DRTV are more than good television

Anyone who has ever watched much American television knows how damaging it can be, to the brain, to the soul, who knows what else.

Television also offers a powerful means of reaching many people, for a good cause. People will respond to a message that aims for the best in them.

Randall Anderson, chief operating officer at Listen Up EspaƱol, argues that direct response TV (DRTV) campaigns can pay off very well, but they are not just going to happen by themselves. There must be co-ordination among departments, service providers, volunteers and staff.

Anderson lists the vital elements of a DRTV campaign:

Message. Make sure the message is ready. The story should be simple and aimed at calling viewers to action. Emotional engagement is very effective for a TV audience.

Media. With paid media the nonprofit has certainty of times and length. This allows the team to be prepared to take calls.

Social media. Co-ordination of posts that include calls to action and inclusion of hashtags in the video will help engage potential donors who are not quite ready to call and donate.

Donor experience. Make sure all is in place for donors to have a pleasant experience.

Privacy and security. Make sure agents who take calls are trained not only in cause details but also in privacy and security.

Call center agents. Remember that to the caller, the person answering the phone is the organization. Visit the call center in person.