Using What You Have in Your Hands — The Good Morning Angels Story

This post has been adapted from a presentation given by Dianne Broodryk, Jacaranda FM radio personality, at Nation Builder’s In Good Company conference on 15 August 2019.

Diane Broodryk has been with Jacaranda FM Radio for 20 years as a news editor and presenter but also as custodian of the community feature Good Morning Angels, since its inception in 2005. She is often asked when she started the programme, but says she was not the one who came up with the idea. It originated for the station to keep up with a competitor. She merely agreed to take it on when the station restructured the breakfast programme.  Jacaranda coverage extends from Gauteng, through Mpumalanga into parts of Zimbabwe so they have a great number of listeners and also businesses who pay for advertising on air.

Good Morning Angels began with an e-mail address and a mention of its purpose on air. People responded by submitting stories. Radio is all about telling stories and reflecting society back at itself, a little like artists do. It is one way of showing what is wrong with the country but can also encourage listeners to change their outlook on life and try to do good. Stories poured in and Broodryk would receive a weekly prep sheet detailing the recipient for the week, who sent in the request, the name of the sponsor and what was being donated. The slot was pre-recorded and played on the air each Wednesday morning. The art and the talent of radio came together in Good Morning Angels and the wonderful response it received was beyond their expectations. Wonderful, real-life stories were streaming in, 100 to 200 per day, and the best part was that the station had the opportunity to be part of the solution.

“There are so many people in our country who need help and some form of assistance,” Broodryk said, and praised the IGC conference for what it achieves. “It does not matter what you have or who you are; with what you have you can make a difference,” she said. She worked towards growing the programme and making CSI a part of their business, while inviting sponsors to join Jacaranda on their journey. “The currency is one of goodwill, with which we are all born, but which we must choose to use, or not. Radio revolves around ratings and revenue. You must attract the most listeners to make the most money. The idea that goodwill could bring advertisers better publicity than a campaign on the radio was a hard concept to sell. Business folk say you should follow your head but it is when your heart and emotions become involved that you achieve great things.”

Broodryk related the story of a 49-year-old man by the name of Patrick lives in Dobsonville. He is a lung cancer survivor, is HIV+ and suffers from TB. As a teenager, he nursed his parents until they died and is now the local self-appointed Hospice with 12 adults and six children sharing his accommodation. He nurses and cares for them while helping others as well, but he has no job, no income and relies on God to provide for them all. Good Morning Angels told his story and mentioned his needs list. A furniture company responded by donating all he asked for. The handover was live-streamed on Facebook and a follow-up advertising campaign brought in a flood of messages from customers who congratulated the company on their deed. “With this outreach the engagement and reach spiked on our website and all our social media platforms,” relates Broodryk. This emotional connection to the brand cannot be replicated in an ordinary marketing campaign.

Another touching story involved international popstar Ed Sheeran. Good Morning Angels asked him to meet a young girl with an incurable, degenerative neurological disease after one of his concerts. He agreed and spent some time with the girl, making her dream a reality.  It is stories like this that make listeners cry, but touch their hearts too. “On the radio, you speak to your audience one-on-one and the announcer can colour the story as he or she wishes. “

For Mandela Day. Good Morning Angels appealed for donations to enable ten heart-repair operations for some of the 11,000 children born with defective hearts in South Africa each year. It takes about R40,000 to fix a heart through the Boikanyo Fund so their goal was R400,000. At the end of the day, they had raised the funds to carry out 40 heart-repair operations. “It has to make you feel good,” Broodryk enthused. She said she had not worked with any company that did not come back repeatedly since the quality of goodwill they achieve in this type of giving far exceeds any other form of an advertising campaign. Good Morning Angels will gladly accept any CSI donations. “You can be an Angel too,” she concluded.
Dianne Broodryk is the CSI Specialist at Jacaranda FM (Good Morning Angels)
And has been with Jacaranda FM for 20 years, 18 of which as newscast editor and news presenter. She is the custodian of Good Morning Angels, a regular community feature on Jacaranda FM Breakfast since 2005. Before that she was a radio news journalist at various SABC offices and divisions for five years (covering events like the 1994 elections and Truth and Reconciliation Commission) and spent another two years at SABC TV news as evening news bulletin writer and Afrikaans evening news reader.