How to Discover Your Listeners

Panel discussion at Eastern Radio Workshop.

By Various authors. 

W. A. FAGAL (chairman): How shall we approach the listening audience? What meth­ods shall we use for promotion Shall we iden­tify ourselves, and how shall we do it? What procedure do you follow in regard to offerings? How do you support your program financially? How can we get people to listen who have never listened before?

FENTON FROOM: I use a newssheet. which includes my radio sermonet, and send Present Truth. We invite people to listen by calling them on the telephone. We also have a picture of our radio group on a postcard, which we send out. We recently addressed six thousand of these to names in the telephone book.

I believe we should capitalize on the fact that Seventh-day Adventists are becoming in­creasingly well known. My program is spon­sored by the Society of Missionary Men and is called "The Adventist Hour." If there is prej­udice, break it down.

I send out a thank-you letter for every gift received, using a form letter for those who give a dollar, and writing a personal letter to those who give five dollars or more.

G. S. RAPP: My mail increased threefold when the program was announced as Seventh-day Adventist. I identify myself as pastor of the local S.D.A. church.

Keep before the people that you believe the Bible. Emphasize the fact that we believe peo­ple should begin to read it more and should purchase a Bible if they do not have one in the house. I send Signs of the Times for a year, then bring the 20th Century Bible Course to their attention.

Ten thousand blotters advertising my pro­gram were given to the Missionary Men to circulate. I announce the topic of the next radio talk in the church bulletin, so that members can tell their friends.

E. F. KOCH: In some sections there is prejudice against the name of Seventh-day Adventists. In places where identity can be announced, I believe it should be done. How­ever, in places where there is already prejudice a preacher cannot announce his identity but must first break down prejudice. I recently of­fered the picture by Harry Anderson What Happened to Your Hand? I advertised it three weeks, and had more than six hundred replies. I use newspaper ads, and publicize my radio program in my evangelism announcements. Also the colporteurs leave business-reply cards.

I find December a good month for offerings. I send out Morning Watch Calendars to those who give.

R. A. TYSON: Jesus sometimes told who He was; other times He asked the question, "Whom think ye I am?" We must make out decision according to the circumstances. I have offered a poem, a book for, the month, a Morn­ing Watch Calendar, a Bible course, and my sermons to get listeners' names, and have writ­ten letters ; but the most response has come from the Bible quiz. I have the people answer five simple questions. They will answer five questions as readily as three.

H. L. YATES: Regardless of the unpopu­larity of polls since election I go from door to door, saying, "I am one of these poll takers. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions ? I represent a radio commission in Washington, and they want to know what you listen to and what you want to hear. Do you ever listen to religious programs? Do you ever listen to___________  [local program"? Do you ever send for free offers ?" In this way we find the people who are interested in taking the Bible course. Laymen can be utilized in this program. We can usually sign up eight people an hour for a Bible course.

We get offerings to support the program from our church members.

W. N. WITTENBERG: Spot announce­ments are valuable. A local florist was willing to give a five-dollar basket of flowers, and this increased mail from our listeners. Individuals write in about sick people, and the best letter gets a basket for that person. A whole ward of miners in one hospital listened because one of the number received a basket.

W. A. FAGAL: Our program in New York City, "The Bible Auditorium," was a faith venture. We advertise in the newspaper and in­clude a short ad in the evangelistic announce­ment. We also put our radio program in the newspaper. When newspaper advertising and announcement over radio are both used, more response comes from radio advertising. We also use the telephone method.

As to offerings, we try to give something worthwhile in each broadcast. If the people feel that the program itself is worthwhile, they will give. First get the name, then send book and letter, also newssheet containinc,6 pic­tures and inspirational reading matter. Aver­age size of our gifts is $2.40. One man sends $50 a week. At Christmas time we told folks we were within $700 of closing the books out of the red, and the Christmas offering was $2,400.


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By Various authors. 

August 1949

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