by Linda Kay Quintana
There’s just nothing like going outside of your normal work environment and going under fire for a few hours doing something that you know almost nothing about to make you feel you suddenly dropped a whole lot of IQ points.
This was how I felt as I joined eleven other East-West Center students and staff when we volunteered for a shift of the on-air pledge drive for our local public radio, Hawaii Public Radio (HPR).
After a brief orientation, the volunteers all sit down in the station’s makeshift call center in front of a row of big, old-school, putty-colored phones. We each get a packet of information and a script, a big stack of forms and a pen, and then they open up the phone lines and invite listeners to call in.
It’s quite unnerving, really.
HPR is listener-supported, which means that financial contributions from listeners are their primary source of funding. These on-air pledge drives depend upon volunteers to come in and take the calls. I am proud to report that in the three hours we were on the phones, they got almost fifty new members.
HPR brings not only national and international news, music, and culture programs to Hawaii, but also locally produced programs as well. The East-West Center has a longstanding relationship with HPR – with staff and students volunteering for pledge drives, of course, but also HPR news programs utilizing our staff experts and covering EWC activities. HPR news staff members have also participated regularly in EWC programs.
What do you think? Would you like to hear more about the Center on the station you listen to?
Linda Kay Quintana is the senior editor in the Publications Office at EWC. This was her second opportunity to participate in the HPR on-air pledge drive.