Sponsorship Blog

In Celebration of 2017

From Steve Schram,

Michigan Radio Executive Director and General Manager

We are beginning 2018 with enthusiasm and appreciation for the success you helped to build for Michigan Radio in the past year.

Our corporate support sponsors are a vital component in providing the financial support that allows Michigan Radio to serve its primary allegiance– to our audience– as a most trusted source of journalism, focused on the state of Michigan.  We know that you, too, care about our state and want trustworthy journalism to thrive and expand.

Our mission statement articulates those core values and focus:

The mission of Michigan Radio is to produce and distribute trusted content to inform, educate and entertain people who care about the State of Michigan and the world around them.

In 2017, we experienced our most successful year yet with corporate sponsorship participation, representing 24% of the station’s annual revenue.  Audiences have found public radio news and information content to be more essential than ever.  Over 524,000 weekly broadcast listeners tune in across the state, once again positioning Michigan Radio as the state’s most listened to public radio service.  (Nielsen Audio, Spring 2017, National Regional Database, Persons 12+, Mon-Sun 6a-12M)

Also, our continued audience development and growth in Grand Rapids set a new record as our WVGR 104.1 FM service is now the # 1 station in the market with Adults 25-54. (Nielsen Audio, Grand Rapids, MI – Spring 2017, Adults 25-54, Mon-Sun 6a-12M).  In addition to the station’s over-the-air broadcast audience, more than 100,000 people across the state listen to Michigan Radio’s online audio stream each month, available at michiganradio.org and our station app.

We share these results with you proudly because they demonstrate the positive momentum and prospects for continued growth for Michigan Radio.  The increases in broadcast and digital platform listeners place our corporate sponsors in a receptive, clutter-free environment, to communicate their services and products to our highly engaged and influential audience.

If you were part of the Michigan Radio corporate sponsorship family in past year, I thank you for your support and welcome you to expand your presence this coming year.  If we have yet to host your corporate message on the station, I invite you to make that commitment for a better, brighter and prosperous year ahead.  Thank you for your support of Michigan Radio.

Resolutions for Your 2018 Marketing Goals

As we embark on a new year, we pause to reflect on the highs and lows of the past 12 months and make our pledges to positive change and greater growth. Jump start your New Year’s resolutions with a conversation about how Michigan Radio can help make the next year the best yet for your organization.

Resolution 1: Set Goals

What are you trying to accomplish in 2018?

Perhaps increasing your new business, or bringing back repeat customers? Are you looking to consistently sell-out your event tickets?  Increase traffic to your website?

Whatever your goal may be, start working backwards from there.

Resolution 2: Reach the Right Audience

Creating a profile of the perfect client for your organization is an excellent way to evaluate if your marketing efforts are targeting the right people and directing them to take action. In creating this user persona, you and your team will hone in on what makes your organization special.

Resolution 3: Follow Through

Making a plan is only the first part of a real marketing effort.  Next is putting it into action, tracking its effectiveness and course correcting when needed.  Making sure that your organization is consistently perceived positively by the audience that you are trying to reach is essential.

This is where Michigan Radio comes in.

As the most listened to public radio station in Michigan, we are in a unique position to deliver your message to an audience that is engaged, educated and affluent.  With a weekly cume of more than a half million listeners from Grand Rapids to Detroit, we also reach a lot of these highly sought after Michiganders.

Once you come up with your customer profile, ask us how that matches up with our audience – we can make sure Michigan Radio is the right fit for you before you commit to a schedule with us.

From our own research of NPR listeners, we know that public radio sponsorship continues to convey strong benefits for sponsors, including improved brand perceptions and consideration.  Associating your brand with Michigan Radio will help you take full advantage of The Halo Effect.

If you’re ready to make this the best year for your organization, to have clients thank you for supporting a public service, and put a little altruism in your marketing efforts, contact us to become a sponsor on Michigan Radio.

The Core Values of a Michigan Radio Listener

Michigan Radio’s audience growth in 2016 and 2017 was unprecedented.  More important, perhaps, than knowing that more people are listening, is understanding WHY they are listening.

Michigan Radio listeners have a commitment to core values that translate to a level of support for the station that goes far beyond their financial membership. Michigan Radio listeners are more likely to highly recommend the station in general, and their favorite programs in particular, to others.

