The trick, said Terry Heaton of media consulting firm Donata Communications, is to meaningfully tap the expertise of one’s audience. Whether a program’s subject is antiques, history, baseball or brewing, the advice is the same.
“You’re setting yourselves up for problems in the future if you’re going to be only a content provider,” he said. “That to me is suicide, because the real value is at the opposite end.”
Bill Buzenberg of Minnesota Public Radio provided the day’s most broadly realized example of the media framework Heaton envisioned: what MPR calls public insight journalism.
“We’ve created a database of listeners who are willing to give us information: This is the Public Insight Repository,” Buzenberg said of the network’s listener expert database, now at 18,000 people.