WNYC, the New York City-based radio station at 94.3 FM and 820 AM, is the most-listened-to public radio station in the U.S. The station is always ahead of the curve in its innovative programming and audience outreach, striving to extend its audiences through XM satellite radio broadcasting and its menu of ways to listen through making podcasts available as early as 2005. But the station has not been as effective in delivering the program-related content its audiences crave via other channels.
As an NYC local, I can tell you that WNYC has the most loyal fans ever. Listeners are dedicated to listening to (and supporting) programs from Mad about Music, where Gilbert Kaplan explores the emotional power of music on the lives of celebrities through interviews and hand-picked recordings, to my husband’s favorite, the quirky Jonathan Schwartz weekend shows featuring favorites from Sinatra to Tuvan throat singers. Us loyal listeners feel a part of WNYC, and support it generously.
But loyal listeners haven’t been nourished with enough ongoing communication on program, host and station news and features. I’ve been a big WNYC listener for years and was always baffled about why they didn’t ever do a weekly email newsletter. Considering their position in public radio programming world, and their location in New York as one of the oldest public radio stations in existence, it always seemed like a slam dunk that they’d get out a free, weekly e-news. Audiences really need that program-related content to maintain their giving interest.
Now, with the recent introduction of its weekly e-news, WNYC This Week, WNYC is finally making us fans very happy. Here’s an easy way that we can get info on upcoming programs, and dig into some in-depth features on our beloved programs and personalities. Through last week’s e-news, I learned about Brian Lehrer’s pre-election day coverage of 30 Issues in 30 Days (great idea) and can download audio files of issue coverage I already missed. I don’t regularly listen to the Brian Lehrer show but am going to start listening now.
My response to this week’s WNYC This Week is a marketer’s dream. The e-news sparks my interest in shows beyond those I listen to as a rule, and clearly communicates special coverage on shows I sometimes tune in to. When I listen to Brian Lehrer’s 30 Issues coverage in days to come, I know I’ll become more enthused than ever about WNYC programming, and more likely to up my financial support of the station.
Keep this success story in mind as you hone your nonprofit’s e-newsletter. We’ve become very oriented towards customizing content to our audiences’ specific interests. However, there is frequently value in exposing audiences to related content that is likely to further engage them in your organization’s mission and programs. WNYC does a great job of this with WNYC This Week, showcasing special content related to selected (usually no more than four) radio personalities, and special programs. WYNC, I love you more than ever.
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