PBS12 Breaks New Ground!

What We Did

Digital Marketing, Direct Mail, Strategy & Planning

Background

PBS12 (formerly CPT12) is a statewide television station in Colorado and the smaller of two public broadcasting networks in the state. Because of the overlap in the market, PBS12 wanted to focus on what makes the station unique to help it stand out. Traditional approaches and programs were not enough — and that’s where Allegiance Group came in.

Music is an important part of PBS12’s programming and culture. The station produces a concert series at the renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which includes popular performers who come back each year. Concert goers have made a tradition of seeing their favorite acts every summer. The station also maintains an in-depth collection of music programming, documenting the history of the music scene in Colorado. And its locally produced Sounds on 29th and Head Room Sessions bring audiences the best in local and regional talent including musicians from a broad range of genres. Music is not only at the heart of the station; it’s what makes PBS12 unique in the market.

At the same time, PBS core programming is important to the station and its viewers. Audiences tune in for PBS favorites, and the station launched Passport in 2019 as well as an overall rebranding. The audience for traditional PBS programming engaged with the station very differently than with the music audience. PBS12’s vision was to bring these dissimilar audiences together in support of the station. The question was how to make it happen.

The Solution

PBS12 teamed up with Allegiance Group to identify two opportunities to achieve their long-term vision:

  1. Leverage the rebranding to frame PBS12 as a distinct kind of public television station, offering PBS core programs and the popular concerts and arts programming the station is known for.
  2. “Come for the tickets, stay for the programs.” Introduce a world of PBS programs that might not be front of mind for concert ticket buyers.

To take advantage of these opportunities, we developed a multipronged, integrated program to engage all segments of the PBS12 audience more effectively. In addition to the typical components of a public television fundraising program — direct mail and digital programs around quarterly campaigns, renewals, and Sustainers — we recommended launching:

  • Music-focused digital program aimed at driving as many qualified potential members and ticket buyers to the file as possible in the ticket-buying season, including:
    • Emphasis on email file growth, including through paid lead generation
    • Ticket buyer reactivation and cultivation to remove inactive names from the file and reactivate others who would like to engage with the station
  • Bi-monthly Newsletter, featuring PBS and local music content
  • Other enhanced membership benefits, such as member pre-sale tickets as a renewal incentive and offering ticket buyers a membership (new members only), in addition to the bi-monthly Newsletter

Update

The early results are fantastic!

Allegiance Group’s digital lead generation campaigns brought in over 5,000 new leads, double the projected new email addresses. Those leads are already starting to convert new donors at a healthy average rate.

  • Over 1/3 of the lapsed prior ticket buyers have reengaged with the station
  • Digital revenue is tracking to 139% of projections for completed campaigns
  • To date direct campaign revenue is ahead of goal
  • Seven months into the fiscal year, the renewal program has generated over 85% of the annual projection

1/3+

Lapsed ticket buyers reengaged

139%

Ahead of Digital Revenue Projections
Seven months into the fiscal year, the renewal program has generated over 85% of the annual projection

What’s Next?

We look forward to watching the results continue to unfold. Some questions we look to answer are:

  1. How should we message traditional members, members from the music program, and the new digital efforts differently in appeals and renewals?
  2. As the file grows, how can we ramp up Sustainer conversion to maximize retention as the file grows?
  3. As live music shows recommence in Colorado, can we engage traditional members to a greater extent in the music programs?
  4. How can we continue to evolve the offer to attract the widest audience in support of all PBS 12’s programs?

In the meantime, we are pleased that the PBS 12/Allegiance Group partnership is off to a good start.