Interactive – The Power of Communication

National Public Radio (NPR) Success Story

Broadcasting through Email
National Public Radio (NPR)
Client Since: September 2004
Products used:
EchoMail® Customer Care™
EchoMail® Direct Marketing™
Service Solutions: Customer Care, Business Intelligence.
Types of Services Provided: Strategic Consulting, Database Marketing.

Company Overview: NPR (National Public Radio) is the world’s first non-commercial satellite delivered radio network, it is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of non-commercial news, talk and entertainment programming. NPR is a privately supported not- for- profit membership organization. Interestingly NPR is not a radio station by itself nor does it own a radio station but it supports 760 independently operated, non-commercial public radio stations Spread all over the 50 states of the country through satellite. These stations combine NPR’s offerings with local programming to make it more interesting to local listeners. NPR’s mission is to work with member stations to create a better-informed public, challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding about the world around us. NPR also distributes content through other medias such as CD’s books, the Internet and the Sirius satellite studio.

Before EchoMail: NPR although a non-profit enterprise, was aware that it was in an extremely competitive business. Today’s Radio listeners have access to an increasingly high number and variety of programs broadcast by a number of radio stations to choose from. In this highly competitive atmosphere NPR had to create a loyal listener base by making its programs preferred over others because only a large listenership would get the advertisers to consider it as a medium of mass reach and bring in the advertising revenues. NPR realized that this was possible only through a better understanding of public tastes and preferences and a constant dialog with them. In view of its large and a countrywide listener base it decided that electronic communication would be the most ideal and cost effective medium to reach out to them.

The EchoMail Deployment: NPR realized that it did not have the time or expertise to handle the huge volume of mail that would be involved in an exercise of this nature and wanted to tie up with a professional Email management agency. It chose EchoMail as its Electronic mail relationship-marketing agency. EchoMail analyzed the situation and deployed its Direct Marketing (DM) and Customer Care (CC) tools. DM was meant to communicate to its large listener base on NPR’s plans, forthcoming programs etc and generally maintain a dialog with them. CC was deployed to receive, analyze, segregate and route the large number of incoming mail to the relevant departments and generate rapid and relevant response.

After EchoMail: EchoMail DM helped NPR in sending highly customized and targeted campaigns, which helped in bringing its listener base closer to their favorite radio network and bringing in new listeners by creating interest among potential listeners. It informed them on its future plans, new programs in the pipeline and sought their views. CC helped in analyzing the feedback generated by the huge volume of inbound mail and helped in gauging listener taste, preferences, how they perceived NPR, popularity of its programs and tailor programs accordingly. It also categorized incoming mail and routed them to the relevant departments and facilitated speedy response. A better understanding of listener preference helped NPR to evolve into a more listener friendly radio network. Prompt response to listener mail gave it an image of being responsive and sensitive to listener sentiments. This coupled with the inclusion of popular programs enabled by a better understanding of listener tastes helped NPR retain its loyal listener base and bring in new listeners in a highly competitive atmosphere.