NPR Out-Promotes Stations on Their Own Airwaves
If only there were a comprehensive network plan for helping stations carve out their own space on-line and in the mobile marketplace. If only there were some sort of revenue plan to compensate stations for the station airtime NPR is using to build its direct audience.
But there are no such plans. NPR -- and the other networks -- are driving listeners directly to their sites. That's good for network on-line advertising sales but not necessarily good for station sales or listener contributions.
It doesn't have to be this way. Stations can offer players and apps that are competitive with any of the individual networks. Stations can offer listeners a greater range of programming options by helping listeners access content from all of the networks carried by the station plus locally produced programming.
And stations have to be as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than the networks in promoting web-based services.
We're advising clients to promote their website or mobile app immediately after NPR embeds one of its promos in the news. The same holds true for web-services promos from any other network. Every time listeners hear a promo for a network app or website, they should hear about an even better app or website experience from the station.
To the listeners, this might sound as if the station and NPR are in competition with one another for the their attention. That would be unfortunate but, from the station perspective, it is unavoidable. On-air promotion is one of the best ways to create new mobile and web listeners. NPR understands that. So should stations. And stations should never concede those new listeners to NPR on their own airwaves.