Marketing NPR – The Insider Scoop from CMO Michael Smith



Michael Smith joined National Public Radio as chief marketing officer at a time when the nation — and the world — had just entered crisis mode. In addition to adapting to his new job he’s needed to shift the company’s marketing message, outreach and the very stance the brand has taken over the past years. Part of that shift was motivated by more digital audio listening given more at-home workers during our pandemic. The parallel motivation was to amplify more multicultural voices and drive greater diversity within the halls of the company itself. 

In Episode 15, Michael shares his observations, his approach and some insider scoop from his winged-back chair in New Jersey. For example, he explains how different audiences respond to NPR’s content. Michael tells us that “among regular users when we look at people of color versus white listeners, their satisfaction levels are actually higher. So it’s an exciting thing in the sense that if we can get more people to know that we’re there and to get us into their consideration set, when they come, I think they’re going to love it.” 

Michael had primarily been focused on network video, developing strategies to reach younger and more diverse audiences on streaming platforms for Cooking Channel, and Food Network — where he and I worked together during the last big crisis for the country, 9/11! He has quickly learned to apply his know-how to linear radio and on demand audio.

“When they start to know some of these shows where there are young, diverse hosts, a Sam Sanders or [they get to know the] hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour, that creates so much more engagement than when they just see the three block letters, NPR.”

The fast 35-minute discussion includes suggestions all brands can appreciate from a world-class marketer like Michael Smith. We talked about:
  • The challenges most media companies are facing right now
  • How to move from linear to on demand streaming digital platforms
  • Balancing linear, podcasting and the NPR One app
  • How has Coronavirus Daily evolved as a show…and the ongoing need for that content?
  • How NPR itself has evolved since its origins in the 60s, and why its signature audio style is intentionally like a mental “exhale”
  • Working with the sponsorship team, NPM
  • Michael’s optimism — and any pessimism — for the future.

Follow Michael on LinkedIn. Follow NPR on Twitter.

Follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And reach out to be considered for an episode or for your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. 

Michael’s “studio” chair

Podcast Prognostications At and Around RAIN’s Global Summit – with Brad Hill: Epi 14



This episode is made up of two discussions about podcasting: A casual conversation with RAIN News president, Brad Hill around fun moments from the industry and projections for its success… and a more formal discussion — actually a few segments grabbed from RAIN’s Global Podcast Leadership Summit.

Insider Interviews host, E.B. Moss was the moderator on a panel about podcast advertising, featuring Art19’s Lex Friedman and Targetspot’s Dave Sosson — and a few of their insights were captured here.

  • You’ll learn how the summit had to pivot — and lessons for good zooming — as well as:
  • the kinds of media categories that podcasters are selling against — think paid social — and how they compare;
  • how host read ads are great, but how do they fit in to a targeted buy 
  • Interesting projections from the IAB and the new categories opening up for — and of — podcast advertisers
  • SHOULD there be a “PAB” 
  • And what is “giide”?

NOTE: Read RainNews.com to catch more takeaways from all the 8 sessions of the recent summit.

And ask E.B. about using giide.fm for your media company!

 


Lawrence M. Kimmel: Direct (Marketing) from the Heart – Epi 13



How do you circulate a message that even the Pope shares — and ultimately get 2 billion impressions across hundreds of countries around the world? Ask Lawrence M. Kimmel. His Rung-UP team created the #WeRemember campaign for World Jewish Congress. What marketing advice would this former Chairman of the Direct Marketing Association give politicians to help them appeal more to the public? And, what does Larry think are standout marketing tactics these days?

I asked Larry all of that – and he answered specifically and thoughtfully in Epi 13 of Insider Interviews. He also shares what led him to create Rung-UP, a strategic marketing consultancy…and why he calls it the first “C2C” agency.

You’ll immediately value Larry’s creative vision, branding and marketing expertise when you hear him discuss these elements as well:

  • How the current pandemic is affecting global consumer behavior  
  • His personal experiences that impacted his evolution into a mission-driven clientele — and lessons from his father, Howard Kimmel, who put his lifeblood into building affordable housing
  • Rung-UP’s work with the World Jewish Congress and how he came about the campaign #WeRemember
  • Why a C2C approach is so important for those in the “C-Suite”
  • His tips on branding and marketing a politician
  • How advertising has changed and become more complicated throughout the years
  • Why both traditional and digital channels are important in advertising
  • Instagram stories or TikTok? And will he still embrace Facebook? Is there a place for traditional direct mail?
  • His predictions for consumer behavior in the future
  • The ripple effect of brands’ response to consumer buying habits
  • His recommendations for companies who need to do better in bringing more of a multicultural team — and what young entrants to a career in media should focus on.

Be informed and inspired by Larry Kimmel, who is living and working this reality: “If we can do well for the world and make a living at the same time, it’s even better.”

