NPR: Digital Genius

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National Public Radio (NPR) represents a media organization thriving in the digital space to create and distribute news. Innovative uses of social media, their blog and linking themselves to their content producers and respected outlets, drive clicks to their website.

NPR consists of a network of 900 independent stations and 27.5 million listeners a week. The organization is working to ensure a traditional form of communication, the radio, stays alive and well in the modern age with the savvy use of the newest form of communication – social media.

Communicators across the United States bemoan the death of the “old media” due to social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and bloggers. However, perhaps the “old media” would have a higher survival rate if the implemented strategic digital media to their services similar to NPR’s.

Here are just a few ways NPR is utilizing social media to connect to their community – because in today’s world your audience interacts with you not just you to them.

 NPR’s Website

NPR’s website stands-in-attention as one of the most content filled websites I’ve ever been on. You could easily get lost for days perusing videos, photos or articles on a variety of topics. However, while you may get  wander lust if you are constantly salivating to explore the next piece (like me), that is not to say it is a hard website to navigate. NPR’s design allows readers to interact with the content and follow the trail of bread crumbs of information around the site. Savvy tags and hyperlinks contribute to the ease of following a topics timeline of coverage. An intelligent move considering how much content is thrown on that website every hour.

NPR’s Social Hub

NPR recognizes the power of social media tools. What’s more importantly than just recognizing them? Utilizing them correctly. making them easy to navigate and syncing them together. Right on NPR’s website, visitors can wander onto NPR’s community page and create a user profile and interact with NPR stores and groups. It also links to all Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube pages associate with NPR.

NPR’s Facebook

The NPR Facebook page invites its 1,616,885 members to comment, discuss, like, take a poll or otherwise interact with the NPR community. With postings approximately every four hours, a few hundred “likes” on each post and frequent comments, NPR has created a social media space comfortably used for two-way communication.

NPR’s Twitter

NPR’s Twitter accounts are some of the most active of any traditional media outlet out today. The organization’s three accounts, NPR, NPR News and NPR Politics, have a combined following of 2,366,465 – with NPR the newest and least followed. NPR Focuses their tweeting time on headlines in general, however they occasionally ask their followers to pose questions to an interview or advertise their website and Facebook page. However, the organization has stuck to the mundane and standard Twitter page format and background – they should probably personalize them.

NPR’s YouTube

You can watch the radio? Not quiet. While NPR does not inherently produce video as one of their services, they are beginning to enter it into their programming more fequently. Creating a YouTube page and posting videos on their website approximately every 20 to 30 days.

NPR’s Mobile

NPR on the iPad. Photo Courtesy of

We’re all addicted to our smartphones. Don’t even try to deny it. Which is why NPR made one of the smartest digital choices yet – presenting their product mobile friendly. Every piece of content they produce is easily read, listened to and available online without hassel. The have created applications for the iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and any other smart tablet phone device out there.

Overall Conclusion?


NPR’s digital media strategy is currently gold. It’s presence is broad, creative and available to a large audience and focuses on two-way communication and interaction between content producer and audience. Not only does NPR tease our brains but engages us in the social space effortlessly.


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