Three Things Datebook for the Week of 3/28/2022
In this week's Datebook, we preview the Audience Development Summit. Also, can robots restore local news? Finally, conversations on creating a more inclusive public media.
We have a lot to share this week, but I want to toss out one final reminder about the Zoom session this Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 4:00 pm (Eastern) on Public Media and “The Great Resignation.”
This hour-long forum with your colleagues aims to work through ideas and potential solutions that public media organizations can focus on to meet this challenge and thrive in the months and years ahead.
You can register at this link, and you'll be receiving an email with details about participating in this Zoom session on March 31. Thanks.
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Today marks a big day in northeast Ohio, with the big switch happening at Ideastream Public Media.
In September, the board of trustees from Kent State University agreed to a public service operating agreement (PSOA) with Ideastream in Cleveland to take over the operation of WKSU. Today marks the first-day WKSU will be the only outlet for NPR news programming from its flagship station in Kent at 89.7 FM and a slew of repeaters and translators positioned around the region, including 104.9 FM in Cleveland.
WCLV (on the WCPN former dial position) becomes the classical music service for the region on 90.3 FM.
This is a terrific example of taking an audience-first approach in delivering public service to listeners in and around Cleveland, and I look forward to watching both services thrive.
Congratulations to CEO Kevin Martin and the entire team at Ideastream working with Public Media Company to complete this important merger. I also need to point out that after many years of discussions about an alliance between WCPN (now Ideastream) and WKSU, a $100,000 grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 2020 helped push this to the finish line. This investment will pay off many times over in the years ahead in public service from these two stations.
THING ONE: An Innovative Approach To Develop Strategies To Serve New Audiences.
Another excellent example of collaboration is coming up in late April with the Audience Development Summit, a two-day virtual event designed to bring station leadership teams together to formulate strategies for serving new audiences.
Greater Public, the Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD), and Eastern Region Public Media (ERPM) have come together for this first-ever event where station teams of 5-10 staffers including content staff in both broadcast and digital, development, and marketing will gather to focus on building new audiences for public media organizations.
The event, open to joint licensees and standalone public radio and television stations, takes place on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, and Wednesday, April 27, 2022, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern) each day.
Here’s the schedule:
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern): Centering Audience As Your Guiding Principle
The summit begins with a presentation from Kyra Kyles, the CEO of YR Media. Kyles is a former Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine and an executive with deep experience in captivating new/younger audiences. Kyles and YR Media’s emerging content creators will share practical advice on audience development for public media.
2:00-3:00 pm (Eastern): Build Your Target Market
This will be the first opportunity for station teams will work together to gather and review data about their community to build a target market. Through this organizational activity, the teams will come away with a concrete view of their potential audiences based on the broader community.
3:00-4:00 pm (Eastern): Outside Thinking for Public Media in a Multi-Platform World
This session will feature Meghan Campbell and Warren Kurtzman from Coleman Insights and will help station teams avoid the pitfalls of “inside thinking” versus “outside thinking” by providing a clear overview of multi-platform strategies.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
1:00-2:00 pm (Eastern): Building Relationships Through Authentic Engagement
Day Two begins with a conversation on how to gain the trust and support of audiences that have been traditionally excluded by the news sources available to them. A panel1 will discuss the Knight Foundation-funded project for a group of public radio stations to build relationships with diverse audiences through multiple points of contact, experiences, and ways of generating individual support2.
2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern): Outlining True Partnerships with New Communities
This will be another station team session that will outline engagement strategies to work with those new communities, paying particular attention to true partnerships.
3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern): Leadership Roundtable: Moving Beyond Preservation to Innovation
The summit concludes with some inspiration from three great public media leaders3 discussing how they address the challenges at their organizations and set priorities for success through change.
I’m writing about the summit in the Datebook this week because the early bird deadline for stations to register is this Friday, April 1. After Friday, the prices to be a part of this important effort double, so sign up this week if you’re going to participate.
For more information, visit the Greater Public website.
THING TWO: Can Robots Restore Local News and Other Insights on Media Leadership
On Friday, the Executive Program4 in News Innovation and Leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York will be spending two hours sharing the findings from this year’s cohorts of newsroom leaders who are working to change the face of media leadership and redesign newsrooms.
