July 26, 2023


I think we can all agree that this has been a challenging year for public media Corporate Sponsorship professionals. But that didn’t stop the flow of ideas and inspiration at this year’s PMDMC. Here are some highlights to scale and replicate at your station as you work to grow corporate revenue in the new fiscal year:

National Hispanic Heritage Month

In conjunction with the annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15), WAMU offers a multi-platform sponsorship package in connection with its partnership with Spanish language news outlet “El Tiempo Latino.” The package includes multichannel connections to Hispanic listeners, including  dedicated sponsored email blasts – with content provided by the sponsor – that are sent out in both English and Spanish. Sponsored email blasts are something WAMU offers to a number of different clients with good success. View examples of WAMU’s sponsored email blasts.

All Things Considered (ATC) Live Remotes as Sponsorship Inventory

GPB has enjoyed success with a non-traditional revenue package created for AARP which includes an ATC live remote that takes place at a local brewery or other causal venue. The local host breaks into the live show with a localized conversation from the location. AARP loves the local event aspect and it adds excitement and something new to a package that also includes traditional newsletter and print assets.

360 Package

WABE has seen success with a 360 package that has successfully leveraged the increased demand for digital assets to drive new business to traditional radio. View the package.

Co-Branded Affinity Debit Card

KEXP’s co-branded affinity debit card with a local credit union (and longtime underwriter) has generated considerable incremental revenue for the station, exceeding expectations. In addition to designing the unique card, KEXP has played mostly a marketing role, thus preserving valuable on-air sponsorship inventory while growing revenue with this initiative. As part of its marketing efforts, the station created a digital and vinyl compilation of live performances at KEXP. Learn more about the partnership and view the card.

Visiting the Dealer

Vermont Public has gained considerable traction and revenue within the automotive category this year and credits on-site visits and successful relationship-building with local dealers. Simply getting out of the station (and your comfort zone) to visit dealers at their point of business (and in off-peak hours) can really get you the captive audience you desire to talk about the value of the public media audience and their propensity for luxury auto brands. Currently Subaru, BMW, Honda and Mercedes Benz are represented on Vermont Public.

Get in Front of the Parade

KRWG shared a cost-efficient strategy for generating event sponsorship in a small market by quite literally keeping down expenses. This includes partnering with local businesses or existing community events where the infrastructure for the event is already built in and doesn’t rely on the station to fully produce or host the event (in other words, the parade is already happening – just get in front of it!) KRWG’s potential events are also evaluated internally through a “three Ws” lens: What’s in it for the audience? What’s in it for the sponsor? And what’s in it for the station? There needs to be value for all three for the event to proceed. As for event themes, hyper-local events around food (i.e. local chili pepper recipes) and beer tastings are proving very popular and a win-win for all event stakeholders.


Several stations shared the various ways they are experimenting with ChatGPT and other AI tools to bring efficiency to their corporate support operations. These include:

  • Writing copy or asking for “another way to say …”
  • Drafting outbound emails to clients and prospects about the public media value proposition
  • Conducting prospect research around specific businesses or industry-specific business issues 
  • Drafting notes after a sales call or meeting (presuming the call was recorded)
  • Creating display ads and other graphics for use in sales materials and digital campaigns

Halo Effect Research

NPM and NPR shared updated Halo Effect research and a revised deck to use in your sales efforts. Among other things, research shows that when price and quality are equal, 68% of public media listeners prefer buying from clients who support their local stations. That’s nearly twice that of commercial stations. Access the updated Halo Effect Sales Deck (login required).

View slides from all PMDMC Corporate Support (and other) breakout sessions.