Art Center College of Design Grad ID & the Drucker Graduate School of Managment
Southern California Public Radio
The KPCC+ strategy is notable because of the breadth of analysis that was done to increase listenership. They did a good job of targeting, understanding and designing for a complex and changing market and technology. Excellent process and project! – Lorraine Justice
1. The Nutshell: In plain language, tell us what your project is, what it does, and what it’s comprised of.
KPCC+ is a systematic, multi-pronged growth strategy intended to increase listenership and maintain a longterm competitive advantage through five components:
1. Klik- users participate in a realtime conversation with other listeners that share their interests.
2. Voices - captures local stories and opinions and is passed from person to person like chain mail.
3. Nights of the Round Table - curated in-person conversations around local issues hosted by KPCC.
4. Change Agency - opportunities for community service.
5. Conservatory - social incubator / think tank that leverages the affluence and ideas of the listening community for creating positive change.
2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
KPCC has a branding issue. There are several acronyms associated with the station - KPCC, SCPR and NPR. Listeners also confuse them with the competitor station, KCRW.
• Millennials are increasingly listening to public radio. KPCC needs to create content relevant to this generation while not alienating their older listeners.
• KPCC is worried that its listeners will directly access NPR content from the NPR app/website on their smart phones and bypass the local station.
• KPCC wants to become the source for local news in Southern California.
• KPCC is looking for more avenues to use member donations for community benefit.
• KPCC wanted clarity on whether competing in the online news space was good or bad for their long term growth.
• Listeners did not feel connected to others who share similar values.
• Listeners were willing to do community service but were not able to find opportunities easily.
3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The team assembled for this project provided several international points of view that played an important role in looking at the problem in several different ways. Also, this project was a collaboration between graduate students of design and business management, bringing both perspectives into the solution. Through interviews with listeners and stakeholders in the client organization, the team framed the project as a branding problem and the results that you see are in response to that. Points of view that were considered: Non Listeners -- Understanding what the perception of public radio is and why they don’t currently listen. Listeners -- Understanding motivations of what keeps them listening to KPCC. Background history on when they started listening and why. Also understanding why they are currently not contributing members. Members -- As above, and understanding why they are members, and what is the value that they see in it. Donors -- Organization -- Terrestrial Content Development & Delivery -- Team that decides what goes on air. A lot of insights into listener demographics and understanding why people listen to various shows. Digital Content Development & Delivery -- Team that is responsible for the KPCC smartphone application and online website. Key to understand the strategy behind their online efforts. In person Forum -- Team that organizes the in person forum meetings. Finance -- Underwriting, Membership & Donorship - More insights on listener demographics, and strategies used for raising funds from listeners and underwriters. Competitive media outlets
4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Panel of key personnel from KPCC: We conducted a workshop session with key stakeholders within the organization to understand their points of view. An only-ness statement exercise was conducted ("KPCC is the only ___ to ____") to shed light on internal alignment and goals. Sample listener group: The client gave us access to selected listeners that were willing to talk to us. We conducted several sessions with them to identify their values and needs. At a later stage, we were able to get feedback on the design ideas through the same group. Survey of social networks. Analysis of the organization’s annual reports. Market analysis: studying competing media outlets including newspapers, digital news, other local radio stations. Trend analysis: STEEP factors environmental scan to understand the trends happening in the world today as well as likely trends in the next 5 years that would affect KPCC’s business. Future study and causal loop analysis: Creation of several possible future scenarios based on the trends analysed above to design within. Attended expert panel discussion on “Future of digital news delivery” that included experts from NBC, LA Times and independent bloggers.
5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Benefit to the user: One of the biggest insights from research with listeners was that they felt connected to the radio station and their hosts, but not to other listeners who share their values. KPCC+ connects listeners both in person and over the air. With the Change Agency, Nights of the Round Table and the Conservatory, listeners meet like-minded others, share ideas and together create something of value for the local community through projects. Klik and Voices are platforms to share opinions and thoughts. Benefit to the client: Makes KPCC synonymous with positive change in local communities. Creates brand equity by increasing listener touch points. Creates content for on-air programming through projects that have positive impact in the community as well as individual stories that may emerge through Voices. Motivates listeners to become contributing members as they are able to see change in their communities. Gains access to Millenials who identify themselves as being activists and change agents. Benefit to the society: Uplifts and creates closely-knit local neighborhoods through KPCC+ projects.
6. Did the context of your project change throughout its development? If so, how did your understanding of the project change?
The context of the project remained fairly constant throughout its development, so our understanding of the project did not change substantially after the research and analysis phase.