Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: Building Rapport

Building rapport with a customer is the first step in the sales process.  Making that connection can sometimes be difficult, but a Michigan Radio sponsorship can help you start it before you ever speak with your potential customer.

The first and most important step to building rapport is finding common ground.  If you are selling bikes and a person enjoys biking, you have some common ground, but it is important to have something in common outside of what you have to offer your customer.

That’s where Michigan Radio comes in.

By becoming a sponsor, you are letting our listeners (your potential customer base) know that you care about public radio – something our listeners are also passionate about!  Your sponsorship opens the door, and the conversation, before you ever have the opportunity to meet our audience.

Your sponsorship message gives our audience two crucial pieces of information:

  1. Your message, delivered in our high-quality, content rich environment

  2. Common ground with YOU – because our listeners financially support the station, just like your sponsorship does!

Contact us to find out how we can help you start building rapport with our audience today!

Good For You, Good For Michigan: State of Opportunity

Sponsoring public radio is “smart-marketing” –our listeners think so* and so do our sponsors!

Check out what Pauline from Short’s Brewing Co. had to say about sponsoring Michigan Radio:

“Michigan Radio is a smart way to increase our brand awareness across the state of Michigan. Their dedication to covering the state of Michigan aligns well with Short’s commitment to this great state, and we appreciate their educational approach to programming. We have received positive feedback from our fans when they have heard our spots. Working with Michigan Radio has been nothing less than a wonderful experience.”

With our high-quality content and our highly engaged audience, a sponsorship of Michigan Radio can position your company as a strong Michigan brand.

Our listeners care about Michigan – just like you do.  Just like we do.  We know that our listeners care because of their high level of engagement with projects like The State of Opportunity, which discusses how to break the cycle of poverty for Michigan’s kids.  With stories about education, abuse, crime and punishment, disabilities, and adoption, The State of Opportunity investigates the plethora of barriers that Michigan children face by asking the question: Can Michigan Kids Get Ahead?

By becoming a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsor, you let our listeners know that you support the future of Michigan’s kids and of Michigan’s future.

Michigan Radio is good for Michigan.  Sponsorship of Michigan Radio lets our audience know that you are good for Michigan, too.

Source: Lightspeed Research NPR Sponsor Impact Survey, 2009-2012*


Making the Connection: The Halo Effect

The positive sentiment that listeners have towards companies that support the community service of NPR and public radio stations is known as the “halo effect”.

NPR listeners believe associated companies are responsible, stable, professional, credible and socially conscious. They also believe they are good stewards, kindred spirits, community-focused, and smart marketers!

Halo Effect A

 Contact us or contact your account executive to find out how we can put the halo effect to work for you!

Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: “We Don’t Have the Budget for Public Radio in our Marketing Plan”

Your budget is a crucial component in your decision to market your organization. We understand that this is a “make-or-break” aspect of your decision-making process.


When deciding where your marketing dollars go, we feel it’s important to not just look at the amount, but to also consider the value. Michigan Radio Sponsorship is unlike any other marketing investment out there. Your organization is gaining exposure while you are investing in Michigan’s journalistic integrity and fostering goodwill within the community. Michigan Radio sponsorship is an effective marketing tool that aligns your organization with our mission: to provide “… stimuli for a broader knowledge, fuller understanding, and deeper appreciation of the humanities, of the sciences, and of social, economic and civic problems”. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Charitable donation

Public radio is one of the few ways to promote your organization that is also altruistic. Your sponsorship allows us to buy programming, fund our newsroom and give Michigan’s citizens the news they deserve. Your contribution is a charitable donation that is integral to strengthening Michigan’s community and access to information.


Michigan radio sponsorship would allow you to reach an exclusive, heavy listening audience who would otherwise miss your message if you choose to only advertise on commercial radio. As the top public radio station in the state, Michigan Radio reaches more than half a million listeners a week. Including sponsorship with Michigan Radio as part of your marketing plan ensures that your message will reach a more thorough audience.

Can you afford not to partner with Michigan Radio?

