Five Things We Learned About Listeners from Working With NPR
by work x work
NPR came to us with a challenge: to refresh the image of who their listeners are at a moment when Public Media is more vital than ever. At work x work, our approach is grounded in research and strategy. This meant talking to real people, and getting their perspectives on how radio listening informs their lives and worldview. Through these conversations, we uncovered deeper truths about listening, and how consumers are responding to media now. In response, we crafted a brand campaign for NPR grounded in the tagline, “I Heard it on NPR.” Here are five things we learned from the process.
- LISTENING IS PERSONAL
We spoke to diverse radio listeners in multiple cities coast-to-coast. What we heard again and again is that people have intimate, invested relationships with shows. Consumers hold creators to high standards, and look up to the people who produce the stories they hear.
- LISTENERS ARE VALUE-DRIVEN
Listeners care about brand values, and millennials are driving that trend. They seek relationships with brands that share their convictions, and gravitate to publishers who amplify the world they want to live in.
- LISTENING IS A RITUAL
Listeners come seeking structure, consistency and community. When they invest their time into a host, show or publisher, they’re all in. When you connect with a listener, that connection can lead to a deep, long-term engagement.
- A VOICE YOU CAN DEPEND ON
Listeners crave reliability and sources they can trust, particularly during times of social upheaval. It’s been shown that 83% of Americans are listening to the same or even more radio since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- PEOPLE LISTEN FOR EDUCATION AND INSPIRATION
Real stories reverberate through communities. Listeners are constantly sharing what they hear IRL, and the ones we spoke with cited just how often they find themselves referencing what they hear on the radio with their friends and family.
Want to learn more about NPR listeners? We created a listener profile series and a visual campaign built around the truism, “I Heard it on NPR.” Read the full series here. For this campaign, work x work engaged strategy and research on millennial audiences. We rallied stations from coast-to-coast including WNYC, WBEZ, and KQED to gather diverse listener perspectives. Our “I Heard it on NPR” tagline extended into social and digital ads, making a mark across NPM’s channels. Learn more about our client work for NPR here.