Laura Landress

Recent Posts

Understanding the Digital Ad Sponsorship Capabilities of Grove CMS

Corporate Support, digital sponsorship

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Digital ad revenue is more important now than ever before, given the shift to listening on digital platforms. NPR’s new Grove Content Management System (CMS) will replace Core Publisher for station websites and is intended to make website content management easier, more flexible, and more dynamic. The new CMS is being beta-tested by a handful of stations now.

Grove and Digital Sponsorship Ads

Grove CMS was designed to have parity with Core Publisher to make migration easy. The digital ads that were available in Core Publisher are also available in Grove’s CMS. Here are the digital ads that are “baked in” to Grove CMS which were, for the record, also available in Core Publisher:

  • 728 x 90 Banner ad (at the top) (Can be replaced with a 970x50 banner ad) (both of these can support Rich media ads that include In Banner Video or push downs
  • 300 x 250 ads (3 down the right rail)
  • 320 x 50 small smartphone banner (disappears when user scrolls)

If you are - or are considering - migrating to Grove, you may have questions about the more detailed capabilities of the new system. Here are answers to such questions, based on those raised during our recent PMDMC Summer Series session “Leveraging Grove for Sponsorship.”

  1. Does the Grove audio player still support pre-roll banners? 

Yes, Grove supports pre-roll ads. We will likely need to work directly with your site during set up to make sure they are working properly.

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How Grove CMS Features Address the Growing Importance of Digital Sponsorship

Corporate Support, digital sponsorship

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Grove CMS expertise provided by Tutuwa Ahwoi, Director, Spot Sales Operations, National Public Media.

It’s more important than ever for stations to leverage increasing website and streaming impressions to capture as much digital sponsorship revenue as possible. Listening behaviors are changing and station sponsorship revenue depends on additional digital revenue. Jacobs Media recently reported that “With more Americans working remotely and the number of functioning AM/FM receivers in households slowly shrinking, digital delivery of broadcast content has never been more important.” 

Data Behind the Growth of Digital

The IAB recently released the COVID Impact on Consumer Media Usage Report demonstrating the importance of digital. The report showed that consumers spent 14% more time online during the time period of March-April 2020 versus the same time period in 2019. In fact, by March 31 of this year a whopping 87% of consumers reported increased media consumption compared to pre-pandemic; 23% are listening to more radio and 13% are podcasting more. A majority of users in each medium - television, radio, and podcasting - report they’ll increase consuming more on different formats. Smart-speaker growth was up 10% in 2019; mobile phone use is also way up and will continue to be so with many working from home. It goes without saying that having a 320 x 50 and/or 300 x 250 mobile digital ad is more important now than ever.

A handful of stations have been beta-testing NPR’s new Grove Content Management System (CMS) over the last six months. Grove CMS will replace Core Publisher for station websites and is designed to make website content management easier to manage, more flexible, and dynamic. If you are - or are considering - migrating to Grove, here are the ways in which the new system supports the growing importance of digital sponsorship.

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Five Ways to Increase Digital Sponsorship Revenue in FY21

Corporate Support, digital revenue, COVID-19

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Public and commercial radio have seen website and digital platform traffic surging in the last three months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listening habits are shifting from broadcast to digital platforms and smartphones specifically are being used even more than they have been in the past. This is a shift in behavior that can be leveraged for more digital revenue if planning and preparations for success are made now. Are you ready?

Borrell Associates shared in their April 2020 webinar that Phase 3 of business reopening will be an opportunity for media if we are prepared. Borrell Associates research predicts a boost in advertising revenue this summer. Here are five ways you can increase your digital revenue in FY21 when businesses reopen and when some events that were delayed this spring come back in Phase 3.

1. Review your digital ad revenue.

Compare your year-to-date FY20 digital revenue to that of FY19 (using your data from Greater Public’s FY19 Benchmarks for Public Radio Fundraising) to see if your sponsorship team is increasing digital sales. Many teams look to double digital revenue year over year. If you are already maxing out your digital capacity, look for new digital ad units you can offer or ad units that could be better utilized.

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Pivot Underwriting Categories as a Result of COVID-19

Corporate Support, COVID-19

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Events and performances are being cancelled across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it’s time to gather your corporate support team to make a plan to pivot away from performing arts and event sponsorship.

Credit copy that inspires the audience to visit public spaces at this moment sounds wrong at best, and may also be impossible as venues close temporarily or limit operations.

Instead, businesses in the following categories are in an excellent position to strengthen their brands, especially with messages that show corporate social responsibility.

  • Healthcare of any kind
  • Colleges and universities (Consider any that are within 4-6 hours of your station) 
  • K-12 private schools
  •  Nonprofits (Promote their missions and community support)
  • Financial services, credit unions, community banks, financial management
  • Business services, employment services, back-office support, IT support, etc.
  • Luxury retail and jewelry (For example, engagement rings, Mother's Day, graduation gifts and Father's Day)
  •  Automotive (Good fits are usually Subaru, Lexus, Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Lincoln, BMW, and Land Rover)
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Four Ways You Can Reduce Sponsorship Attrition

Corporate Support

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When was the last time you told your corporate support sponsors how much you appreciate their support? If they only hear from you when you change their credit copy or you want to renew or up-sell them, a new approach will strengthen your relationship and keep them coming back.

Keeping attrition numbers as low as possible is one of the easiest ways to help reach annual corporate support goals. The less revenue you have to replace, the stronger your starting position will be.    

Sponsors want to feel appreciated and as much a part of your station’s community as do other supporters. Account executives are also buoyed by these connections. Expressing gratitude builds morale and reminds us how important everyone is to the success of our stations.

Here are four fun and meaningful ways to say thank you to corporate sponsors:

1. Acknowledge Corporate Sponsors on Pi Day (March 14) 

Milwaukee, Nashville and other markets offer a fun and nerdy shout-out to sponsors on March 14 in honor of Pi Day.

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