Social Media Links:

Twitter @kimmelsCorner

Linkedin @LawrenceKimmel

Rung-UP’s Linkedin @Rung-UP


Lantigua-Williams with the Scoop on Launching a Podcast Company



Get the “insider scoop” on how to dive in to creating a place in the podcasting world. The talented Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, Founder/CEO of Lantigua Williams & Co., an award-winning and Peabody-nominated digital media studio, walked us through her anxiety through her achievements. While she’s humble enough to just describe herself as someone who builds teams that create podcasts, those teams have turned out hit after hit in three short years. But Lantigua-Williams has the chops, from 20 years of experience as a writer, reporter, editor, syndicated columnist, book editor/scout, lecturer, and audio producer!
The differentiator for this company? Its mission to support and amplify the creators and stories “from the margins” – which often means by and about women of color. These shows include Latina to Latina, which just passed 100 episodes, 70 Million, and Feeling My Flo. But Lantigua-Williams also does consulting and white-label production services for clients like Macmillan Podcasts (Driving the Green Book), the Phi Beta Kappa Society, WHYY, KQED, and Civil Beat.
Another secret weapon for success is Juleyka’s authenticity and generosity. She’s set a tone of sharing — which you’ll hear candidly in this conversation and can read in her posts on the company site and elsewhere, like this very guide to “centering marginalized people in your podcast.”
Listen and learn the ins and outs of producing a show and starting a company as Juleyka shares her knowledge and expertise including:
    • How Juleyka embraces her BFF, named “Insomnia”, and sidekick, Perfectionism
    • The path from intern to producer to company founder – as a “hyphenated American”
    • The first step to starting any company
    • Staying true to Juleyka’s vision for her company
    • How some shows came about (umm, conversations around astronauts menstruating in space?) and upcoming projects
    • Supporting women of color
    • Getting to “scale” and getting revenue
Follow on Social Media

 

Resources mentioned:

Lantigua Williams & Co

Podcasting Seriously

Truth be Told by Tanya Moseley

 


Carl Fremont On Brand – and On Demand: Epi 11



Back in January I had the good fortune to get seated next to someone I’ve long admired — Carl Fremont — on our return flight from CES. If you’ve been to CES you know it’s non-stop learning about what’s trending. And my non-stop flight next to Carl made for even more learning as we recapped what we’d each just experienced, and then he was kind enough to share his own projections for the future of the media and advertising industry. I immediately understood why Quigley-Simpson had made Carl CEO just months before. So, for this episode of Insider Interviews I asked him to share a lot of those thoughts so more people outside of row 8 could benefit from his insights.

Carl has held senior roles in the media/marketing industry for decades, and explained how his longest tenure – 16 years with Lester Wunderman – gave him skills that are still applicable today. Hear how the former Chief Digital Officer for MEC and Chief Media Officer for Digitas describes direct marketing and performance marketing, and the importance of brands optimizing every channel possible – including how to capitalize on eCommerce.

Long an advocate of supporting women and diversity in the industry, Carl discusses how this transformative time is also a time to embrace change in order to evolve and benefit business. He shares a moving story of his own diverse background and how a discovery of his father’s past dovetails with his own unique hobby tied to vintage radios.
We are all fortunate that Carl loves sharing knowledge, and listeners will benefit from priceless marketing and advertising advice. And yes, I found an opportunity or two to sing to him….
Please listen – and share – Carl Fremont’s thoughts on advertising trends, common brand pitfalls and diversity including:
  • Is “direct marketing” different from DTC?
  • How the pandemic accelerated the emergence of alternative channels for businesses
  • Creating a harmonious consumer experience
  • What you can do to speed up purchasing path
  • Authenticity: How to build it and what it truly means
  • Mistakes brands make and how you can avoid them
  • The pros and cons of third-party eCommerce platforms
  • Considerations for building your own eCommerce platform
  • The holistic approach to promoting your brand
  • What omnichannel really means
  • Influencers: Does scale matter here?
  • Diverse creative staff to reflect diverse consumers
  • How mentoring benefits companies – and oneself.

Social Media Links:

Resources mentioned in the episode

Quotes

“We’ve been practicing direct to consumer skills since our founding. We just didn’t call it “DTC”. “Direct marketing” does not mean you abandoned brand.”

-Carl Fremont

“We need to always make sure that we’re giving opportunities, that we’re mentoring, that we’re helping to grow the industry with a more diverse background.”

-Carl Fremont

“I love looking back and looking forward. I believe a lot of lessons can be obtained about moving forward from looking back.”

-Carl Fremont

Carl Fremont’s father’s radio

New Schedule for Insider Interviews Podcast!



Normally I come out with a new episode of “Insider Interviews” every Thursday, but did you know that I also have another podcast? It’s sort of my personal passion project and it’s called “It’s Quite a Living“, and it’s with “my friends in high places”. They’re really casual conversations about some high profile people who happen to be my friends. Now, that one comes out every other Tuesday.

So I’ve decided to make “Insider Interviews” — the B2B one speaking with those in media marketing and advertising — come out every other Thursday…at least through the summer.

Of course, if an eager sponsor* wants me to produce more frequently bring it on! Otherwise, you’ll hear Episode 11 NEXT Thursday.

Frankly, it’s been a LOT to create, host and post two podcasts a week, even though I love it — especially during our current times, and especially since I seem to be developing a reputation for singing to my guests. Listeners understand that…. But do stay subscribed because you won’t want to miss the CEO of Quigley Simpson, Carl Fremont, who will be my very interesting next guest!

And now you have some time in between to catch up on the past 10 episodes with amazing folks like Minjae Ormes of Visible, Claude Silver of Vayner Media, Sree Sreenivasan (don’t miss his #NYTimesReadalong on Sundays!), Rachael Henke of Dell Technologies, and guests from NYI, Tidal Wave Productions, Krantz Media and more!
I’m very, very proud of what we’ve been able to do together to bring you great content about the industry. And I really appreciate all of the great ratings you’ve given me and the subscribing and sharing. You can listen just about anywhere you like (although Pandora is still a hold out, I’m just sayin’.) Thank you for telling everyone in the industry. It means a lot to me.

*And, if you want to sponsor an episode of EITHER podcast, or suggest a guest for “Insider Interviews”, please reach out at podcasts@mossappeal.com. I’m “hear” for you!

E.B.