Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Batman Versus Spiderman

Some random thoughts:

A lot of what passes for interaction on the web, even among the Web 2.0 thinkers, amounts to nothing more than a Batman versus Spiderman debate. It's going to take consistently strong leadership to ensure that public radio space on the web becomes more than a place where people post their entrenched opinions.

Public radio risks giving up a lot of brand equity among current listeners by calling itself "public media." The word "media" is a poor choice for marketing the service to new users, especially to those people who have a negative reaction to the world. Think "mainstream media" or "media elite."

It's been more than a decade since public radio's first big initiative to get more Black listeners. Instead of calling those who do not listen "underserved audiences" maybe they should be called "undeserved audiences."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous man who is a NPR fan said...

I sense a risk of elitism here, but I think you raise a good point, John. Why is public radio so obsessed with getting listeners that it probably won't ever "convert to the faithful".

If your audience is X, and your most likely potential audience is Y...shouldn't your programming be tailored to X+Y? Not tailored to Z?

11:31 AM  
Blogger RadioSutton said...

Actually, whether listeners donate didn't figure in to my thinking here. Public radio lucked out that the audience it attracted turned out to be an audience that could and would donate. Almost any "new audience" public radio tries to serve will *not* financially support the service the way today's listeners do. That doesn't mean public radio can't create a business model to serve these new audiences. But it will be different.

12:37 PM  

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