I’m excited about this session because, with the number of presentations, this will be a highly informative and fast-paced webinar covering a wide range of topics that should be of interest to public media leaders. Here’s a sampling:
Transformation from Within: Empowering Journalists for a Future of Constant Change with Noel Algarín, Deputy Information Editor at El Nuevo Día
Reconnecting Media Companies in Times of Hybrid Work, Transformation and Change with Daniel Kempf, Managing Director at PD Digital
Take Note HR: If You Want to Keep your Employees, Talk to Those You’ve Lost with Antonia Götsch, Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Business Manager
Dealing with Metrics Overload: How to Choose KPIs that Matter for Journalists and the Business with Daniela Flor, Audience Product Owner at Estadão
Corporate Culture as a Driver of Innovation - How Can Employees Become Open to Innovation? with Christian Moser, Chief Content Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Audio at Michaelsbund
The Do’s and Dont’s of Leadership Transition in Nonprofit Journalism with Sewell Chan, Editor-in-Chief of The Texas Tribune
And my favorite:
Can Robots Restore Local News? with Cynthia DuBose, Managing Editor of Audience Engagement at McClatchy
This link allows you to register for this free webinar on Friday, April 1, 2022, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Eastern).
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THING THREE: Two Conversations On Creating A More Inclusive Nonprofit and Public Media
Finally, this week two valuable conversations are happening to make news and public media organizations more inclusive.
On Tuesday, the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) hosts a panel discussion on Connecting with Communities of Color.
Leaders from several innovative INN member newsrooms will share how they have connected with their local audiences by using new platforms, building community engagement, and strengthening partnerships.
INN board member Ron Smith (Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service) will lead a conversation with Irene Romulo (Cicero Independiente), Keri Mitchell (Dallas Free Press), Vandana Kumar (India Currents), and Angilee Shah (Charlottesville Tomorrow).
This is part of the INN’s From The Field series featuring monthly, peer-led virtual conversations where INN members share lessons learned from their experiences. The one-hour session on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at 1:30 pm (Eastern) is free, and you can register at this link.
Then on Wednesday, Current’s Karen Everhart will lead a conversation with two exceptional leaders on their work around diversity, equity, and inclusion in public media today.
Whitney Maddox, the DEI Manager at NPR, and Rocky Mountain Public Media’s Chief DEI Officer Kim Salvaggio will share insights into their efforts to engage employees in this work and provide accountability around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The webinar, hosted by Current, is Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at 2:00 pm (Eastern). It’s free, and you can register at this link.
These two webinars touch on two aspects critical for public media. Another area worth diving into is the issue of diversity in philanthropy.
Earlier this month, the Donors of Color Network released a study taken from a qualitative analysis of interviews with 113 high net worth (HNW) Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) donors, conducted over three years in ten cities across the U.S.
The study, Philanthropy Always Sounds Like Someone Else: A Portrait of High Net Worth Donors of Color, is probably the largest qualitative research project of high net worth people of color ever reported in the philanthropic literature.
The report is rich with information to help all nonprofits understand and engage donors of color more thoughtfully and effectively5.
The research notes that 63 donors ranked their top five philanthropic priorities. Nearly two-thirds (65.1%) ranked education as their highest philanthropic priority. Slightly more than two-fifths (44.4%) ranked social justice as one of their top five priorities.
Women’s and gender rights (39.7%), racial justice (36.5%), and health (34.9%) were also ranked as high priorities. The graph below shows the breakdown of respondents’ top five philanthropic priorities.
From the interviews, five main themes emerged:
HNW donors of color interviewed were mostly first-generation wealth creators and often the people in their families of origin who had crossed into a new socio-economic class.
Nearly every single high net worth donor of color interviewed had personally experienced racial or ethnic bias.
HNW donors of color reinforced the importance of learned cultures of giving that shaped their approach to money, generosity, and the sharing of resources.
The donors interviewed gave generously to a range of issues and causes and utilized varied giving practices.
Interviewees participated in many networks and viewed these as important to their giving practices, but they were not networked with other donors of color.
