Spring is in the air - robins are hopping about the driveway, the grass is greening with the March rains, and NPR is making its listeners suffer through another pledge drive. For those of you who listen to NPR, the irksome nature of the pledge drive needs no introduction. For the rest of you, a quick overview - NPR reporters regularly interrupt programming to give a repetitive reminder the current program is only possible because of donations.
Okay - I understand the need for donations and believe in the mission of NPR. No problem. But I find one of their marketing strategies odd. They remind their listeners frequently and explicitly that they will stop asking for money and get back to regularly scheduled programming as soon as they reach their funding goals. This hostage marketing strategy reminds me of the time I was drinking cremoladas at a sidewalk cafe in downtown Pucallpa and our table was serenaded by two untalented musicians. They sang until my friend tipped them then they promptly left. "It's Pucallpa marketing," she explained, "You pay them not to sing."