Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Radiothons - iHeartMedia and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
The iHeartMedia Radiothon program, in which local stations raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, uses local radio stations in their roles as a “community medium” to spread the word about the services and good works done at local hospitals and to drive donations to those institutions. By using on-air personalities who have an enduring relationship with their communities, the Radiothon programs encourage listeners to help local children’s hospitals by making donations.
Local stations stage one to two-day “radiothons” during which they invite doctors, nurses, program directors and others from the hospital for on-air interviews about what they are doing for the community they serve. Children and families who’ve undergone treatment also share their stories. These stories are presented in an upbeat and positive manner, which encourages listeners to stay tuned to get the message that local children’s hospitals can change lives.
Listeners love the idea that their donations stay local, and that fact is emphasized in all of the broadcasting done around the Radiothon. All stations promote Radiothons ahead of time and use focused positive messages to drive donations. In addition, stations also introduce other fundraising elements like online auctions to heighten listener interest. At the same time, iHeartMedia stations package and sell local sponsorships to advertisers around the program.
Millions of dollars in local on-air and online PSAs ran in support of the local Radiothons. Listeners around the country responded to the programs as even small markets raised significant sums for the hospitals. Many advertisers sponsored live interviews, musical montages, donation websites, online ticker boards, and received live and recorded mentions for their participation.
iHeartMedia donated more than $5 million of media airtime to support local programming. These donations were helped by a special, 30-minute holiday public affairs program that aired across all Mainstream Country, Classic Country, Mainstream AC, Hot AC, and NewsTalk stations that featured interviews with recording artists Lady Antebellum, Children’s Miracle Network Hosptials’ CEO John Lauck, and families from local hospitals. The show explored the positive role that Children’s Miracle Network Hosptials plays in the health and well being of millions of local children and families across the country and further solidified the Radiothon messages.
As a result, in 2014, the iHeartMedia stations raised nearly $6.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in addition to the $19.5 million raised in the previous three years.