The Public Radio Techsurvey from Jacobs Media helps to provide an understanding of why our audience listens to Michigan Radio in the first place and underscores the values-based nature of the relationship between stations and listeners.

Learning, credible and objective programming, new perspective, respecting the listener’s intelligence, and balance are all key components in explaining the appeal of Michigan Radio to those who value it most.  The programs, the hosts and the specific content are, of course, important, but it’s the core value that Michigan Radio stands for that make it the most appealing to our listeners.

Simon Sinek discusses in his TED Talk why it’s essential for brands to “start with why.”

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Sinek.

This is where the value to your brand comes in.

Our listeners are loyal to Michigan Radio because they value what we provide – they value it enough that they recommend it to their friends and family, and they value it enough that they pay for it, even though they don’t HAVE to.

Your sponsorship message on Michigan Radio lets our listeners know that you value what they value.  Your association with Michigan Radio creates the halo effect, which lends YOUR brand credibility, just by association with us!

Contact your account executive today to reach listeners who are passionate about Michigan Radio!

Featured Sponsor: WMU Cooley Law School

By Terry Carella, Director of Communications, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School was established in 1972 to provide an opportunity to those who share the dream of becoming a lawyer. We excel in teaching not only the law but how to practice it competently and ethically so students can succeed in today’s – and tomorrow’s – world.

 We are proud to be a part of Western Michigan University, one of the nation’s top 100 public universities. WMU is rated by the Carnegie Research Foundation as a “high research” institution, by U.S. News as a top-tier university, and by Washington Monthly as a “best buy” and top-100 university.

 In WMU we have a partner that enthusiastically shares our access, teaching, service, and professionalism philosophies. With three shared-degree programs already in place, we are now building many new opportunities for learning, research, and job placement.

Cooley has always been a leader in innovative legal education by providing students with knowledge of the law, the skills they need to practice it competently, and the ethics they must observe while doing so. WMU-Cooley’s philosophy of knowledge, skills, and ethics prepares students well to practice law.

WMU-Cooley Law School has been a proud partner with Michigan Radio for more than a decade. We collaborate with Michigan Radio to connect with prospective students and alumni across the state. Sponsoring Michigan Radio allows us to reach an educated, affluent audience.

Learn more about Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

Learn more about becoming a Michigan Radio Sponsor

Industry Spotlight: Environmental Services

Michigan Radio’s audience is intelligent, affluent and engaged…and they are interested in what you have to offer!

By putting your message directly in front of your target audience, you will be able to showcase your product and build brand awareness with a broader scope of consumers.

 

Contact us to find out more about how a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship can help you grow your environmental services business!

Featured Sponsor: Wharton Center

By Diane Willcox, Director of Marketing & Communications, Wharton Center

Guest Blogger

Wharton Center for Performing Arts is celebrating 35 years of inspiring programming and outreach that benefit the entire state.

Cherishing the belief that art is integral to living a fuller, richer and more purposeful life, Wharton Center presents work that is intended to connect with the creative spirit.  Community can be created simply by sharing a meaningful performing arts experience with others. This outlook has led to programming Broadway shows like An American in Paris and Disney’s The Lion King, as well as presenting Michigan-born artists like Jeff Daniels, as well as world-renowned artists from different genres, including Yo-Yo Ma, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Natalie MacMaster and Maceo Parker.

Located on the campus of Michigan State University, Wharton Center is home to the Wharton Center Institute for Arts and Creativity. The Institute, supported by the MSU Federal Credit Union, creates life-changing programs for schools, families, aspiring professionals and adults. Each year these programs serve over 30,000 Michigan residents ranging from Traverse City to Flint, to Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Jackson and beyond.

Michigan Radio is integral to supporting Wharton Center’s mission by allowing us to reach out to an audience that is as passionate and as open to the possibilities of the performing arts as we are. We are privileged to collaborate with Michigan Radio to build ties with listeners with whom we can share our stories.

Learn more about Wharton Center

Learn more about becoming a Michigan Radio Sponsor

Michigan Radio Audience Growth Across the State

Michigan Radio’s listening audience has grown substantially across the state. According to this spring’s Nielsen Audio Report*, the station’s weekly listening audience grew by 3% in Detroit, 12% in Grand Rapids, 21% in Flint, 24% in Ann Arbor, and 26% in Kalamazoo.  Michigan Radio continues to be the top NPR station in each of these markets.

