Home Login RADIO ONLINE RSS Facebook
Advertisement

Jacobs, Mark Ramsey Unveil Public Radio Research Approach


Jacobs Media
Jacobs Media

While the past few decades have been successful ones for public radio organizations and stations, significant forces are conspiring to create headwinds that need to be confronted to ensure future success. This great run by public radio has been driven by its excellence in journalism, content and programming. An audience has been nurtured, and their loyalty has been measured not only in their listening, but also in their financial support.

Unfortunately, despite attempts to diversify audience, listeners of NPR and local station programming remains primarily Caucasian and older. This is primarily due to a lack of a strategy-based understanding where the "next adjacent" audience is and how to reach them.

In late July, the Station Resource Group, Greater Public and the Public Radio Program Directors Association jointly issued a "Public Radio Playbook," an effort designed to highlight the challenges to growth and the research necessary to help provide the answers. The "Playbook" identified many of the issues we have seen in our research regarding audience growth, stating:

"A purely demographic focus on age, race, and ethnicity assumes that these segments - 'young' adults or BIPOC audiences - think and act monolithically. If the goal of audience growth for Public Media is to engage with members of the general public who are not currently engaged with Public Radio, but have the high potential to do so, the strategies to achieve this should focus instead on thinking about the population psychographically - in other words, looking for people who share the same values and interests, and whose values and interests align closely with Public Radio."

Research and consulting firms Jacobs Media and Mark Ramsey Research announce the launch of a research initiative for public radio stations to help identify the next generation of listeners. As Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs described, "We speak with a wide variety of public radio stations constantly, and while they all talk about audience expansion and diversification, there's too much guesswork without research to help guide their decisions. We have been able to unlock the mystery behind audience expansion through this innovative research and backed up by the findings and recommendations from the 'Playbook,' we are confident we will be able to identify the next adjacent audiences and develop approaches to grow audiences."

The companies have provided a white paper that details this research approach here. This research process was utilized by Maine Public in 2022. Since that time, Maine Public has been initiating the findings of the work, with great success.

Maine Public Digital Director Rob Holt led the project and commented, "Working in partnership with Mark Ramsey Media and Jacobs Media, we performed an audience segmentation study -- divide the new audiences into several (approximately 5) segments using personae to embody the groups we want to reach. We can now clearly see our entire audience picture -- who is in the audience, and who is not. We're using this data when evaluating new and existing content creation -- deliberately targeting one or more segments. Then we measure the success of those efforts and we have the data to help us better reach our new and existing audiences. This is incredibly useful and actionable data."

Ramsey added, "There's power in understanding the surprising and unique needs, habits, and tastes of audiences new to public media whose interests and values align with those of today's core public media audiences. Mapping the media habits and content preferences of potential new audiences to the tastes of today's fans and our own commitment to public service creates an abundance of opportunities for public media."

Advertisement

Latest Radio Stories

Veteran Air Personality Maria Garcia Dies at Age 52
Maria Garcia
Maria Garcia
Veteran personality Maria Garcia, who had aired in Miami, New York and the Long Island area, died on Friday, July 12, at the age of 52. Garcia, a Miami native, began her career in her hometown, holding positions at WINZ-AM, WIOD-AM and WHQT-FM. In More

First Dallas Media Closes on KRMX-FM/Waco for $1.35M
KRMX-FM/Waco
KRMX-FM/Waco
First Dallas Media Inc. has closed on its previously annouinced purchase of 50kW Country KRMX-FM (92.9 Shooter FM) serving the Waco, TX market from M&M Broadcasters of Waco. The purchase price was $1.35 million. The buyer is headed by Ben More

2024 Rising Through Ranks Scholarship Recipients Announced
Radio Advertising Bureau
Radio Advertising Bureau
Scholarship recipients for this year's Rising Through the Ranks program presented by the RAB, BMI, Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. and Xperi have been selected. As previously announced, this year's program will be hybrid, starting with More
Advertisement

''Sunday Night Slow Jams'' Celebrates 30 Years On-Air
Slow Jams
Slow Jams
Benztown's "Sunday Night Slow Jams" celebrates 30 big years on-air Wednesday. Creator, producer and host R Dub! first aired the show on July 17, 1994 -- when he was just 16 years old -- at a tiny AM station in the middle of the Tucson, AZ desert. More

B-Dub Radio Welcomes Five New Radio Affiliates
B-Dub
B-Dub
B-Dub Radio, through its syndication partner, Skyview Networks, has announced its recent growth across multiple new markets with the addition of five radio affiliates. Through the program's newly expanded network, host Bryan "B-Dub" Washington can More

Carter Media, High Aspirations Partner For Backpack Drive
3rd Annual Debbie Dee Backpack Drive
3rd Annual Debbie Dee Backpack Drive
Carter Media and High Aspirations are hosting the 3rd Annual Debbie Dee Backpack Drive on Friday, July 26 from 6am-6pm at High Aspirations in Kansas City. CM and HA will accept new backpacks to benefit High Aspirations and other local male mentoring More

Return to Menu

Advertisement

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Radio news and headlines delivered right to your e-mail box -- and it's free.

Advertisement

Advertisement