Underwriting

Those Beloved Underwriting Rules…

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 There was a song in the early 80’s with the line “it goes on and on and on and on….” The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recently levied fines for an underwriting announcement that seemed to go ‘on and on and on’ about a roofing company. It stated that they offered “Custom metal roofing, siding, hardware, trim, insulation, trusses and perma felt paper”.

 
Same for a gardening center mentioning they provide “bulk and bag mulch, peat moss, potting soil, bulk top soil, and decorative borders…pick-up and delivery”. They do offer all those services, that’s a fact, but the FCC said, “excessively detailed menus of multiple product/service offerings by underwriters exceed the type of information that would enable listeners to identify supporters of non-commercial programming”.
 
You can mention multiple non-promotional products and services, just don’t go on and on and on and on….about them.
 
Although the Federal Communication Commission didn’t say how many was too much, we would suggest no more than three. If you have more than three, you might consider:
 
• Rotating acknowledgement featuring different items.
• Using a female voice that might deal with more female items
• Using a male voice that might deal more with the “bulk mulch and “decorative borders, potting soil and bag mulch”, top soil, lawn mowers”.
 
Now I could go on and on and on and on…but you can find out more here. Click Here
 

Randy Pierce
Director of Underwriting
Positive Alternative Radio

 

 

 

WHAT IS UNDERWRITING?

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Every day, our underwriting directors present PAR’s ministry, mission and vision while building relationships in our community; securing and accepting donations from like-minded businesses and leaders who enjoy and desire Christian radio in their communities. We are here to serve, create, deliver and help fund experiences that inspire our listeners to live passionately for Jesus Christ. We do not sell radio. We do not sell advertising. We do not necessarily have rate sheets.

In return, the Federal Communication Commission, (FCC) allows non-profit broadcasters to thank those businesses on the air in the form of Underwriting Messages. It really is that simple.

We identify the business donor. “Positive Alternative Radio would like to thank ABC Office Supply, 123 Main Street in Hometown USA…

Sometimes we add “…for their support”, “…for their donation”, “…for standing in partnership with WXYZ”. These are ‘added words’. Shorter is always better. Again, we are not selling advertising so we do not have to necessarily develop a full thirty second announcement. Granted, there are those ‘network blocks’ that are time sensitive but that’s more the exception than the norm. We are not selling radio and crafting some creative radio announcement, but forming a Thank You message for the donor businesses.

We can mention non-descript, value neutral services offered to the general public, along with hours of operation, website address and phone numbers; things that are factual and could be helpful for our listeners.

The outline is clearly stated and summarized in the conclusion, point 21.  Click Here to see PDF.

Randy Pierce

Director of Business Development