Thu July 29, 2004
A Talk With Kim Neustrom Richard & Judith Meriwether
By Mark R. Bacon
Lafayette, LA – Meet Kim Neustrom Richard, Marketing Director at KRVS, 88.7 FM, since February 2004. Kim is the latest staff member, and her talents and experience are already helping KRVS expand on a highly successful public radio station membership and sponsor base.
Kim is a native of Lafayette, and a Graduate of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with a degree in Mass Communications. Her previous work experience was in marketing with Big Brothers and Sisters and The United Way. As Marketing Director, Kim hopes to grow our ever-expanding market share. Working within Public Radio, the job has a head start. Start with our programming. It's unique, enlightening and able to entertain different audiences at different times; Radio Acadie, is responsive to local needs.
Recently, Kim, and long-time KRVS Development Director, Judith Meriwether a staffer since1986 sat down to talk about their roles, hopes, and vision for the future of KRVS.
Asked about the difference between Marketing and Development, Ms. Neustrom Richard responded, Marketing is selling an image reflecting what you are. Development buys into the image. She further added that KRVS is a strong brand. Look at how many people place a KRVS bumper sticker on their vehicles. That may seem like a minor act, but people who profess to never place one on their car or truck, do with a KRVS sticker. That is a testimony to the loyalty of our listeners.
And most of those people received the sticker after pledging to the station, added Ms. Meriwether. Both Kim and Judith agreed that the act demonstrates our community feels good about the news, information, and diversity of programming. Much of the good-feeling stems from the attention paid to local interests by the station at many levels.
KRVS listeners attend museums, support the symphony and now KRVS broadcasts portions of Acadiana Symphony concerts on Wednesdays during the summer of 2004 and patronize the arts. Public radio is this market's primary choice of broadcast media.
Businesses who support KRVS tend to be like-minded, Kim added. They know our audience is highly educated and highly involved within the community. They are concerned and active citizens, more often than not. Judith stated in 2000, we had 840 individuals as paid members; this year, it is 1,655. Nearly doubling membership in four years. No little feat.
Furthermore, KRVS has a growing market share from the internet. During Spring fundraiser, two listeners from outside the United States contributed, and a growing number are from within the States. It can come from Blogs; someone checks out one of our area's many outstanding musicians, and come to find we have a live CD from a performance that artist gave at The Medicine Show, Ms. Meriwether stated.
Other premiums offered during fundraiser have become very sought after items: KRVS shirts, hats, and cups are not only our way of saying thanks to members, but carry a value to our listeners. They are a very effective means of both raising awareness of the station, and an effective tool for the station to reach the community, and their financial support, added Judith. The merchandise says I participate.'
Both stressed special events are held daily at KRVS, given the unique position our community is in. The number of world-renowned musicians in our area can oft times be heard performing live in the KRVS studios. Anyone who heard Harry Big Daddy Hypolite on a recent broadcast of Lagniappe, still has not only the power, and organic force of his blues prowess ringing in their ears, but his infectious laugh.
What is the future for KRVS? In a word, both Kim and Judith agreed: Unlimited. Lafayette and Lake Charles are increasingly pledging their support, both though individual contributors and underwriters. See some of the testimonials below for proof of what a powerful and effective tool unerwriting can be for you, your business or organization.
And if you are not a member, there's no better time than now to become one. Pledge right here on our website. And encourage your friends who enjoy our news, information and programming to do likewise.
he weekly audience is growing and it is a chance for your business to capture a growing market share.
Kim shared some Success Stories:
Underwriting with KRVS fulfills your expected return on investment while, at the same time, contributing to a worthy cause. To give you an idea of underwriting benefits, here are some examples of what some underwriters have said:
Acadiana Prescription Shop Our underwriting on KRVS has been the most commented on advertising we do. My customers come in or call just to say they heard our spot on KRVS!
Accupuncture Center of Acadiana I love the quality and variety of KRVS programs.
Begneaud Manufacturing Incorporated (begno.com) Begneaud chose to underwrite programming on KRVS primarily out of support for our community. The value Begneaud receives through underwriting the Blues Box is pride in knowing that we assist in providing our community with a soothing form of entertainment.
Fugro Chance Incorporated (www.fugrochance.com) Fugro is an international company that values the quality of life. Through our sponsorship of KRVS programming, we feel that we have added a little more creativity and melody in the world through the music that KRVS provides.
Pieces of Eight There is also the advantage of associating with public radio that extends beyond the commercial aspect of advertising. We believe that public radio is a unique medium that helps bring art and culture to the community. Underwriting on KRVS enables us to feel that we are part of the process.
Prejean's Restaurant (www.prejeans.com) We have chosen to underwrite with KRVS primarily because your listeners are the consumer base we are looking to reach. Most are well educated, earn a higher income, and range over a wide age group.