A Quick Guide to Pitching Your Boss on Marketing with Public Radio

Torn notebook with yellow inlay. Title: Convincing Those Internal Skeptics

In the fast-paced world of marketing, decision-makers are often bombarded with numerous advertising opportunities. Convincing skeptics can be challenging. By using a thoughtful and strategic approach, you can create a compelling pitch that will have your team ready to rock public radio sponsorship opportunities.


Public radio marketing, with its unique advantages and highly engaged audience, holds immense potential for brands seeking a trustworthy and impactful channel. This post details major points to share on how public radio marketing opportunities are far more fruitful than other options. 

Now, let’s turn those skeptical decision-makers into enthusiastic endorsers!  

Brand Trust Through The Roof

The public radio audience is filled with action-takers from nearly every demographic—conservative to liberal and young to old. NPR is the most listened-to radio station in the United States with 46 million weekly listeners.* Furthermore, their fanbase is incredibly loyal. 

As brand trust is paramount in this era, consumers are getting serious about making informed choices. Moreover, if they are unsure of an organization’s commitment to causes they prioritize, they are likely to say “no thank you” to their products or services. 

Public radio can give any organization a “leg-up” in this regard. Thanks to the Halo Effect, this fanbase is loyal to the medium, as well as its sponsors. 

Public radio listeners’ breakdown: 

  • 72% hold a positive opinion of sponsors  
  • 68% prefer to purchase from sponsors  
  • 84% take action as a result of public media sponsorship 

(Source: Kantar, NPR State of Sponsorship Survey June 2023.) 

Ignoring the public radio audience can be a gross oversite for any marketing team. NPR listeners are influential and action-oriented. If you’re looking for an edge, this is it. 

*Internal estimate based on Nielsen Audio, Google Analytics, Comscore, and NPR podcast reporting, September 15-December 7, 2022 

Marketing Messages Are Heard And Applied 

In general, audio garners 56% stronger than average attentiveness.** That alone is a reason to add radio to your marketing strategy. Yet, additional studies have shown that audio ads lead to a greater intention of purchase as well. 


CTV ads, referenced in the diagram above, are described as connected TV and include streaming services that can be accessed on-line via your laptop, phone or TV. Two distinct studies measured the effect that greater ad frequency had on purchase intent. They concluded that Audio ads trend upward, while CTV decline. 

As attractive as this revelation is to a marketer, all radio is not created equally. Approximately 43% of the commercial radio audience listens to commercials instead of opting out. In contrast, at least 63% of public radio listeners stay tuned in to sponsorship messages. (Source: Kantar/ Lightspeed Research, NPR State of Sponsorship Survey, June 2023.) 

All of these stats combined point to public radio as a powerhouse source for your marketing messages and can only aid your presentation for adding public media sponsorship to your marketing strategy. 

*Internal estimate based on Nielsen Audio, Google Analytics, Comscore, and NPR podcast reporting, September 15-December 7, 2022 

Strategic Slot Placements Provide Maximum Impact

Public radio sponsorship ensures that your organization’s marketing message is never run alongside competitors. Furthermore, sponsorship messages are kept short and delivered by a trusted and familiar voice. This further encourages listeners to stay tuned in and helps them absorb your marketing message. Additionally, there is 66% less messaging per hour than advertisements on commercial radio. 

Another challenge with commercial radio happens during the political season. Brands take a 34% hit when their messages are run adjacent to political ads.*** An uncommon attribute of public radio is that they never run political ads. This can go a long way in ensuring listeners aren’t turned off by your message due to a conflicting political message run just before yours. 

*** (Source: Forethought, Survey Sampling International; AdImpact 2023-2024 Political Cycle Spending Projections Report.)

Public Media Is A CSR Playground

According to a Porter Novelli/Cone Purpose Biometrics Study (2021), 78% of consumers are more likely to remember a business with a strong purpose. Moreover, 71% are more likely to purchase from them. Through strategic sponsorships, leading corporations can leverage their influence to support the public’s right to access important information and gain brand trust.  

Sponsoring public media represents an opportunity to enhance your corporate social responsibility (CSR) profiles. Aligning with reputable media organizations reinforces a commitment to transparency, accountability, and ethical business practices. It also serves as a powerful avenue for building brand trust and loyalty among consumers who increasingly value corporate engagement with societal issues. 

Public media sponsorship offers a great ROI, attributed to the strong emotional bond created between the sponsor and the audience. Not only do 73% of listeners have a higher opinion of sponsors, but 70% of them will also purchase from a sponsor rather than a competitor – even if price and availability are equal. (Source: Kantar, NPR State of Sponsorship Survey, April 2021.) 

Public media is an ideal outlet for CSR marketing campaigns. The audience is made up of civic-minded, socially responsible individuals who respect corporate sponsorship and, in fact, expect it. 

Leading Corporations Utilize Public Media

Large corporations such as Netflix, Walmart, Amazon Studios and Apple TV have all implemented sponsorship messaging into their marketing strategies. Where big business sets a standard, other organizations are sure to follow. Sharing these successes in your presentation can only help boost the confidence of your boss and team members. 

And don’t assume that public radio is just for the giants. Public Radio is also a go-to for small, local organizations that need to sell tickets or drive awareness to their events and causes. In fact, if you’re a local business looking to expand your reach, we have a dedicated small business team called “Community Accounts” specializing in assisting businesses who have small budgets but need big results.  

Offer A Measurement Strategy

CFO’s love numbers. So do decision-makers. Consider presenting a robust measurement strategy to track the campaign’s success. This can provide tangible data that both validates the investment and addresses concerns about the return on investment. This should increase confidence in both the process and results. 

Market Enginuity has produced an E-book, Building an ROI-focused Public Radio Campaign that can help you break down the methods by which your organization can ensure your campaign’s success with public radio. The E-book Effectively Measuring Public Media Sponsorship Campaigns divulges the numerous mediums in which you can facilitate your marketing strategy and more. From TV and radio to streaming and podcasts, as well as digital display in newsletters and industry desks, finding the most profitable campaign strategy for your organization is at your fingertips. Both E-books can be downloaded for free by accessing the links provided in this paragraph.

Close The Deal

Pitching public radio marketing to your boss or skeptical team members requires a combination of empathy, diligence and a compelling narrative. By emphasizing the unique credibility and engaged audience of public radio, positioning it as a thought leader platform, and highlighting dual local and national reach, you can short-circuit those common concerns that would prevent the “yes.” Additionally, by providing examples of large corporations that already sponsor and offer a measurement strategy, you can navigate skepticism and pave the way for a successful partnership that benefits both the brand and the public radio audience.

Need more info for your internal pitch? Let's get personal(sized). 

With over 20 years of experience bringing brands to public radio, we're here to offer our expertise. Reach out via the form below, and we'll collaborate to craft a tailored proposal that aligns perfectly with your brand's marketing objectives.




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