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Posts Tagged ‘Customer Engagement

Why I love NPR

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I was introduced to public radio when I was working at Cambridge around the summer of 2006. WBUR, the local NPR station was my companion everyday during my bus rides to and from work. I was a recent graduate new to the working world who thought it was high time I made an honest effort in being aware of what’s happening in the world that surrounded me. Since then, NPR has become a great source of information, entertainment and enhanced my overall awareness of the world around me.

Despite being a regular listener, I had not really thought of the reasons why I liked NPR so much until I heard a recent episode of a On Point with Tom Ashbrook, one of the many shows that I listen to on a regular basis. The guest on that show was NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller who talked about the popularity of NPR and the whole public radio experience. The show shed some light on NPR’s success which is especially impressive in the current times when newspapers are struggling to survive. Listeners called in to share their NPR experience and give ideas on how to make the listener experience even better.

It is fairly evident that NPR is popular, both based on the listener comments on the show’s website and elsewhere. Some love it because it brings them comprehensive coverage of news and other stories. Others like it because it brings a smile to their faces. Then there are a few who like its specific coverage of areas that they care most about. Rarely you will find some that are shallow and like NPR because they think its cool (I hope this is a small group of people).

The reason I love NPR is a combination of all of the above (except for “I like it coz it makes me look cool”). I love the in depth coverage of the latest news stories pertaining to anything from pressing world issues to local news. I rely on their analysis of the financial markets and economy because I have limited time and capacity to understand all the moving pieces on my own. They are there right when I am looking for some laughs on the weekends or when I want to look beyond the news and get to know the people that are affected by it and their stories. Then there are shows like On Point and Fresh Air that look at everything under the sun and create an amazing learning (and entertaining) experience for the listener. Most of all, I love NPR because they have managed to adapt to changing times when most other news sources and television networks have struggled to do so.

I have to admit that if it was not for the portability of NPR, I probably would not be able to listen to it as much as I do now (I listen to most of the show as podcasts). They understand that their listeners do not always have time to listen to the show when its aired on their local stations. So they have made majority of their shows available for users to listen whenever they can in the form of podcasts. They have also been able to adopt new media and interact with their listeners through Facebook & Twitter. I feel there is a lot companies can learn from NPR and its success on how to engage their audience and get valuable insight and feedback from them to enhance the customer experience.

But that is a conversation for some other time. In the meantime, I just want to share with everyone why I love NPR. If you are someone who listens to NPR and have stumbled across my blog, please feel free to share your reasons for loving/loathing NPR.

UPDATE: Just watched Ira Glass on Colbert Report and realized that PRI and NPR are competing companies. However, since my exposure to them is through NPR member stations and since these shows are part of NPR, this does not change anything that I mention above. I do want to give PRI the credit for bringing This American Life to its audience every weekend. I also would like to acknowledge that Marketplace is produced by American Public Media.


Written by tundal45

April 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm