Our Little Known Commonality – Perhaps fifteen years ago audience research funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting produced a an unexpected finding. It caused a strong reaction among PubRadio Insiders – disbelief, amusement, skepticism, initial rejection. And then acknowledgement grew and the new insight proved PubRadio was on the right public-service track.
The finding: the average public radio listener is likely to assume that he or she has more in common with another randomly selected listener than with the neighbor next door or across the street. We are a Virtual Community!
As you may imagine, when the research reports rolled out this conclusion caused buzz for a few weeks. It then receded into the industry’s tapestry of folklore. But, a new factoid entered the conversation – anecdotal but credible:
Online dating services report that public radio fans using their services to find a soulmate or merely to locate someone to date usually list their commitment to Public Radio as a defining personal characteristic – and an attribute they seek in another person.
So, from research and from anecdote, you can know this: if you are a public radio fan, you are part of a group of 30,000,000 really cool people in the most upscale media demographic in the nation AND these 30,000,000 listeners substantially share your values, interests, aspirations and other personal characteristics. A VIRTUAL COMMUNITY!