo of Flo Hernández-Ramos, one of the LPRC’s founding members.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 3.34


KUVO/KVJZ is an independent community public radio station dedicated to providing distinctive music, news and information programming which reflects the values and cultural diversity of its listener community. Music shows are integrated with NPR news, a local morning program—First Take with Lando and Chavis—and seventeen locally-produced, host-inspired, culturally diverse programs.

KUVO merged with Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver, Colorado adding diverse perspectives to RMPBS and expanding its reach. KUVO/KVJZ is now a subsidiary of Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Colorado that includes Rocky Mountain PBS and its public-service journalism bureau, I-News Network.

Show your donors some love

After a big fundraising campaign, a pledge drive or the end-of-year appeal, hopefully you’re stealing away a few hours of extra sleep. Or you’re curled up in your favorite chair with that book that you’ve been meaning to read for a while. Most likely, however, you are back in the office tying up loose ends. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of cleaning up after a big project. But this is the best time to say thank you and report back, while you still have people’s attention. All is fresh in their memories and they might even be talking about your fundraiser with friends and family.

It helps to have a few things set up in advance. If you’re hosting an event, write the thank you letters to sponsors and donors before the event. They day after the event, all you have to do is update the results and send the letters right away!

Radio stations have an advantage. You can go on the air and say thank you immediately. When you add social media, you get a great combination. Keep in mind that personalized messages (phone calls, handwritten notes, emails, etc.) sent directly to donors are even better.

Here are a 9 tips to help you share the love with your donors:

1. Have a Thanking Policy

Embed from Getty Images
Decide early when, how and who you are going to thank. You could treat high level donors to a dinner with a big personality in your radio station, make calls to mid-level donors and send postcards to those who make smaller but recurring gifts. Having a thank you policy will save you time because you will know ahead what to do with each donor segment. Read more about creating a thanking policy and donor retention.

2. Make Donor Recognition Part of Your Plan

Your fundraising plan for the year (or the campaign) should cover donor recognition and reporting. Choose your follow-up tools (letters, videos, postcards, etc.) and prepare them beforehand. If you can’t do it all at once for the whole year, at least do it for each pledge drive or fundraising event. This will save you time and work, especially in the middle of your campaign when your attention is pulled in different directions. Your donors will be happy because their generosity will be recognized promptly and in a meaningful way.

Some Ideas (click to view examples):

  • Thank-a-thon (this time you call them to say thank you)
  • Hand written notes
  • Video (It can be professionally made or taken with your smartphone.)
  • Voicemail greeting by a station host (like Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!)
  • Interactive annual reports
  • Postcard annual report

3. Make the Donor the Hero

Donors want to know how their gift is making a difference. Your goal is to treat them like the heroes they are. Share a story about a donor whose involvement is remarkable: a donor who offered a matching challenge, the one that in addition to giving money surprised the volunteers and staff with food and sweet treats, the donor who every year volunteers to take calls during the pledge drive, the donor that helped set up a new studio or the one who is your fiercest community advocate. Read How to Treat Your Donors as Heroes by Jeff Brooks (He is one my favorite fundraising bloggers. Add his blog to your reading list!)

4. Say it in their own words

Consider using what other donors are saying, especially on social media. It’s sort of like sharing reviews or testimonies. Ask your donors why they chose to support, listen to their experiences and share them with your audience. The same goes for letting other stakeholders (listeners, producers, staff members and community partners) tell their own story. You can do this as part of the campaign prep or you can share what others say as it happens online.

5. Remember Your Donor Communications Calendar

Reporting back is easier if you already have a donor communications calendar with multiple opportunities to talk to your supporters. Donor communications are key to donor retention. If you had an event to raise funds for equipment, for example, be sure to show donors down the road (and before the next fundraiser) how the equipment is used and how it improved their listening experience.

Some organizations have very complex donor communications calendars. You have to create one that is realistic for you. If you have ten other responsibilities in addition to raising funds, you want to keep the calendar manageable. Mary Foley, a fundraising consultant, taught me the following rule: thank, thank and then ask. This can also be read as: thank, cultivate and ask. She says that for every fundraiser you should plan two actions to express gratitude, build a relationship with supporters and show donors how their gift is making a difference.

6. Get Help and Get All Stakeholders Involved

Ask a board member to host a thank you dinner. If a show has a strong donor following, try a meet-and-greet with the show’s producers and/or host.

I work in a school and we send personalized thank you letters after every donation. Although we don’t have a huge donor base, it can be daunting to write notes for everybody. So I recruit students to help me write personalized notes. I call them the Thank You Brigade. I’ve received replies from donors who can’t believe a real student wrote to them. Sometimes a donor writes back to the student and sends another donation. This is truly a powerful experience for everybody. The donors connect directly to the students they are helping and the students discover that there are people in the community rooting for them.

7. Set the Right Tone and Be Consistent

The best tone is the one that your audience responds to, but a conversational tone usually works best. You have the advantage here. While fundraisers have to train in writing for the ear, that’s just what you do everyday.

People respond well to simple and emotional messages. Be clear, be direct and sound like a real person. Giving makes people feel great. It also makes them healthier and live longer. It’s true. Here’s the research. Your thank you message can have the same joyful effect in the donor.

Don’t forget to make all your donor reporting and follow-up consistent with your campaign. Use the same language, the same imagery and the same emotional triggers.

8. Be Timely

The standard is to acknowledge a donation within two days. This can be done in person, with a quick phone call or just an email. Non profits have a reputation of taking too long to acknowledge a donation. If you are prompt, you will stand out. A thank you policy will come in handy here.

9. Be Nice to Your Database

You’ve decided to make your thank you letters to donors as personalized as possible. Great! Be sure to get the names of donors right! Even if all you have is a spreadsheet, please be nice to your database. I mean: update contact information and preferences, correct the spelling of names and keep up with donors’ giving history and preference. If your database is in good shape, you’ll be able to report back and recognize donors quickly. Always keep in mind the health of your database when planning donor communications and post-campaign thank yous.

What works for you? Share it!