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Turning public radio on its head

Marketplace is developing a digital strategy that makes the most of the new distribution platforms created by the Internet. We’re constantly trying out new approaches that bridge our broadcast pedigree and our digital future.

I produce the weekend personal finance program Marketplace Money -- and as we move to an all-interview, all call-in format, we are using a digital first strategy to increase listener engagement and participation in the program.  If we're successful, we imagine listeners becoming not just the focus of the show, but the inspiration for it.

Our aim is to create an online community where people will share their stories, discuss their situations and get help from each other. By moderating this community and facilitating discussion, we hope to identify ideas and characters that we can develop for use in the radio show and beyond. Our aim is to extend our personal finance coverage so that it’s a continuous conversation that goes on throughout the week, both online and on-air, focused on you, the listener -- what you are  interested in, concerned with, hungry for.

We are fortunate to have some help as we experiment with this approach. Cooper, a design and strategy firm based in San Francisco, has selected Marketplace Money to be the subject of its June UX Boot Camp. Over four days between June 11 and June 14, designers will work to develop the solution to this problem of how to transform the way public radio programs are made on this issue of making a radio show more interactive and engaged with the listener. If you’re a designer and you’re interested in helping us work on this idea, you can register here. If you’re a radio listener living in the Bay Area and you’d like to help, email us.

We’re looking forward to working with Cooper and the UX Boot Camp, and to coming away with a new audience experience.

About the author

Paddy Hirsch is a Senior Editor at Marketplace and the creator and host of the Marketplace Whiteboard. Follow Paddy on Twitter @paddyhirsch and on facebook at www.facebook.com/paddyhirsch101
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