Michigan Radio Delivers to YOUR Target Audience

By Christa Quinn, Account Executive

“We’ve never been a media brand that’s been about one side, being left or being right. Our side is the truth. We’ve always felt that by getting to the truth and the facts behind something, that allows people to be better informed, be better citizens and make better decisions on their own.” These aren’t my words, they are the words of Steve Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of NPR, stated in a recent article about NPR’s continued rise in audience numbers.

Never before has truth been more important, but telling the truth has been the mission of NPR and Michigan Radio all along. The public radio audience continues to hear more balanced information. From broadcast to digital, through the pandemic and now our global crisis of racial inequality, reaching Michigan Radio’s audience is of the utmost importance. The most frequent question a corporate sponsor asks of me when we are discussing potential campaigns: who will I reach? The basic demographic information is displayed in the following image:

NPR listeners aren’t only tuning in; they’re making NPR part of their lives – 80% agree that NPR is personally important to them. The unwavering commitment to high-quality journalism and storytelling is what sets NPR apart, attracting a loyal, curious and influential audience. And listener engagement extends to sponsors – 66% of NPR listeners prefer to buy products from companies that support NPR Stations.

If you want to reach this super keyed-in audience across multiple platforms contact us for additional details.

Healthcare and the NPR Audience: The Data Narrative for Industry Leaders

By Chelsea Roberts, Account Executive

Facts and Feelings, Demographics and Trust. This post shares data for healthcare leaders in communications, marketing, and business development.

Key Takeaways:

  1. NPR is the most trusted brand partner in America among agency and marketing executives (The Myers Report, 2019). As your healthcare organization works to maintain public trust, transparency, accessibility, and compassionate care in the Covid-19 era, Michigan Radio(NPR) is optimally positioned to do this work with you through corporate sponsorship campaigns.

  2. The NPR listener is concerned about their health and well-being, both inside and out. 81% of our listeners say they are “always looking for ways to live a healthier life.”

  3. NPR listeners are early adopters of technology. Combine this with their commitment to health and the likelihood (81%) that they will have insurance, the NPR listener is a strong demographic for organizations looking to market telehealth services.

  4. The NPR listener is 53% more likely than the average American to carry Point-of-Service health insurance, which allows for greater flexibility in visiting specialists. NPR listeners are 67% more likely than the average American to have a traditional fee-for-service health plan. They are half as likely to have Medicaid.

  5. NPR listeners are 98% more likely than the average American to be purchasers of health insurance policies at their place of work.

The healthcare industry is undergoing a massive disruption. Whether your organization provides insurance, senior care, or mental health counseling, it’s likely that your work has been impacted by the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to delivering new services, like telehealth, your office may be working overtime to disseminate public information about your updated policies, the virus, how patients can continue to access your care, and more. During this time of immense change for healthcare professionals, putting your information in front of the right audience makes all the difference.
Maybe you’ve already thought about reaching the NPR audience in order to raise the profile of your organization. Or, maybe you’ve heard your competitor on our airwaves and wondered how they got there. In the midst of these dynamic times NPR sponsorship remains a trusted tool for elevating your brand while reaching your target audience. This article shares the data healthcare leaders need to know about the NPR audience.
NPR listeners are concerned about their health and well-being, both inside and out. 81% of our listeners say they are “always looking for ways to live a healthier life.”
They are more likely than the average American to visit a doctor on a more frequent basis. And if you’re a specialist, NPR listeners might already be some of your favorite patients. That’s because the NPR listener is 53% more likely than the average American to carry Point-of-Service health insurance, which allows them greater flexibility in visiting specialists. And they’re 60% more likely to have Gap or supplemental insurance.
If your practice focuses on holistic wellness, prioritizing exercise and meditation as components of a healthy lifestyle, our listeners share your values. 74% participate in some kind of regular exercise. The most popular fitness activities with our listeners are walking (31%), hiking (25%), swimming (21%), jogging/running (17%), road bicycling (17%) and yoga (15%).
And of course, telehealth. Can our listeners keep up with your new service, and will they access it? Yes. The NPR audience is tech-savvy and more likely than the general population to adopt the latest technologies. They use the internet to access information, and to shop. The NPR listener is 60% more likely than the average American to have purchased health/medical supplies and prescription drugs online.
Although data on how NPR listeners use telehealth is not available, signs point in the right direction. Our listeners are early adopters of technology, they are committed to their health, and they are more likely to carry insurance. When you combine these factors, the NPR audience is a strong target demographic for organizations looking to market new telehealth services.
Age, Income, and Education:
NPR is particularly popular among Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1964). The median age of the NPR listener is 53.
NPR’s audience is extraordinarily well-educated. Seven in ten listeners have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to only 31% of the U.S. population. Also, they are more than 3 times as likely as the average American to have completed graduate school.
The median household income of an NPR News listener is about $103,000, compared to the national average of about $68,800.
Measuring Trust:
Next to data, the most important component of an NPR sponsorship is Trust.
Trust is built through consistency. For example: the sound of your favorite NPR host taking you through your morning, your afternoon, your evening, and your weekend. Trust is built through time and commitment. Trust is when someone hums the theme music to Morning Edition, or taps “M” in their search bar and it autocompletes to MichiganRadio.org.
Henry Ford Allegiance Health and Allergy and Immunology Associates of Michigan are two organizations who have proudly sponsored Michigan Radio(NPR) to reach our loyal, unduplicated audience. Their sponsorship cultivates trust and engagement with our listeners.
Harvey Leo, MD at Allergy and Immunology Associates, states, “There is no doubt that our relationship with Michigan Radio has nurtured the growth of this practice.”
In fact, NPR is the most trusted brand partner in America among agency and marketing executives (The Myers Report, 2019). When you sponsor our factual news and information, listeners report perceiving your brand as stable, trustworthy, and credible.
And as your organization pivots during the Covid-19 era, working to launch new programs while maintaining trust, accessibility, and compassionate care, Michigan Radio(NPR) is optimally positioned to share your message with our loyal, informed, health-conscious audience.
Now that you’ve seen the data, ask yourself: Should I be reaching the NPR audience?
Reach out to our corporate support professionals for a customized marketing consultation, or message me on LinkedIn. Michigan Radio’s corporate support team is pleased to partner with industry leaders in Michigan, and we thank our current sponsors for their on-going support.
Sources: https://www.mediavillage.com/article/hallmark-pbs-lead-industry-in-brand-safety-npr-hulu-lead-in-trust/ | SOURCE: MRI-Simmons Doublebase 2019 Base: Total U.S. Adults | SOURCE: comScore Plan Metrix, 3-month averages, Nov 2018 – Jan 2019 Base: Active Online Population (Adults 18+)

