The other day I had a very nice chat with a representative from KPLU. They are one of the stations that broadcasts NPR in the Seattle area.
His initial phone call came to me with interesting timing. I have been grappling with this idea of reaching folks with a proclivity for affiliation (or, in more understandable terms – those people who like the idea of belonging to something bigger than themselves).
So I had been grappling with this idea since mid-September and I was at a dinner party. One of the guests mentioned that he loves This American Life.
Now, I have to state, I love NPR. I love the Click and Clack Brothers, I love All Things Considered and I love This American Life. An interesting thing happened when he made that statement. When he said that he loves This American Life, I immediately put him in my mental category of “he is the same as me”. This fellow was of a different age, ethnicity and gender as me, but with those words I classified him as ‘same’ to me. But more interesting, I saw others in the group responding similarly.
You know that feeling that you get when you find a commonality with someone you don’t know well? When you stumble upon something that you both have in common, you are suddenly more at ease. I saw this happen in the room. With those simple words, the group started to gel, the conversation picked up and the night took a turn towards the engaging.
So, being a fan of NPR and seeing how it can bring together like minded people, I was excited for our meeting.
One of the things that the rep showed me was an opportunity to sponsor a high school band project. KPLU is working with local jazz greats to record various high school bands playing various jazz hits.
High school band…. I remember how the band was when I was in high school. Now there is a group that bonded. I remember I wanted to be in band, but my 6th grade music teacher told me my upper lip was too skinny to play the flute and that I should really lean towards the tuba. I decided the tuba wasn’t for me. My mom told me at the time that she probably already had too many girls trying out for the flute and was just trying to fill an open tuba spot and that my lips are just fine. That is what I chose to believe in those awkward years. But my upper lip IS really thin. That’s OK. I joined FBLA instead and all worked out. Ooops, sorry for the totally irrelevant transgression.
Back to sponsoring high school bands through KPLU. This seems like such a great idea to me. As Chief Marketing Officer for Verity Credit Union, my objectives are this:
1.become involved in the communities surrounding our branches 2.communicate with teens that credit unions (ours in particular) are the best financial alternative for them 3.encourage more people to use our credit union to sustain our financial health and well-being.
It also feels right. I mean, I can’t get over the fact that Seattle is one of the most educated cities in the country and one of the most affluent, yet we are closing grade schools left and right. I don’t know a lot about high school programs yet, but it seems to me, if the schools are struggling financially, the extracurricular activities really have to be hurting. This seems like a sponsorship that could do a lot of good locally and reach an audience that would be interested in joining our credit union.