Inside KDHX
A Look at KDHX’s Priorities: Our Plans to Engage Community and Expand Audience

The past decade at KDHX can be characterized by tremendous transition, growth, and obstacles. I recently shared that we have undergone a strategic planning process to guide us through a journey of (un)learning and leading. At the center of the process was the question, “How must KDHX boldly adapt and grow in order to advance its important mission-to build community through media?”

Based on engagement with staff, donors, funders, volunteers and other KDHX community members, we committed to three key priority areas. To enact change within these priority areas, the Board of Directors and staff have identified and agreed to action steps.   

The first of those three priority areas serves to better engage community and to expand the KDHX audience. This priority was prompted by three specific concerns identified by stakeholders during our strategic planning process:

  1. Stakeholders perceived our listening audience to lack diversity particularly racial diversity and generational diversity. Stakeholders sought a strategy that would engage new audiences and develop a listening base that reflects the community we serve. 
  2. Two, our existing listeners want ways to engage more deeply, and we want to be responsive to that and provide those opportunities. 
  3. Third, the rise of streaming services is a potential threat as well as a potential opportunity for any existing radio station in today’s world. We believe that enhancing KDHX’s use of technology can be a component of how we engage and expand our audience. 

Here is our plan for this priority area over the next three years:

Engage Community and Expand Audience

The goal:

By 2024, KDHX has shown an annual increase in listenership, which will be achieved by strengthening its dynamic programming, and deepening external connections to better serve and engage the full diversity of the St. Louis community.

As a community radio station, there is the recognition that the station’s work, not only what the station produces, but its overall process of engagement, provides an opportunity to inspire and advance dialogue and action around topics that are important to station leaders, staff, volunteers, and listeners alike. KDHX must focus on strengthening overall communication with listeners and other stakeholders as well as bolster community engagement efforts that bring volunteers and staff together and also within the community. Further, KDHX must evaluate its educational programming and consider changes to better meet the needs of a diverse community of listeners. 

Achievement of this goal will be attained using the following action steps:

1: Develop community engagement framework aimed at increasing KDHX visibility and interaction with the broader St. Louis community, including goals for engaging diverse populations and a calendar of annual community events in which KDHX should have a presence as a vendor or sponsor

These are the outcomes we plan to achieve by 2024:

  • Completed community engagement framework
  • New engagement opportunities identified
  • Increased inclusion of stakeholders engaged (e.g. people of color, LGBTQIIA+, young people)

2: Maintain a robust volunteer structure and develop an accountability mechanism

These are the outcomes we plan to achieve by 2024:

  • Reviewed + revised operating and training policies for all organizational volunteers
  • Identified and implemented successful volunteer recruitment strategies
  • Developed and implemented successful volunteer peer-to-peer engagement as evidenced by qualitative feedback + volunteer retention

3: ED and other leadership team members author a regular blog post to highlight station priorities, developments, and other timely issues that contextualize the role of the station in the St. Louis community

These are the outcomes we plan to achieve by 2024:

  • Increased regular stakeholder communications
  • Provide brand visibility and expertise
  • Increase transparency

4: Fund, budget, and hire an Engagement Officer as well as a Community Coordinator to build out the engagement department, implement community engagement framework, and recruit volunteers.

These are the outcomes we plan to achieve by 2024:

  • Staff capacity solely dedicated to community engagement, volunteer stewardship, and educational offerings 
  • At least a 10% increase each year in unique interactions at community events after baseline established

5: Fund, budget, and hire an Education Coordinator to evaluate all KDHX educational programming and training and expand offerings to diversify revenue streams

These are the outcomes we plan to achieve by 2024:

  • All KDHX educational programs and trainings moved under one umbrella and monetized
  • New educational programs created and offered
  • At least a 10% increase each year in engagement of unique individuals via new programs after baseline established

6: Launch educational programming committee to develop and implement a plan for evaluation of all educational programming with recommendations for streamlining and/or growth

These are the outcomes we plan to achieve by 2024:

  • Evidence-informed recommendations to expand educational programming 

As an organization with a mission to build community, KDHX has an opportunity to serve our region’s residents by being the voice of their experiences, dreams and hopes for a more equitable future in which everyone can thrive.

The Board and staff of KDHX - each one of us - is fully committed to each of the objectives and priorities of the strategic plan and also to being held accountable for them. As we transform ourselves and transform our organization, we ask that you engage with us so that we can continue to shed blinders and stand in the light of humility, transparency, and audacity.

To learn more about our strategic plan, click here.

Kelly Wells
Executive Director


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