***RESTRICTED RIGHTS: NPR member stations, producers of NPR distributed programs, and customers of the Public Radio Satellite System have authorization to use this information in their underwriting materials and proposals, and for internal analysis. Any other usage requires permission from NPR Audience Insights.***

Your Sponsorship Reaches Michigan Radio Members Across the State

Michigan Radio has members across the state, from Houghton to Grand Rapids, from Detroit to Ann Arbor.

Click to Enlarge

Why does it matter that our sponsor’s messages reach members in addition to listeners?  Michigan Radio members contribute financially to the station, just like our sponsors do!  This means that they already have something in common with our sponsors – support for Michigan Radio!

Just as our members appreciate their pledge drive gifts, our sponsors value the messages we read on air to promote their organizations and events. While members enjoy bringing home their groceries in a Michigan Radio tote bag, sponsors enjoy increased revenue or awareness for their brand.

Not a sponsor yet? Contact us to get started today!

Why is a Balanced Sponsorship Schedule Important?

Running a balanced schedule on Michigan Radio means that your spots will be placed in multiple dayparts, which means you can reach more Michigan Radio listeners.


 Here’s why that matters:

  • Quality: The Michigan Radio audience is high quality all the time: No matter when you run your schedule, your sponsorship messages will reach the most educated, affluent, influential and engaged audience in the state.

  • Quantity: Drive times aren’t the only time that people listen to Michigan Radio. Some of our most popular programming is in the evenings and on the weekends, like Fresh Air, The Moth, This American Life and On Being.

  • Value: Placing your spots in broader and more varying dayparts helps you get more spots for your budgeted marketing bucks, helping increase your reach and frequency without increasing your financial investment.

Don’t miss out on reaching as many of our listeners as possible!  Contact us today to request a customized sponsorship schedule!

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!

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.

Align Your Brand with Michigan Radio

We’re proud to share that NPR has been named 2020’s ‘Brand of the Year’ by the  Harris Poll EquiTrend News Service. More than 45,000 U.S. consumers voted on 4,000 brands. The “News Service” category includes newspapers, news websites, wire services and news aggregators.

NPR ranked the highest in this category when voters considered familiarity, quality and consideration.

“More than 100 million users access NPR across all platforms for news and cultural programming that enriches their lives,” said Meg Goldthwaite, NPR’s Chief Marketing Officer. “The intimacy listeners feel with audio is part of the reason NPR is such a beloved brand; we wake up to the hosts’ voices and hear them tell us breaking news as well as our favorite podcasts.”

As Michigan’s most listened to NPR station, Michigan Radio provides award winning, locally produced coverage and content, as well as delivering NPR news and cultural programming to more than 500,000 people each week.

