NPR’s Planet Money teaches listeners how to be good with their money. But the podcast and public radio show is also teaching other producers how to use TikTok to promote themselves. It has created a series of videos that have generated 1.2 million likes for the five dozen videos it has created to date. And its channel has nearly 112,000 followers on the app so far by using a mix of what it does in its podcast and adding some quirky images to capture attention on the video platform.
“We’re definitely trying to do journalism on TikTok,” Senior Supervising Producer Mito Habe-Evans told Adweek. “All of our pieces have to deliver something that you learn. I think that’s the case for all of NPR. The brand is smart with heart.”
Adweek points out it used chicken nuggets to explain the concept of negative marginal benefit as it worked to appeal to a Gen Z crowd. Planet Money has also used TikTok as a promotional outlet to drive viewers to the Robert Smith-hosted show’s nine-week “summer school” series of episodes.
“The goal has always been to deliver information with a bit of human touch, and in a way that doesn’t feel so slick,” said Habe-Evans. “What I’ve found interesting is people are like, ‘I don’t like that you can see the wrinkle on the green screen,’ but the whole point is to be sort of lo-fi. That is an aesthetic within itself, too.”
As NPR and other media companies try to determine what role TikTok could play for their brands, it has reportedly urged Planet Money to do more on the video sharing app.