Public radio has a long history of driving results for businesses by connecting sponsor messages with the highly engaged and influential public media audience. But how are public radio messages different than commercial radio spots? In our latest eBook, you’ll learn about the public media audience and why public radio messages drive results for brands. Here's an excerpt from Public Media Marketing 101 on the nuances of public radio sponsorship messages and what makes them different:
Commercial advertisements and public media sponsor messages are closely related. After all, they are both forms of marketing. However, a few significant differences exist between the two:
Calls to Action: Traditional ads typically hammer home a direct CTA, while sponsor messages do not. They don’t need to. Savvy consumers act on the contact information presented, without a CTA.
Objectives: Traditional ads are usually designed to generate leads or drive sales. In contrast, sponsorship messages serve the primary purpose of enhancing a company’s corporate image, organically improving lead generation.
Perceptions: Unlike traditional ads, perceptions of public media messages are generally favorable because the audience realizes brands help sustain the content it loves. Customers have actually thanked businesses for supporting their local public media station.
Public media messages don’t need strong CTAs, jingles or entertainment to have a powerful impact. They derive power from a straightforward sensibility and cause marketing. Even without a direct CTA, sponsor messages often lead to an uplift in customer conversions and sales.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides specific guidelines for public media broadcast sponsorship, while podcast and digital messaging guidelines are often more lenient. Guidelines for creating effective broadcast sponsorship messages include:
Language that describes a product or service in factual terms, provided it is not overly promotional
Company information, such as the business address, phone number or website
An established, non-promotional corporate slogan
Mission language that identifies the brand, but does not promote or state an opinion
While public media sponsorship messages sound different than traditional ads, public media sponsors have experienced great success in conveying informative messaging to engaged audiences, in compliance with FCC guidelines. For example:
Bob's Red Mill's message reads: “Employee-owned, believes in ‘Good Food for All,’ and is proud to offer a wide selection of whole-grain products.”
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's message reads: “Family-owned, operated and argued over since 1980. Proud supporter of independent thought, whether that’s online, over the air, or in a bottle.”
Salesforce's message reads: “Providing support in today’s changing world. With sales, service and marketing all on one platform, Salesforce helps small businesses connect with customers in new ways.”
Public media marketing engages an expansive, loyal and influential audience. While creative requirements are important to consider with the development of a sponsorship message, the rewards of investing in this medium include greater brand awareness, enhanced credibility and ultimately a more favorable perception for your company. Download the Public Media Marketing 101 eBook to learn more about the benefits public media sponsorship offers.