Michigan Radio’s audience growth in West Michigan is particularly noteworthy, as the station now ranks among the top three stations in both Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo in terms of average listening audience. This top three ranking includes both commercial and public radio stations serving these markets. Michigan Radio also remains the most-listened-to radio station of any kind in Ann Arbor, a distinction the station has held for over a decade.

This recent audience growth solidifies Michigan Radio’s position as Michigan’s most-listened-to NPR station, and among the top public radio stations nationwide in terms of listening audience.

In addition to the station’s over-the-air broadcast audience, more than 100,000 people across the state listen to Michigan Radio’s online audio stream each month.

If your business isn’t already reaching the Michigan Radio audience with your sponsorship message – what are you waiting for?

Contact Us today to be heard on Michigan Radio across the state!

*Source:  Nielsen Audio- Spring 2017; Persons 12+, Mon-Sun, 6AM-12Midnight.

Featured Sponsor: Alden B. Dow Home & Studio

By Lisa Quinn, Marketing Coordinator, Alden B. Dow Home & Studio

Guest Blogger

The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio is an architecturally significant Mid-Century Modern structure, designed by Michigan’s sole architect Laureate, Alden B. Dow.

This National Historic Landmark located in Midland, Michigan is a multi-faceted organization that not only inspires area youth through extensive educational programming; engages the community through special events and camps; provides researchers and historian with extensive collections of original documents; but creates an exciting and inspiring touring opportunity that is unique to the Mid-Michigan region.

Supporting Michigan Radio and NPR allows us to reach loyal brand purchasers and potential new customers as well as hit multiple goals at once; executing our radio and digital campaign; and drive traffic to our website.

Through our sponsorship, Michigan Radio allows us to share our message with a listening audience that is not only focused on a “Life Long Learners” lifestyle, but want adventure, travel, and experiences that are both educational and fun in nature.

Our Michigan Radio driven traffic often includes individuals that are passionate and curious. People connected to their local communities and tuned in to the latest public affairs that often return for tours and bring their friends and family. This helps us grow our presence on a state and national level.

Learn more about Alden B. Dow Home & Studio

Learn more about becoming a Michigan Radio Sponsor

Use Corporate Sponsorship to Create Fully-Connected Customers

According to Harvard Business Review, customers who have developed an emotional bond with a brand are described as ‘fully connected customers’ and are over 50% more valuable, on average, than even a highly satisfied customer. These fully connected customers purchase more and are less likely to be price-sensitive.

Forging positive emotional connections paves the way to brand loyalty and life-long customers, thus an organic growth strategy for your business.

More than 65 percent of those surveyed in Harvard Business Review shared that being emotionally connected to a brand made them feel like the company or business cared about people like them. How do you get people to feel like that about YOUR organization?

We’ve talked in previous posts about what branding really is:

Brand = Perception + Experience

Part of your customer’s experience is their interaction and connection with your organization. What are you doing to strengthen your customer’s perception and experience of your brand?

Consider, when you are sharing a post on social media or writing a newsletter piece: what feelings might this spark? Do you convey that you care about the person engaging with your content? Do you convey that you are making a difference in the world and that you care about the same or similar things that they do?

Michigan Radio Sponsorship is an excellent way to forge an emotional connection with the audience you are trying to reach. Your sponsorship message on Michigan Radio offers the listener an opportunity to positively perceive and experience your brand.   Your message allows the listener to know that you share similar concerns. In addition, your brand will be connected to our well-established and trusted brand, giving you access to the coveted public media Halo Effect. The Michigan Radio audience is made up of ‘fully-connected customers’ – our members financially support the station and are 74% more likely to do business with an organization that also supports us!

A fully-engaged, emotionally connected audience across Michigan is ready to hear your message – what are you waiting for?  Contact us to get started!

Harvard Business Review: New Science of Customer Emotions

 

Industry Spotlight: Outdoor Leisure

The Michigan Radio audience is active, affluent and engaged – and they are interested in what you have to offer! 78% of our listeners have participated in a sport within the past 12 months and 65% of listeners own sporting or recreation equipment.

In fact, Michigan Radio listeners are 33% more likely than the average American to spend more than $250 on sporting and recreational equipment.

By putting your message directly in front of your target audience, you will be able to
showcase your product and build brand awareness with a broader scope of consumers.

 

Contact us to find out more about how a Michigan Radio Corporate Sponsorship can help you grow your outdoor leisure business!