Good For You, Good For Michigan: The Next Idea

Michigan Radio has the high-quality audience that you have been trying to reach.  Our audience cares about the content that we bring to them and they care about our sponsors.  Our listeners are engaged: 74% said that they are more likely to do business with a company that sponsors public radio.*

the next idea logoOur listeners care about Michigan – just like you do.  Just like we do.  We know that our listeners care because of their high level of engagement with projects like The Next Idea, which is focused on moving Michigan forward in a positive way.  The Next Idea has gotten an increasing level of attention from our audience online: users are spending more time reading The Next Idea essays than they are with any of our other digital content.** 

We produce The Next Idea right here at the station in Ann Arbor.  Your sponsorship dollars support programs and projects like The Next  Idea directly, as well as helping us remain an NPR News station.

By becoming a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsor, you let our listeners know that you support the positive conversation that we are having about Michigan’s future.

Michigan Radio is good for Michigan.  Sponsorship of Michigan Radio lets our audience know that you are good for Michigan, too.

Contact your account executive or complete the contact request to get more information!

*Source: Lightspeed Research NPR Sponsor Impact Survey, 2009-2012

**Source: Google Analytics

Converting Obstacles to Opportunities: Why NPR Listeners Take Action Without “Calls To Action”

By Carol Lawrence, Michigan Radio Account Executive

Why do NPR station listeners take action after hearing a message about a company that does not state a specific call to action such as:  “Call now”, “Visit us at…”,  or “Stop by”?  Let’s start with what NPR is, and why NPR airs corporate messages of support to begin with.

NPR, or National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of approximately 900 public radio stations.  NPR produces and distributes news and cultural programming that is produced by NPR itself and other content providers such as American Public Media, Public Radio International, and Public Radio Exchange.   NPR is known to present fact-based, independent journalism that examines and airs diverse perspectives.  NPR journalists strive to tell stories in ways that transport the audience to the places where news is happening, and introducing the people affected. These are just two of the reasons that NPR is a unique service that is extremely valued by its members, listeners, and sponsors alike.

As non-profit organizations, National Public Radio stations rely on the financial support of listeners and corporate sponsors who, through their contributions, help make possible the service that NPR provides.  When a company makes a contribution to a public radio station, the station in return airs “thank you” messages, which always begin with…”Support for this station comes from…….”.  The essence of the message IS the very fact that the company is providing financial support for the NPR service in that community.  This alone ingratiates the company into the favor of the NPR listener. The secondary information in the message informs the listener about the funder in a “value-neutral, non-promotional” manner to further endear that company into the heart and mind of the listener.  The message can include things such as how many years the company has been in business, the services the company provides, and how to find out more about the company. 

It is understood that whenever a company shares information about their goods and services, in any form, they are doing so with the hope that you and I will take action and use their goods/services.   In other words, we already know that a company wants “action”, with or without an emphatic “call to action”.  And the good news is that if we do decide to take action we now more than ever have all of the tools necessary to find out anything further we would like to know after being introduced to a company of interest.  Even my 88 year old Mother knows how to use “the Google”!

The next time you hear or see an advertisement that begs:  “Come on by!”…or “Call us now!”…or “Don’t Delay!”…. please take a moment and evaluate for yourself.  Isn’t it already implied that the company wants you to do those things?  Why else would they have told you about their offerings?  Are you more compelled to take action because the company told you to do so?  Or like the NPR listener, are you just as, or even more,  compelled to become a patron of a company who spends all of their treasured time with you speaking factually, one-to-one,  to educate you about who they are and what they have to offer,  leaving you to decide for yourself whether or not to “call now”.

National Public Radio stations and their thousands of new and legacy sponsors are proof that when a sponsor message, sans a call to action, is heard on NPR, the listener responds.  NPR listeners know that, like themselves, the sponsor supports the NPR service that the listener values and trusts.  Secondly, the listener knows that the sponsor wants that listener to use their services. The bottom line is this: NPR and its listeners have trusted, proven, intimate relationships, which deliver time and again for the sponsors.   In such a close relationship, a call to action, truly and simply, goes without saying.