We need to think clearly about the impediments to audience growth and how we might break through them. We need both the big picture and a micro focus. Every station, every state.

–Mark Vogelzang
President, Vermont Public Radio

First Cut:
Options for Growth

At its first meeting the Audience Growth Task Force generated dozens of ideas and possibilities to increase the use and value of public radio. Sorting through the list, three major clusters emerge:

  • America's demography is changing and we must refine our service for more use by and value to changing communities
  • Electronic media are evolving and we must develop services that capture the opportunities of new platforms
  • To compete for attention we must strengthen our competitiveness across all areas of operations

Here are some of the initial items for exploration and further discussion.

Use and Value to Changing Communities

  • Evaluate and understand potential of increased service for various college-educated constituencies:
  • Address "tone" and other barriers to use and value
  • Consider connections to governance and staff
  • Explore new format(s)

Capture Opportunities on New Platforms

  • Digital discovery
      —Evaluate and understand impact of lifestyle and media use changes
      —Sample and publicize Google Analytics and other metrics
      —Explore online formats and services
      —Explore social networking and online convening
  • Develop capacities for concurrent production for broadcast and online
  • Develop shared search and findability
  • Partnerships with online nonprofits
  • Digital strategy and models for stations of different scale and different size markets

Strengthen Competitiveness Across Operations

  • Strengthen core network news programs - content, schedule, and local presentation
  • Assure availability of top formats in top markets
  • Increase differentiation of service across stations within markets
  • Assess opportunities of new channels
  • Competitive local and regional programming - scale and focus
  • Consistent local execution of formats - professional development
  • Stronger, significant organizations
  • Governance focused on service
  • Community engagement
  • Advanced development work
  • Strategies for college grads who do not use public radio regularly
  • New format(s) and services
  • New sound and sensibility
  • Marketing and outreach
Copyright 2008 Corporation for Public Broadcasting