Opinion » Bill Cope

G.A.G. for the Cause

Raising awareness of awareness raising

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To: Bill Cupe: Subject: WE HAVE BIG PLANS FOR YOU!

: We have been informed you are the area's premier professional in events planning. This makes you an ideal candidate to head a new office we here at G.A.G. Media Group are in the process of moving beyond the "spit-balling" phase into the "somebody-should-be-writing-this-down" phase. We refer to it as the EP/HNID, or the "Events Planning/Headline News Interface Division," but we have assembled a team tasked with developing a more ear-pleasing acronym.

: The function of EP/HNID--and your new career opportunity, should you choose join us--will be to ideate, organize and execute awareness-raising events which in turn can be used by the G.A.G. News Division as material for our regular news broadcasts. To explain how my team and I have envisioned this working: First, you and your team would identify a misfortune--be it a disease, an insufficient living condition or just a generally tragic circumstance--with which some segment of our local population is afflicted. How large a segment that might be is not so important, as the aim of this endeavor is to raise awareness of the existence of this tribulation in our midst, whatever it may be, and we are confident that once the awareness of it has been raised, the numbers will follow.

: Consider restless leg syndrome. How many people do you suppose knew they had restless leg syndrome before the awareness of restless leg syndrome was raised? That is exactly what we expect to happen when we begin raising awareness of whatever it is we choose to raise the awareness of. In fact, I have heard it referred to as the "restless leg syndrome" syndrome.

: Next would come the event-planning phase, designed to bring out a significant number of volunteers and participants dedicated to the eradication of whatever misfortune you come up with. As we hope to turn this into an annual event, we would expect that whatever is chosen for eradication isn't eradicated : too: easily, or we would have to start all over again the following year with a new misfortune.

: Here in the Boise market, there is already a full schedule of awareness-raising events that involve walking, running, bicycling and motorcycling, so we prefer that you design an event unique from all the others. And just so you know, we have already eliminated ideas for a "Lake Lowell Fun Snorkel," a "Kuna Cave Spelunk for the Cure," a "Drop to Table Rock Skydive," and anything else that could result in liability issues at some future event.

: The ultimate goal of this--beyond the immediate concern of bringing attention to whatever it is that has befallen an unknown number of our Treasure Valley neighbors--is to give our on-air news personnel an opportunity to appear as emcees and celebrity-ish presences, as well as serving as a focal point of news production for weeks ahead of the actual event. As you know, news here in the Boise market can get a little thin in the gravitas department, so until our murder rate climbs a notch or two, or another local politician gets caught at something impolitic, we can always use help in padding out our : GAGNews@5&10: slots.

: Included in your job description would be the obligation to pick a color scheme for the event T-shirts. They should not be pink, which is taken, or any color that would get our event confused with a litter clean-up gang out working off their community service sentences.

: Mr. Cupe, we do hope you consider taking this position.

: --: Alanah Bronahnah; Director of Development: KGAG

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To: Alanah Bronahnah; DoD: KGAG

Subject: YOU GOT THE WRONG GUY!

I am flattered you have confused me with yet another of the area's premier professionals. However, the Bill Cupe to whom you are sending, is not the Bill Cope who is receiving.

This is not to say I don't have an idea or two about unfortunate conditions which could use some awareness raised. As I read your offer, it occurred to me that all concern for, and reports on, obesity have evidently not reached many parts of the Treasure Valley. Come spend a day at the Walmarts in Meridian and you will see what I mean.

As I'm sure you know, obesity is the gateway fatness to so many other medical problems, many of which have already been assigned their own local events, T-shirt colors and celebrity-ish personalities. But if there is an "Obesity Fun Run" or "Obesity Bike-athon" or whatever, I am not aware of it.

As to the awareness-raising event itself, this community does not have any notable food-eating competitions that I know of. My understanding is they draw large crowds, and what a natural fit it would be to have your on-air personalities hosting a "Down with Obesity Day" by leading the crowd of entrants in a series of hog-outs. I can assure you the mere thought of seeing your super-perky weather reporters and co-anchors cram down hot dogs or fruit pies would be enough to get me, if not to actually attend, at least to watch the highlights clips that I'm sure would follow. Plus, such an event would provide a self-perpetuating factor that would ensure its relevance for years to come--long enough, possibly, for it to become a G.A.G. "tradition."

I am happy to have spit-balled this idea with you, but I am afraid that is as far as my interest in your new career offer goes.

--Not Bill Cupe

P.S. To avoid any of those “liability issues,” perhaps you could combine the Obesity Awareness eating events with some awareness-raising of the Heimlich Maneuver.