NPR One: 8 things I wish I had known or done when I was at a station

1. NPR One can help grow audience

NPR’s recent audience survey found that NPR One is attracting new public radio listeners.

NPR One listeners are significantly younger than our traditional broadcast audience: 40% are under 35 years old.

31% of NPR One users claim they are not broadcast radio listeners.  27% of NPR One users say that they listen more often to your station as a result of listening to NPR One.

Make sure your branding is how you want it in NPR One, so listeners in your area know who you are.

Learn how to add your branding in NPR One:

2. Local matters to NPR One listeners

The NPR One flow of stories starts with a national newscast. Your local newscast will immediately follow the national NPR newscast and is the first experience, after the Hello, of truly connecting with your local brand and content.

When listeners don’t get local news, they ask for it. They can tell the difference between branding and content.

Learn more about getting your newscasts into NPR One:

3. Focus on getting your best stuff into NPR One

You don’t have to put everything you do in NPR One. Pick your best features and show segments.

Think about the ones that tell the most compelling stories that your listeners care about.  3-4 minute features are placed first and are heard by lots of your NPR One listeners. Don’t  put anything longer than 12 minutes long in as segmented content. The longer the piece is the later in the “flow” of stories it appears.

You can see how your stories are doing on

Even getting one story a week into NPR One is worth doing!

Learn how to get your local stories into NPR One:

4. Get your podcasts listed on StationConnect and make sure they have cover art

If you have a local show, make it available as a podcast. Podcasts are how you can make your  shows available to your NPR One audience when they have the time for ‘long listens.’

Learn how to get your podcasts into NPR One:

5. Encourage people to follow podcasts on NPR One and not iTunes

When you send your listeners to NPR One to follow your podcasts or other public radio podcasts, you find who they are and get their email addresses! But send them to iTunes and you won’t get any information about them. Encourage your listeners to make your station’s NPR One experience their conduit to the best public radio podcasts.

I SO wish I had thought of this when I was a PD. Now you know what I didn’t!

6. NPR One is how you meet your future donors

Each month you can get a list of the emails and names of your new users and your active users. The more people you can get using NPR One, the more names and emails you will get!

Included in the report is information about how many times each person listened, when they last listened, the stories each person heard and how many of those stories are your local ones.  

Send them an email thanking them for listening to your station on NPR One. Let them know about your station newsletters. Invite them to a station event or listening party.

50% of NPR One listeners say they are more likely to donate to your station because they listen to NPR One.

Get to know them -- they are your future donors!

Learn how to meet your future donors:

7. StationConnect is your friend. Get to know it and introduce your staff to it.

StationConnect is where you add your local newscast and podcast feeds, it is where you  set expiration dates on segmented stories such as feature reports, and where you customize your pledge and branding messages.

You can extend your ‘stationality’/’sense of place’/ ‘local voice’ to NPR One by uploading locally voiced hellos, pledge spots and ID’s into Station Connect.

If you are a network of stations, you can control how your network brand is presented and whether all your stations on NPR One all get the same content.

You only have to set this stuff up once. But, it reaches listeners every time they come to NPR One. 

Your local podcasts show up in the Explore view.

8. Get your older stations members to get their kids listening to public radio on NPR One

NPR One is a way to keep the backseat babies listening as they grow up. The younger generations don’t use radios like older listeners do. NPR One is for everyone, but it was created with the younger listeners in mind.

So tell your listeners to tell their children to check out the NPR One app.

“It is a way to hear public radio stories and discover a new podcast. They can get the local and national news to come to them and discover the very best podcasts from public radio and beyond. They can share stories they like and skip what they don’t. It is everything you love about public radio, right on their phones. “

So try out some of these! Get involved with your station’s NPR One presentation. Ask for feedback from your younger staff and listeners as it is a listener experience designed with them in mind.

I took this job because I believe NPR One is an exciting development for local stations, national producers, and future audiences. I’m excited to work with all of you on local editorial in NPR One to make it the best it can be.

Let’s talk!
Tamar Charney
Local Editorial Lead, NPR One

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