Connecting with consumers helps to develop customer relationships with brands. Reaching them on their preferred platforms earns their attention, and using strategies such as local sponsorship messaging shows that you support their interests and community
Sponsoring local media, such as public radio, helps brands authentically connect with a dedicated audience while demonstrating community goodwill.
Public Media Understands Its Audience
Program hosts and producers in public media understand their audience and create informative and entertaining programming across a broad range of interests, appealing to long-time listeners and attracting newcomers. Their dedication to the audience extends to sponsorship messaging as well. Sponsorship messages are designed as part of the program’s structure, so listeners expect them and understand that sponsoring companies help to support the station.
Sponsorship messaging differs from advertising in its style and format. Sponsorship messages provide information about the company or organization and their support of the station, while commercial radio stations air traditional commercials that promote products or services with overt calls to action. Public radio talent creates the messaging for sponsors in the tone and tenor that listeners expect, shaping the message to adhere to the station's and FCC's guidelines and adding key points to describe the business. Sponsorship messages have zero production costs and talent-read messages heighten brand reputation by association.
Sponsoring public radio helps gradually earn listeners' trust. Gaining an enhanced reputation also leads to increased business for sponsors, as public radio listeners typically have more purchasing power than the average consumer and are more likely to act upon hearing sponsorship messages.
Listeners Have a Dedicated Connection
Public radio listeners are enthusiastic about and devoted to their favorite programs. One study found that 72% of public radio listeners pay significant or close attention to programming. That explains why many public radio listeners are receptive to sponsorship messages and appreciative of the businesses that support the station.
Listeners turn to public radio for high-quality, trustworthy journalism. The unbiased reporting allows them to form their own opinions based on trusted, factual information. Businesses sponsoring public radio benefit from the "Halo Effect,” a positive unconscious bias based on association with the station.
Public radio is an uncluttered media platform. Without true advertising, public radio stations only air approximately 5 minutes of local sponsor messages per hour, compared with up to 18 minutes of advertising on a commercial radio station. Sponsor messages are heard and remembered since they are not delivered in a lengthy commercial break.
Reach Customers During Daily Rituals
Listening to local radio programming is part of many individuals' daily rituals. A typical “day in the life” of a public radio fan might look like this:
- Tuning into their favorite station to catch up on the latest news as they commute to and from work each day
- Catching a local public radio podcast during their midday workout
- Relaxing with a classical music station as they cook dinner in the evening
- - Scrolling social media in the evening before bed and commenting on posts from their favorite public radio host
There are many high-quality local/regional programs on the air as well, including Bubbler Talk from WUWM; Morning Becomes Eclectic from KCRW; Texas Standard through KUT, KERA and Houston Public Media and many more.
Public media is a powerful platform because it's integrated into consumers' daily habits and deeply connected with the community.
Leverage Local Media to Grow Your Customer Base
Public media offers businesses several advantages in reaching and engaging with their consumer base. As discussed above, public media programming:
- Reaches a devoted following that trusts its journalistic content to be unbiased and high-quality
By sponsoring public radio, businesses can access a more intimate platform for reaching listeners — one in which your target audience is more receptive to hearing what you have to say, and that reach customers with greater purchasing power than average. Sponsorship helps your company experience growth and enhance its reputation by association with trusted public media programming, all while supporting an altruistic local cause.