From these themes, the authors of the study see several implications for the nonprofit sector:
Donors of color have a growing number of opportunities to leverage their giving and build their knowledge in how to achieve greater impact.
Nonprofits that adapt and develop specific fundraising strategies to engage HNW donors of color can diversify donor bases and secure new resources.
Financial and donor advisory service providers as a field could diversify and/or build new knowledge to better serve HNW donors of color.
More research is needed to understand the values, priorities, and giving potential of HNW donors of color.
I found this study fascinating because it offers several ideas in which BIPOC donors engage in giving that could impact and help transform the field of philanthropy.
One example is the idea that high net worth BIPOC donors help nonprofits better understand that it’s not just who is giving and who is a philanthropist but also what counts as giving.
The report makes an important point that while giving formally to nonprofits, faith-based institutions, and political causes, the donors in the study also gave significant amounts informally to support family or help friends and other individuals in their lives.
Expanding what counts as giving is essential to fully “seeing” the giving in which donors of color are engaged. A wider focus on what counts as philanthropy could result in new methods of tracking how much people of color give to support their families, and how the wealth of HNW BIPOC individuals translates into economic security and opportunity for a wider circle of their family members, friends, business associates, and other people they help through direct giving.
New measures could explore the different kinds of giving, employment, and support that HNW BIPOC donors are providing to other people of color. Expanding what counts as giving might encompass tracking the enormous amount of funding that immigrant donors of color (at every wealth level) give through remittances to families in their countries of origin.
The study also points to the potential of HNW donors of colors making a significant impact in providing long-term funding for issues around racial, gender, and social justice that have been traditionally underfunded in mainstream philanthropy.
In the September 2, 2021 edition of Three Things, we wrote about this opportunity.
There’s also the influence that these high net wealth donors of color have through their personal and professional networks. These provide a platform for BIPOC professionals to positively influence the actions of corporations, professional associations, private, family, and community foundations, banking, investment, and financial institutions to do much more to advance racial, gender, and social justice.
Finally, beyond the impact of giving, there’s the influence on foundations and nonprofits through participating on boards of directors that can steer organizations’ strategies to be more intentional about their work to achieve racial, gender, and social justice.
In its June 2021 report on board composition and practices, Board Source noted that 78% of board members in its survey sample were white.¹³ Similarly, a recent survey by the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that of 218 foundations that responded, more than half (57%) had fewer than 25% people of color representation on their board.¹⁴
These data present an opportunity for leadership for donors of color seeking to advance racial and social justice. Research shows that organizations with more BIPOC leaders on their boards express a stronger commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion internally and to racial justice being incorporated as a programmatic priority externally.¹⁵
This research has countless “ah-ha” moments, and you can read the full executive summary here.
That’s this week’s Three Things Datebook. Thanks for reading, and, as always, I would love your feedback on the ideas shared in this newsletter.
The panel includes Amy Kovac-Ashley, the Executive Vice President & Chief of News Transformation with the American Press Institute; Ashley Alvarado, Vice President, Community Engagement + Strategic Initiatives at KPCC; and Delaine Ureño, Institutional Giving Officer with KPCC and LAist.
Last fall, Southern California Public Radio received a $230,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to lead a year-long community engagement project with a cohort of public radio stations. Chicago Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio, and WBUR in Boston are participating in this project administered by the American Press Institute.
Amanda Mountain, President & CEO of Rocky Mountain PBS, Jun Reina, Executive Vice President & General Manager with Capital Public Radio, and Steve Swenson, President & CEO at Nashville Public Radio, will provide the inspiration for this last session.
The Executive Program trains news media leaders to navigate the intersections of product, business, editorial, and technology. It brings together a select and diverse cohort each year to acquire the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to lead transformation in the news business.
The researchers are quick to point out that although this work is the most comprehensive research effort of its kind to date, the data have limitations: 113 voices, no matter how strong, are not enough to fully capture the stories of the large and diverse number of HNW BIPOC households in the United States. Additionally, because the project followed an organizers’ methodology rather than a census-based one, the sample does not represent the demographics or geographic distribution of HNW BIPOC people in the U.S.