My college degree in interior design from UW Madison turned out
to be a big help when it came to promotion planning here at The
Family. I'm using a lot of the same skills; how to take a huge
job and break it up into small do-able pieces, tracking
everything, working on a time line, scheduling all the people
and materials, staying in touch with all of the players, and
thanking everyone. I did commercial interior design for 10
years, then miscellaneous part time jobs while our children were
at home, and joined 'The Family' eleven years ago to do event
planning and fund raising.
1. How have your stations evolved recently, becoming The Family
at The Family has been intentional about keeping staff
representatives of all three stations as active participants in
organizational and creative planning and decision making. This
has been good for moral as well as event planning - our major
events are comprehensive (same name, schedule, forms etc.) and
include all three frequencies and territories which cuts down on
the work load and planning for staff. We do things times 3.
2. Has The Family been affected by the economy, affected
has affected our donations and they have dropped some, but I'd
have to say that the economy has affected our listeners more;
there are many people who are personally feeling the squeeze of
unemployment, downsizing, and 'lean' - yet they choose to
continue to support their churches and this radio ministry. It
is very humbling and a huge honor to be the recipient their
sacrifices in Christ's name.
3. What criteria do you require for a promotion to air on your
these four components must be present.
1) Media -
that's us and any television stations or newspapers that we
support - The event must be attractive and worthwhile to
3) A project
or purpose that catches the attention of the community without
compromising our Christ-centered ideals and mission.
- we must have enough staff or volunteers to make it happen. In
order to keep some degree of sanity among our busy-busy staff we
need to be willing to walk away from a project or else figure
out how to adjust it to our limited time and energy.
4. What promotion are you most proud of at The Family?
promotions that I am most proud of are those that have captured
the hearts and imaginations of thousands of people in our
listening areas and enabled us to provide (in Christ's name)
real, hands-on, practical help to people in need or in crisis.
They are what I consider wildly successful because individuals
in paper mills, hospitals, schools, and churches have caught the
spirit of what we're trying to do and then become champions of
the event within their areas of influence. It only takes one
person (well equipped with promotional materials) to make a
passionate plea to their leadership to get involved, and then a
listening ear on the other side to approve the activity.
5a: To say I
am proud of our Help for the Homeless or Christmas Care
campaigns makes me very uncomfortable. Both of these events
have grown to be frighteningly HUGE for this little home town
radio network. My position of coordinating the events gives me a
unique perspective - seriously - it's like standing on top of
hill where I can actually see the entire vista stretched out
before me. God has put hundreds of people in place with just
exactly the skills, the heart, and the connections to make these
happen. It takes my breath away. I won't dare to say I'm proud;
but I'll be the first to say that I am hugely honored to
participate in what God is doing here. This year 800 area
businesses, schools, churches etc. will collect hygiene items
for 52 local crisis agencies and shelters in Central and East
Central Wisconsin. At Christmas, we were able to give 3,400
gifts to 40 area emergency rooms and crisis agencies. Both of
these events are grass roots, everything is donated - we have no
budget for them.
the any ways
Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
for prizes please!
Seriously, we've been very well treated by the Christian Record
labels. Right now we're planning the spots for our 21st annual
Help for the Homeless hygiene drive and we were thrilled to
learn that Fair Trade Services gave us the green light to use a
song from one of their artists to help us promote the event.
Our music director, Todd Christopher, was really impressed by
how quickly Fair Trade Services responded to his request,
answered his questions, and followed up with a sincere attitude
of "What do you need? I want to be of service to you." They
really went out of their way and gave us what we asked for.
This proves to us how important the relationship with a
Christian record label is - it's totally about relationship - it
is the body of Christ in action. (See 5a)
your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing The Family
recognition. We're still a well kept secret - we're
not-for-profit and our budget for billboards and such is quite
limited. Our community events are one more way of getting our
name and logo in front of people.
culture and misunderstanding.
Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group has written a couple of
books "Un-Christian" and "You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are
Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith" that are worth a read. We
try to be sensitive to Mr. Kinnaman's research and find new ways
to reach people with the Gospel who may be prejudiced against
what they think Christian radio is all about.
How do your air personalities touch your listeners on a daily
some wonderful on-air talent here at The Family. Once again,
it's all about relationships and each one of our people have a
sound and personality that is friendly and attractive. People
tune in here to help keep Christ in the midst of their
distractions, busy-ness, joys and challenges. They want to be
reminded of Christ, worship him, learn about him, and be part of
a community of others doing the same. Our on-air personalities
work at being able to relate to listeners and provide what they
Where do you see Heidi Prahl in 5 years?
years? I'd love to see Heidi Prahl watching hundreds of other
communities benefiting from the planning and organization that
she's put into the Help for the Homeless hygiene drive. I've
put together a basic step-by-step 'How To' package for new
communities as they join us and would love to share that with
others. Then I'd like to see Heidi Prahl still doing work she
loves with people she respects where she is able to laugh loudly
without getting into trouble....and fitting nicely into a pair
of size 8 jeans...we can dream right?