As public media stations, we often have our head down and are focused on our day to day grind. We don’t always get enough opportunities to connect with each other and think big. My fellowship with Next Generation Leadership (NGL) has been an exception where I’ve been able to benefit from the experience of others and bring that back for the betterment of my station, Nashville Public Television (NPT). As part of the NGL inaugural class, I have the great fortune to be embedded at FRONTLINE this year. We all know FRONTLINE as an extraordinary documentary series of investigative journalism but they are also recognized for their growing success at audience development through their digital platforms.
One of my goals for my fellowship was to apply what I learn from FRONTLINE’s audience development team to our work at NPT so we can further engage our communities and raise our digital profile. I couldn’t be more thrilled when Sarah Moughty, digital managing editor for FRONTLINE, and Pam Johnston, audience development director for FRONTLINE, agreed to come to Nashville and visit NPT face to face. (I think they just wanted to see the life size replica of the Parthenon and I don’t blame them!)
During their day and a half visit in June, Sarah and Pam presented their audience and digital strategies to NPT staff. They recited their mantra: What stories do we want to tell? How do we want to tell them? How do we share them with the world? They were honest about what worked for them, what didn’t and how their strategies evolved over the last few years. They left NPT staff inspired and ready to integrate new audience development philosophies into our daily workflow. We created immediate and long term goals based on what we learned.
The visit was transformative (and fun)! I’m so thankful to the team at FRONTLINE: Sarah Moughty, Pam Johnston, and my NGL mentor and executive producer for FRONTLINE Raney Aronson-Rath for making the trip possible. They truly understand that our system is stronger and better when we learn from each other which is why we’re taking it a step further so that YOU also can learn and benefit from FRONTLINE!
Sarah and Pam will be hosting a PBS Digital webinar called:Amp Up Audience Engagement with Strategies from FRONTLINEon Wednesday, August 24 at 3pm ET. You’ll learn FRONTLINE strategies that can realistically be applied to the work at your station.
This would be particularly beneficial to your promotions, community engagement, social media and producer teams. Registration is now open. I hope you’ll join us!
Linda Wei is manager of digital strategies at Nashville Public Television, an Emmy award winning producer for NPT’s children’s series ArtQuest and a member of thePBS Digital Media Advisory Council. Connect with @lweikelly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email lwei at wnpt dot org.
Next Generation Leadership is a professional development program designed to help public media expand diversity among its programming executives by identifying and training new and diverse senior and executive producers and other content leaders in television, film, radio, and digital platforms.