PRI.org

Continuous Improvement for Community Engagement

PRI.org was originally a support client of Four Kitchens, and the relationship morphed into a strategic partnership beyond website support. With a list of new features for their existing site at the ready, Four Kitchens helped PRI make improvements to foster community engagement.

The Client

Public Radio International (PRI) is a global, nonprofit media company that is focused on telling stories at the intersection of journalism and community engagement to effect positive change in people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, PRI is both a creator of original content and a distributor of content from sources like National Public Radio, American Public Media, and the Public Radio Exchange.

The Problem

When PRI was ready to transition their relationship with Four Kitchens to something more than support-only, they already had their needs at the ready. They came to us with a laundry list of improvements and fixes for their site, but it turns out what they really needed was a strategic technology partner.

The Solutions

In order to best serve their audience, PRI needed new tools to encourage engagement, an improved way for content to be discovered, and improved search functionality and custom event tracking for site users.

Our relationship is so candid and creative that Four Kitchens feels like an in-house R&D shop for us. [They] brainstorm, design, and even help pitch our boldest tech experiments to funders. They care as much as we do about creating success.

— Michael Skoler, VP of Interactive, Public Radio International

Giving the users their choice

Four Kitchens utilized innovative ways to give PRI site visitors the ability to subscribe to favorite authors and topics of interest on the site. Additionally, user authentication and profile management tools were updated to allow users to easily sign up to receive e-newsletters based on topics of the user’s choice. Making it easy for a user to choose was a key component that required extra attention to detail.

Calling audiences to action with StoryAct

Made possible through a grant from the Knight Foundation, “StoryAct” is a Drupal-based module aimed at improving the flow of stories on the PRI site. StoryAct provides editors with tools to include strong calls to action directly in their articles when composing a story—reader polls, the ability to embed video, newsletter signups, and even events from Meetup.com help to increase audience engagement.

Integrating the Public Media Platform ecosystem

Four Kitchens oversaw the integration of PRI content into the Public Media Platform — an ecosystem that helps different public media organizations share and access content online. Through the utilization of a unique API integration, Four Kitchens was able to open up PRI’s content for use by public radio stations and other organizations across the country.

Services provided

  • Drupal API integration with PMP
  • wrote a grant for StoryAct; made parts of it open source
  • consulted on their new lead developer hire
  • made improvements to Gigya single sign-on
  • made improvements to search filtering and presentation
  • integrated their media player with Google Analytics

Technology used

  • Drupal 7
  • Public Media Platform API
  • Meetup.com API
  • CampaignMonitor API
  • Apache Solr search server

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