Fundraising Forum: DRTV
Margaret: What would be a “good” answer to why they want to do it? What would be a “bad” answer?
Erika: A bad answer would be, “I want to be seen on TV” with no back end in place to retain and cultivate the donors.
Kevin: Are they doing it to increase awareness? If so, don’t try to make DRTV require a specific response. Are they looking to raise money, increase advocacy, generate volunteers? All of those are reasonable responses but require different measurement and quantification of success. Erika’s right — “I want to be on TV” is not a good reason.
Margaret: What about planning time for a DRTV campaign? If I want to have, say, a 30-minute spot on air in January 2009, is it too late to start thinking about it now?
Erika: Depends on your content and who you would like to participate in your new spot.
Kevin: Depending upon the organization, no, not too late. Much of it depends on how many approvals are required, whether creative is available, etc.
Margaret: Is there a safe, general time frame you can suggest to an org wondering just how long this is going to take?
Mary: For short-form, planning can be as short as three months for a full-up film shoot, or as short as four weeks if pulling from existing footage.
Kevin: If you’re starting from scratch, it will take several months to gather footage, edit and get on air.
Erika: For our hour show, we tend to follow [patients’] families for 18 to 24 months to get their stories.
Kevin: And in some cases, clients must travel to Africa or Asia to gather stories
Margaret: So it really is a wide range. I have one more question, and then I’ll ask you each to conclude with any closing thoughts you might want to share. If you have raging success with a short-form spot, does it naturally follow that you’ll have even more success with a longer format? Is short-form a valid test for longer form?