In early May, the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2020 were announced, and there was a big surprise among them. This American Life won the very first Pulitzer Prize ever given to audio reporting. The program goes against every current “revolutionary” trend in marketing: it is a public radio show which doubles as a podcast and has been around for 25 years. The winning episode is called “The Out Crowd” and reports stories on the ground at the Mexican border after Trump’s administration implemented the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Every This American Life episode has, on average, 3.1 million downloads, with other 2.2 million listeners to the radio broadcast every week. The program reflects the vision of its host, producer, and creator, Ira Glass. Glass lends his charisma to the show, which helps to make ordinary stories sound extraordinary.
Any content marketer can learn a lot from This American Life. The storytelling is always neatly woven to keep the user interested and engaged; users can search for episodes on topics, choose randomly, or find recommendations according to their profile.
There is no buzz marketing, guerrilla marketing, or stealth marketing behind This American Life. There is only a commitment to the audience, incredibly talented professionals, and a willingness to keep innovating and telling stories. It is all in the content. It may not be the shorter route, but it has certainly been successful.