A good friend of mine from NPR, Danielle Deabler (@nprdeabs), and I often talk about big ideas. Some are feasible, some are not. When she first shared an idea she had for connecting NPR with younger audiences, Generation Listen (#NPRGL), I knew she was onto something.
The thing about new ideas within established organizations is that they often have a hard time getting enough forward momentum and support to become reality. There are many reasons this happens - lack of resources, lack of time, competing interests, risk aversion. It takes vision, tenacity, focus, and determination to build the support and advocacy needed to make that idea a reality.
Generation Listen was a passion project for Danielle. She deeply believed it was a great way to proactively connect NPR with younger fans she met over her travels the past year who connected deeply with our mission of creating a more informed public, and wanted to get involved. She assembled a team of internal champions who worked hard to make that vision a reality, all the while engaging and soliciting input from a tremendous group of external steering members in the Generation Listen community. Those collective efforts made her first thought a reality.
We formally launched Generation Listen at South By Southwest Interactive. The event was a hit (pics below), and reinforced that there is a huge population of young NPR fans eager to connect with us - and each other. The latter point is key. You can catch up on the social media engagement from the announcement through the launch event in this Storify recap.
To learn more about the initiative read this New York Times story by Brian Stelter - "NPR Wants To Click With Those Who Tweet"
This is very much a startup venture, and will evolve and grow as we engage and learn. It's intended to be a true community - one in which we connect with our fans, and they connect with us and each other.
Twitter: @NPRGenListen and the hashtag #NPRGL
The launch party at SXSWi featuring Robert DeLong was a blast (he puts on a great show if you get a chance to see him live).