Proof of Performance Promos May Help You Gain Trust and Grow Audience

elections, Membership, General Management, Audience Engagement

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For many of us, Impeachment coverage has dominated our broadcast schedule and made it difficult to get all of our underwriting spots aired. But the special coverage has also highlighted what public media does best, bolstering support for our services. A report out in mid-December from the Radio Research Consortium shows that NPR member stations with full-time news formats saw an 18% increase in listening. 

At KUOW in Seattle, Arvid Hokanson, director of audience, noticed the increased listening in his weekly broadcast and stream data and recognized an opportunity.  

“If people are tuning in more now,” says Hokanson, “we should capture them.”

His goal: Connect the station’s coverage of this historic moment in listeners’ minds with an awareness of the singular value of the service.

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Prepare Your Sales Strategy for a Banner Election Year

elections, sales strategy, Corporate Support

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As the election ramps up, all corporate support sales reps should feel confident that public media is going to have a banner year. The election year is expected to deliver larger than normal audiences to public media, similar to what we saw in 2016. Combine this with balanced reporting, lack of political advertising, and the qualitative nature of our audiences, and public radio is the place for smart marketers to be heard. 

According to Nielsen Research, the 2016 election and aftermath provided the largest audience increase in history. The overall growth of the public radio audience since 2000 has been remarkable and the 2016 election brought even more new listeners, many of whom continue to listen. The expectation is that 2020 will provide another bump in ratings. 

For music stations,  there are signs that news fatigue has set in... to some extent. It would be smart for music formats of all types to position themselves as havens from the barrage of news and political advertising. Whether it’s classical, jazz, or AAA, music is a force that brings people together. Sponsors should appreciate that in 2020!

What is your strategy?

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The Secret to Getting Election Members to Renew

elections, Membership, donor cultivation and stewardship

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For most news stations, and a solid percentage of music stations, significant gains in new donors were achieved in the wake of the 2016 election. An increase in new donors may occur again during future election cycles or as a result of political news. There’s no doubt that unbiased, public-centered, truthful news is an utter necessity today and will continue to be so in the years to come. Likewise, access to the respite and inspiration that music and culture bring to our lives feels particularly potent for our need to re-connect with our shared humanity.

Of course, an influx of new donors is never something to be taken for granted. Now is the time to get to work stewarding your newest members:

  • Welcome your new donors with warm and grateful acknowledgement letters, e-welcome series, and communications designed to ensure that donors feel like insiders and have the chance to get the most out of your services.
  • Engage donors and demonstrating the impact of their support through on-air spots, through highlights of station accomplishments in print and online, and even through opportunities to connect in-person.
  • Thank them more than once with a postcard, a surprise email, a thank-you phone call, or an opportunity to receive a discounted or free offer exclusive to supporters.
  • Convert them to monthly donors through the mail, on the air, and on the phone.

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Post-Election Year-End Scripts and Pitch Points

elections, Membership, scripts, calendar year-end

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Since Election Day, it's been hard for many of us to unwind the personal from the professional. It's been a turbulent and sometimes uncomfortable election cycle, to say the least.

As we all forge ahead with year-end fundraising, marketing, and corporate support efforts, one thing is clear: Our audience is hungry and grateful for the news, conversation, and music your station provides them. Your work, all of it ... including making a clear case for why their investment in your station is vitally important to them.

KPCC in Los Angeles has graciously shared a one-sheet of pitch points they've been successfully using this week. At last check they were ahead of goal by more than 15 percent.

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Advisory: Communicating with Donors Post Election

elections, Membership, Major Giving, General Management

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One week ago, the outcome of the presidential election left many thinking about how to approach the important work of the nonprofit sector.

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Craft a Case That Builds Bridges

elections, Membership

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No matter how passionately you feel about your station's mission, communicating it in compelling fashion can be a challenge. And it doesn't feel like it's getting any easier right now. In a nation that seems increasingly divided, how do you build a case for support that doesn't just preach to the choir? 

In a case study focused on StoryCorps, Getting Attention blogger Nancy Schwartz detailed how the national storytelling nonprofit StoryCorps rose above partisan challenges during the 2016 election by offering simple acknowledgement: 

"[StoryCorps] stayed 100% mission-focused, yet fully responsive to the world around us. In fact, it’s because StoryCorps has shaped its messages to what we’re hearing, discussing, thinking, and feeling, that the campaign has sparked my hope and trust at a time when both are scarce." 

Schwartz breaks the #WhoWeAre case down to six core components: 

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The Surprising Truth About What Happens to Charitable Giving in an Election Year


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Blackbaud’s Target Analytics recently completed a study investigating the following question:

“Does competition from political fundraising affect donor giving to nonprofits?”

The study authors analyzed data from 143 national 501(c)(3) organizations during the 2012 federal and presidential campaigns.

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Leveraging Public Media's Airwaves for Underwriting During an Election Season

underwriting rules, elections, halo effect, Corporate Support

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There’s no escaping it. Political advertising and election campaign messages are already inundating commercial broadcasting stations. They’re consuming the inventory to the point where listeners and viewers are tiring of all the ads and the clutter that’s causing listener burn-out and tune-out. The magazine Ad Age has reported that 2016 spending on political advertising will increase 20% over that of 2014 and will reach $11.4 billion.

If reading about that clutter makes you smile, it’s likely because you see the upside to this. You see the opportunities for businesses to stand out and not have their messages get lost in clutter, and for businesses to have a presence where the audience is engaged with the programming... on your public radio and television stations.

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