by David Sparks / KPR Volunteer
If you’re a business owner in the Kansas Public Radio listening area and you haven’t met Jake Jacobson yet, our new underwriting sales representative, he wants to meet you! He’s been out on the road getting acquainted with his new job, but took a few minutes to respond to an email we sent to get to know him better.
KPR: Describe Jake Jacobson in 30 words or less.
JJ: Dedicated family man with a passion for the outdoors. I very much enjoy weekends barefoot in my garden or camping and hiking. I’m also an avid “people watcher” and an amateur carpenter.
KPR: Tell us about your job at KPR. What does an Underwriting Sales Representative do, and why is it important to the success of Kansas Public Radio?
JJ: You know we try to be very intentional in our programming at KPR. Our desire each day is to inform, educate, and enhance the lives of our listeners. As a result of that mission, we have a very dedicated and loyal audience. Our programming draws those listeners that tend to be more driven to learn more, to earn more, to spend more and to be more involved in their communities, as compared to commercial radio.
What I do is allow businesses and organizations to show our listeners that they too believe our mission is important. I work with highly respected businesses and organizations that financially partner with us so we can continue providing the high caliber programming to which our listeners have become accustomed. In return for this financial support, we share our underwriters’ information so our listeners know which groups support the programs they rely on. Businesses enjoy an enhanced image and reputation with our 110,000-plus highly sought after listeners each week. Statistics show that our listeners reward those businesses with their patronage.
As federal, state and local funding pressures continue to grow for quality programming like we provide on KPR, the corporate and organizational partnerships that I develop become more and more important to our future at KPR. Sponsorships and underwriting that I am responsible for account for a large and growing portion of our funding. It is vitally important for KPR and our listeners that I secure long-term underwriting support.
KPR: What do you tell people you come in contact with about KPR?
JJ: When I get to talk to small businesses, corporations and entertainment organizations, I love to share with them our “why” — why we do what we do at KPR. We are all passionate about our individual roles at KPR because we see that the sum of our efforts is something greater than the individual parts. Public broadcasting serves more than half the nation each month with the highest quality news and cultural programming with balanced, fair and nonpartisan news and information and award-winning cultural and educational programs that reflect the best of the nation. It reaches the people who, on every level of our society, from ordinary voters to community leaders to corporate CEOs, make the decisions in this country.
Businesses that get that, want to be a part of what we do. And when they are, they reap benefits many times the investment they put into underwriting. I love the “win-win” situations KPR underwriting provides!
KPR: What are your goals for your job at KPR?
JJ: My goal is to get the word out about KPR in regards to the many benefits to marketing and branding an association with us provides our sponsors and underwriters. We offer verifiable results for our underwriters whether that means their event gets sold out, their sales increase, their image has been enhanced or simply their name has become much more recognizable.
If I am successful in sharing our story with enough forward thinking organizations, the underwriting department will grow into the vital funding component that it needs to be for KPR to continue as the leader in news and entertainment in NE Kansas and large portions of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
KPR: What other jobs have you held prior to coming to KPR? Which was your favorite?
JJ: I have a varied background. Out of college I spent 13 years in operational management for several Fortune 500 companies. From there, I had stops in business development in the wholesale financial tools sector and a media and marketing position with a highly respected commercial radio group. In the “free time” that I had while doing all that, I started up and built a small but successful executive search firm that I continue to have a financial interest in.
But my favorite “job” that I’ve had is one that is unpaid! I teach fifth and sixth grade age students at my church each Sunday. It is by far my most rewarding job!
KPR: What do you want us to know about you, Jake? Hobbies, family, fun things you’ve discovered in Lawrence? Where is your hometown?
JJ: Grew up in a small town northwest of Topeka – Rossville. My mother and father still live there and they, myself and my three siblings and our families are still within an hour of each other. In addition, I have a ton of aunts, uncles and cousins in the area. Family is very important to me.
I’ve now been in Lawrence longer than I’ve been anywhere else and so it is “home.” I find in it beautiful diversity glued together with Midwest respect. It is truly a wonderful place to raise a family.
I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife, Angela, and four wonderful children. Gabriel, Caitrin, Lydia and Locke are my pride and joy and a huge motivation for me to be the best I can be.
KPR: What’s your favorite show on KPR?
JJ: I have too many friends at KPR to single one show out! I will say that our local on-air personalities are all fantastic to work with and all are immensely talented. I find each of their shows to be much more enjoyable to me than our national programming, even as great as it is. We really have a great thing going at KPR!
If you have questions for Jake, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785-864-8014.