The issue of relevance in the community has come up in recent posts about terrestrial stations’ viability in the realm of non-terrestrial distribution. One example of how this is done in a number of ways is by the upper-Midwest empire that is Minnesota Public Radio. For the sake of brevity, the focus will be on two contrasting points of entry into the community.
The first, as I was to discover after stepping out of the bus, was prominently displayed on a Presbyterian Church sign. The church was hosting a Town Hall Forum featuring Michael Mandelbaum. MPR will later broadcast this on their Midmorning talk program. This in itself is not a great leap. However, in terms of branding, having a station logo placard for placement on a chuch sign rather is. Not just MPR in regular letters, but the proper logo and font and color scheme. [See above picture.] This is branding with thought at all levels.
The other example was that of MPR’s alt-rock station KCMP, better known as The Current. There have been literally hundreds of events with The Current as the media sponsor. I am not sure what that exactly means, or what sort of fiscal outlay that requires. I do recall the saturation reaching such a level that employees of the now closed Let It Be record store were making fun of it. The local dirty rock club which I am a sometimes patron, the legendary First Avenue had a semi-permanent The Current sign with prominent window placement. It was gone when I passed by today; all I could find was this:
This amount of resource and effort has garnered a certain level of visibility and non-radio penetration into the community. They are appealing in different ways to disparate groups, to their credit. Will this benefit their loyalty? Will it be of great enough effect to preserve listenership in the world of ever expanding media choices and delivery?