We have used this blog space in the past to talk about NPR, an organization that is enjoying a multi-year growth spurt, while commercial radio declines. How does NPR do it, without the benefit of contests, marketing, and shock jocks? They've accomplished their amazing ascension with great content, values, and by integrating their loyal and energetic audience.
In a unique promotional tie-in with USA Weekend, NPR is now sponsoring an essay contest called "This I Believe." It's an opportunity for students (and NPR listeners) to write short pieces about their beliefs and values. Working with teachers around the country, NPR is also wisely reaching out to young people - the future of any medium. Unlike commercial radio, NPR understands that growth, vitality, and engagement can only occur by reaching out to young listeners who will become loyal listeners as adults.
By continuing to reflect NeoRadio thinking, NPR continues to deal its audience into its programming. The more listeners participate in the process, the more they feel a part of the entity. It's so simple, it works.