Public Radio Is Important

pmdmc2017C. Crane recently exhibited at the Public Media Conference 2017 in beautiful San Francisco #PMDMC17 (Public Media Development and Marketing Conference). We previously exhibited in 2013. Once again we were blown away at the awareness these stations have in relation to their listeners. It’s much different than we see and experience in other environments where there seems to be more disconnect between the station and the listener. We believe it’s because these stations exist because of their member base. No members supporting the station equals no station or a “lesser” station.

What is Public Broadcasting and why should I listen?

America’s unique public broadcasting system is a collaboration of 1,300 local non-commercial radio and television stations that meet the standards of and are supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They work with each other and with hundreds of national and local producers and community partners to ensure that Americans have universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming….

We speak with people every day who couldn’t imagine a day without their local public radio station. The variety of programming includes NPR, BBC, classical music and often local on-air talent (which you all know is hard to come by in these days of mega consolidation, syndication and automation).

You might wonder how C. Crane fits into Public Radio since we’re normally an advertiser and well….there isn’t really advertising on Public Radio. We fit in, in a few different ways.

  1. We build radios that help the listeners get the signal. Often these stations are in rural areas or have fringe area listeners who struggle to receive the signal – our radios are high quality and help them pull in the weak signal and sound great too!
  2. If the station’s power is too low (or maybe it’s HD so the coverage radius is small and limited to their vehicle or an app) – we offer our internet radio which in many cases is the perfect solution. If the stream isn’t already available, we are usually able to have it added within a short period of time.
  3. Our radios make great membership premiums. The most popular is the CC Solar Observer.
  4. In the event our products don’t make sense for a premium, we also have a radio for resale program. We offer this to both public and private stations where they can offer our radios direct to their listeners.
  5. This year there was also a lot of interest in our new CC Buds Pro – Earbuds for Voice. A LOT of people listen using earbuds daily and finding a good pair, where you can hear the voice at a reasonable price is hard to do. We see earbuds in our futures 🙂

We met the most amazing,  down to earth, community minded and radio loving individuals at PMDMC and were so honored to be a part of this event. Stay tuned for some really great blog posts based on some of the people we met and stories we heard at the show!

Do you listen to Public Broadcasting? Share your favorite Public Broadcast show/station(s) in the comments below to be entered to win the NEW CC Buds Pro! Drawing will be held July 31st. Please only one entry per person.

Congratulations to Mer on your win of the CC Buds Pro! Thank you all for participating.

C. Crane Attends Public Media Conference in Atlanta

My colleague Jessyca and I (yes, two Jessica’s, just with different spelling) had the pleasure of experiencing some real southern hospitality while attending the Public Media Conference put on in Atlanta July 2013. Talk about a change of pace from California. Don’t get me wrong; I love a lot of things about California but Atlanta was a fantastic city to visit. The people there were so incredibly friendly and everything felt like it was taken down a few notches. We didn’t notice everyone rushing to get to places or connected to an electronic device as much.

I did not have much personal experience with public radio or television outside of a significant amount of Sesame Street on our local PBS station. Jessyca listens to a local NPR station (KHSU) on a regular basis. We were both blown away with how connected these public radio stations are to their listeners. In thinking about it, it makes sense because many are directly dependent on their listeners to stay on air.

We attended as an exhibitor to offer our C. Crane products to stations as premiums for their pledge drives. The number one question we experienced was “Do you have an HD radio?” Many stations have invested a significant amount of money in HD only to have the problem of their listeners not being able to receive the HD signal because they can’t find a device to receive it on.

C Crane Booth Atlanta Public Media Conference

C Crane Booth at Atlanta Public Media Conference

When we answered “No.”, the second question was usually, “Why not?” The short answer is, most of our customers want good AM and FM reception and the HD radios we previously carried or tested do not play nicely with AM (if they even have it at all). The other problem was the return rate. The return rate for us was double to triple our average product return rate. Often the radio was returned because it was thought to be defective when in reality the HD signal radius is just a much smaller footprint. Our experience was that unless you were in about a 10 – 15 mile radius you were unlikely to receive the signal.

One station manager who recently invested in HD, summed it up for us as HD being like BETA when there was BETA and VHS. Whether this is true or not, remains to be seen but my boss, Mr. Crane, has been talking about the potential issues with HD for quite some time. We actually wrote a couple of articles about it back in its inception. We’ll write more in a future post about HD Radio.

Outside of HD, there was a lot of interest in the CC Solar Observer and our CC WiFi Internet radio. With the era of corporate radio consolidation, many of these public radio stations are the only stations that actually have backup power and local staff to stay on air during an emergency. Several of them are located in areas that experience tornadoes or hurricanes every year so offering an emergency radio to their listeners makes a lot of sense. The CC WiFi is an interesting solution to the HD issue since many of the stations also stream the HD content, this radio is a viable solution for listeners to receive the signal. It was a lot of fun to get to demonstrate our products and interact with people who love radio as much as we do.

We can’t think of a better way of serving the radio community than supporting public media. We were honored and humbled to be a part of such a great show and of such a great community. We offered a drawing at the show for participants and we wanted to congratulate the winners:

Jennifer Brake, St. Louis Public Radio
Patrick Smith, WPSU Penn State
Lisa Beckman, WUOT 91.9fm

Atlanta Skyline

Beautiful Night Sky Atlanta!

If you have a favorite Public Radio or Television show or if you just love Atlanta, please leave a comment and let us know,!