Audience Development Summit

Bringing together public media leadership, development, marketing, and content professionals to connect with and serve new audiences.

We’re at a critical juncture in public media. The events of recent years have made the need for audience development urgent. In order to offer value to younger and more diverse audiences, our industry must integrate our content, marketing, and development efforts.

In this spirit, we’ve created a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Greater Public, The Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD), and Eastern Region Public Media (ERPM) called the Audience Development Summit.

– Tuesday, April 26: 1:00pm-4:00pm ET / 10:00am – 1:00pm PT
– Wednesday, April 27: 1:00pm-4:00pm ET / 10:00am – 1:00pm PT

This two-day virtual event will arm your leadership team with:

  • Scalable ways to introduce your station to new audiences.
  • Case studies examining the kinds of content and platforms that best serve our broader communities.
  • Impactful strategies to translate audience engagement into financial support.
  • Tips for conducting research and testing with limited timelines and budgets.


Who should attend the Audience Development Summit?

The Summit is designed for public media leadership, like C-level, VPs, and director-level professionals, to bring their teams together to focus on connecting with and serving new audiences.

To get the most out of the Summit, stations should create a team of 5-10 staffers in content, development, and marketing that have the knowledge and understanding to begin this work during the Summit.


Your team will have the time and resources to discuss your target audience(s) and how best to engage them by working through the Summit workbook. Download and review the Summit workbook here.

Tuesday, April 26
1:00-2:00p ET - Centering Audience As Your Guiding Principle

Kyra Kyles – CEO, YR Media
Billy Cruz – Freelance Journalist/Storyteller
Merk Nguyen – Voice Actor, CESD Talent

Session Description:
“News coverage must reflect the community it serves. Non-negotiable. Otherwise, it’s not really coverage, is it? Throughout my 20-year career in journalism, I’ve been trying to get across the message that you cannot change the story without changing the storytellers.” – Kyra Kyles, YR Media

YR Media CEO, former Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine, and an executive with deep experience in captivating new/younger audiences, Kyra Kyles and YR Media emerging content creators will share her practical advice on audience development for public media.

2:00-3:00p ET - Build Your Target Market

Organizational Activity #1

Session Description:
Using the Summit Workbook, Station teams will work together gathering and reviewing data about their community to build a target market. Who are the people that comprise your community? How can you create a target market based on that information, not based on the audience you already have? Through this organizational activity, you will come away with a concrete view of your potential audiences based on your broader community.

3:00-4:00p ET - Outside Thinking for Public Media in a Multi-Platform World

Meghan Campbell, Vice President/Consultant & Director, Qualitative Services
Warren Kurtzman, President of Coleman Insights

Session Description:
To consider how your target audience views your station, podcast, streaming channel, or live event, you need a clear understanding of consumers’ tastes and needs. How do consumers perceive what you offer, and what competitors offer, and are your offerings addressing those tastes and meeting those needs? This “outside thinking” is in contrast to “inside thinking,” which is viewing what you provide from the perspective of those inside your organization. When you make decisions based on how you think people use your product(s), your perceptions may be skewed. In this session, Coleman Insights will help stations avoid these pitfalls by providing a clear overview of multi-platform strategies.

Wednesday, April 27
1:00-2:00p ET - Building Relationships Through Authentic Engagement

Amy Kovac-Ashley, Executive Vice President & Chief of News Transformation, American Press Institute
Ashley Alvarado, Vice President, Community Engagement + Strategic Initiatives, KPCC
Delaine Ureño, Institutional Giving Officer, KPCC and LAist
Michael Olson, Deputy Managing Editor, Minnesota Public Radio
Tiffany Campbell, Executive Editor for Digital, WBUR

Session Description:
Last year, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a grant for a group of stations to launch a year-long project aimed at building relationships with diverse audiences through multiple points of contact, experiences, and ways of generating individual support. This cohort of public media organizations includes Southern California Public Radio/KPCC/LAist, Chicago Public Media/WBEZ, WBUR, and MPR. With the American Press Institute administering the project, they will learn how to gain the trust and support of audiences that have been traditionally excluded by the news sources available to them. This innovative project will change the paradigm for the creation of public radio journalism and the way it is supported by, for, and in the communities served by this unique partnership of organizations. With this project just getting off the ground, we’ll discuss its inception, its intended outcomes, and the road ahead.

2:00-3:00p ET - Outlining True Partnerships with New Communities

Organizational Activity #2

Session Description:
Using the information laid out in the previous activity, station teams will work together to outline engagement strategies to engage with those new communities, paying particular attention to true partnerships.

Teams will be asked to consider what you can offer new communities, especially those that are younger and diverse, instead of just considering what they can offer you. What does a true partnership look like? Teams will complete this activity and have an engagement plan that they can move forward with right away.

3:00-4:00p ET - Leadership Roundtable: Moving Beyond Preservation to Innovation

Amanda Mountain, President & CEO, Rocky Mountain PBS
Jun Reina, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Capital Public Radio
Steve Swenson, President & CEO, Nashville Public Radio

Session Description:
Being comfortable with change, and taking risks isn’t for everyone – and yet at this moment in public media – it is what everyone needs to do to reach our future audience, and make our service relevant for years to come.

As we wrap up the summit, get inspiration and real-world stories from three public media leaders who are facing the challenges to our future and setting strategic priorities for success through change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can only attend one day?
We encourage you to attend both days. Ideally, attendees should try to attend both days, as the activities and sessions build off each other.
What are the organizational activities? Who should participate?
The organizational activities will help your team build and strategize your audience, building on the information provided during the sessions. Greater Public will provide templates and worksheets for teams to work together during the Summit. All attendees of the Summit should participate in the organizational activities to get the most out of this experience.
Our team is remote/hybrid. Is that a problem?
No! The activities are designed to be worked on remotely using Google JamBoards. You can use Zoom or whatever remote team software you typically use to communicate with one another.
Is the Summit for public radio stations, public television stations, or both?
Attracting new audiences is important to radio and television stations as non-profit media organizations. The content of the Summit will feature speakers addressing the overarching themes that can pertain to both.
Our station is small - will we get anything out of attending?
Yes! We see many opportunities for smaller organizations to participate – regardless of size, understanding changing demographics and expectations of audiences is a critical conversation we need to have industry-wide. We’ve also created pricing tiers so the Summit is affordable for teams of all sizes.
Can I attend as an individual?
Individuals are welcome to attend. However, since the activities are meant for groups, those won’t be as applicable for individuals.
Will the sessions be recorded?
The Summit will be recorded and the recordings will be available to registered attendees immediately following the event.  
What is your cancellation policy?
Organizational passes allow anyone at your organization to attend for one flat rate, because of this, the Audience Development Summit is non-refundable.