Michigan Radio listeners continue to demonstrate their appreciation and support of the unbiased, informative and authentic journalism that we provide by financially supporting Michigan Radio as members.

Their support also extends to our corporate sponsors.

“Sponsors value NPR’s commitment to providing listeners with news and information programming; the Most Loved Brand category confirms how much listeners also value NPR,” says Gina Garrubbo, President & CEO of National Public Media, NPR’s sponsorship subsidiary.

As research has shown, our audience is also committed to supporting our sponsors: 74% of listeners say they’re more likely to do business with a company that sponsors public radio.

Take the opportunity to align your brand with Michigan Radio and NPR. Deliver your message to our engaged, intelligent and supportive listeners across Michigan.

Check out our series on Branding with Michigan Radio to learn more.

Converting Obstacles to Opportunites: Sponsorship Copy & The Halo Effect

As you consider Michigan Radio sponsorship as a way to promote your business, mission or event, you should also be considering the copy message you’d like to air.

Your copy message is an important consideration: not just any message, but the right kind of message.

An appropriately worded sponsorship message is one that resonates with the listeners and fits in with the sound of the station.

Just as you wouldn’t pair brown shoes with a black tuxedo at a formal event, you don’t want a message that strikes listeners like an out-of-tune piano in a symphony orchestra. You want copy that fits in with the sound of the station.

The things that make Michigan Radio unique in sound and substance are why our listeners tune-in. In addition to providing exceptional programming, it’s important that we maintain an uncluttered environment, so that listeners are engaged during breaks, stay tuned to the station, and hear our sponsor’s messages.

That’s why crafting underwriting messages that are in keeping with our programming values is important.

When it comes time for writing copy, there are important questions to keep in mind:

  • Does the copy focus on brand and community messages instead of just a list of the sponsor’s products?

  • Is the length of the message appropriate?

  • Is the tone appropriate? Is it produced in a calm, authentic voice?

  • Is the copy reinforcing a trust relationship?

We’ll take a look at two ways an sponsorship message can be written for the same sponsor. Here’s an example of a credit for a business that’s in the finance category.


The first of the two is a good message, FCC-compliant, and written with the focus on the product:

Support for Michigan Radio comes from Wealth Investment Advisors, providing a wide range of investment options, from stocks, bonds and mutual funds, to comprehensive portfolio management since 1995. On the web at Wealth Investment Advisors dot com.

Here’s a second version, also a good message and FCC-compliant. It’s also a message that’s locally oriented and supportive of the local community:

Support for Michigan Radio comes from Wealth Investment Advisors, helping local families navigate the investment landscape since 1995. On the web at Wealth Investment Advisors dot com.

Both examples are good copy and FCC-compliant. The second is to-the-point, an example that makes for a clear, uncluttered message that resonates with the listener. When fewer words are used, it’s easier for a listener to remember the details, compared with a longer list of product or service offerings.

Information in shorter spots is easier for the listener to remember. That’s a good guide to use when choosing the wording that will resonate with the listener. The second credit is poised to deliver on the halo effect, creating the image of the business that supports the station.

Sponsorship messages should resonate with the listeners. When you’re listening to the radio everything that comes out of the speakers is heard as programming, and that includes the sponsorship messages.

Contact us for more information about how we can help you get your clear, concise message out to our audience with a Michigan Radio sponsorship.

Looking Beyond Ratings

Marketing professionals, like gourmet chefs, are on the lookout for key ingredients when they are planning their strategy.

Specifically, when buying radio, those in the know are looking at things like reach, frequency and ratings.

Michigan Radio has the numbers that the professionals are looking for. As the most listened-to public radio station in the state, we reach more than a half a million listeners per week with our on-air broadcast – and that’s not counting our streaming or web audience.

Beyond the ratings, marketers today know they should also be looking at audience engagement. Put simply, audience engagement = how much the audience takes action as a result of the content produced by the station.

Taking action or audience engagement could look like:

  • social media interaction: liking, sharing, commenting on content;

  • web interaction: commenting on stories on the web or going to the web to follow up on a story they heard on-air;

  • calling the station with feedback;

  • contacting sponsors or advertisers;

For Michigan Radio, audience engagement also includes listeners who become donors/members of the station.  This is the ultimate in audience engagement: our listeners value our content enough to contribute financially.

This means that sponsorship messages aired and associated with our high-quality content, are HEARD by our audience.  Since we don’t have commercials and limit our sponsorship messages to only a few an hour, our listeners don’t change the station during sponsorship messages.

As a marketing professional, we know that you recognize the value in what Michigan Radio sponsorship has to offer – contact us to find out how to put your marketing dollars to work in our high-quality, content-rich environment!

Audience Profile: Buying Habits

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 reach our engaged audience!