|Tony Bol's Menu of Services|
At the Public Radio Content Conference (PRCC) last summer Tony Bol, founder of Culture Casts [link], and PRPD announced they are working together to facilitate “content events” that create deeper ties between stations and their listeners.
Content events are performances, speeches and panels produced to generate audio and other media for use on-air or on other station platforms. The Moth and Ted Talks are good examples of content events.
The partners are now planning research that will create measurement tools and best practices for content events in three key areas: Audience, Impact and Revenue. The call it “A. I. R.” but it is not related to the audio independents group with a similar name.
Public media organizations have been promoting events for many years. They typically have been one-time events without direct connections to other station activities. Bol and PRPD want content events to enhance station value and become part of strategic plans.
To establish a baseline for the project, Tony Bol, and PRPD asked 14 station decision makers about past experiences with content events. What emerged from the research were some successes but many station respondents expressed uncertainty when asked to put the events in a larger context. You can see/download the survey responses here.
The results are intended to provide a directional understanding of content events for the larger study. Key findings included:
• AUDIENCE MEMBERS ARE SATISFIED WITH PAST EVENTS
• BUT, MOST STATIONS DON’T HAVE WAYS TO CONSISTENTLY MEASURE AUDIENCE RESPONSE
• ALSO MOST STATIONS DO NOT MEASURE THEIR EVENT’S CONTENT IMPACT
• STATION FOLKS FEEL THEY HAVE HAD SUCCESS USING EVENT CONTENT FOR OTHER PLATFORMS
• STATIONS FEEL THAT EVENTS BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH DONORS & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
More information is available at PRPD.org and culturecasts.com.
WHO IS TONY BOL?
If you have been around public radio for any period of time, you have likely been at an event organized by Tony Bol. He has been in charge of events for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) since the 1980s. Bol started back in the days when MPR used to have to recruit audiences for A Prairie Home Companion.
Bol became the Director of MPR’s Fitzgerald Theater and staged events for arts groups, journalists, travel promotions, holiday specials and many others. He is known by performers as a person who stages no-hassle, top quality events, and by audience members for making possible memorable evenings.
In 2016, Bol established Culture Casts to bring the same magic and integrity to the entire public radio system.