New Hampshire Public Radio
Microsites built with Drupal engage listeners beyond the airwaves
Since 1981, New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) listeners have tuned in to deepen their understanding of state, national and world events, ideas, and culture. So when the station—the Granite State’s only statewide radio news service and its exclusive NPR News outlet— turned to the web as another means to reach its 183,000 weekly listeners, it had to provide content-rich experiences that enhanced its radio programming.
The station had a main Drupal-based website, but sought to create a series of individually branded microsites that provided a home for more in-depth, NHPR-specific content in areas such as immigration, classical music, regionally focused news and the 2012 state and Presidential campaigns.
Working with Acquia, NHPR identified Acquia Cloud Site Factory, the Acquia platform that allows organizations to centrally create and manage large numbers of content-rich websites while benefiting from Drupal’s open-source system, as the solution it needed to build the microsites. NHPR’s internal web design team then set out to build the sites the station needed to provide listeners with enriching content beyond its airwaves. Four of ten sites have been built and launched, with others under development to expand upon NHPR’s programming.
“Our goal is to expand our audience digitally by reaching out with more information in our listeners’ specific areas of interest. Using Acquia Cloud Site Factory, we can build cleanly designed, functional sites that will allow us do just that. We’ve been able to create a larger family of sites with Acquia than we could have internally,” said
John Forcucci, NHPR VP, News & Digital Media.
In seeking a solution to help it build microsites that expand on station programming, NHPR was intent on selecting a Drupal-based platform. With the goal of building an identifiable brand identity around the station’s shows, the web team realized it needed to focus resources on content development—not upkeep. The team recognized that choosing Drupal would allow them to do just that, and working with Acquia—and Acquia Cloud Site Factory platform—to build and host the sites would provide even more freedom.
Once in the Acquia Cloud Site Factory environment, the NHPR web editor was able to use the platform’s simple design elements to create streamlined sites, each with a unique look, feel, and functionality while keeping with the brand identity. NHPR created a central design and infrastructure, then cloned it for the sites, adding layers of design and functionality to each microsite.
“With Acquia Cloud Site Factory you get CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) design capability and flexibility, but you don’t have to be technical to set up design styles,” said Forcucci. “It’s a simple way to create high-end design.”
Four of the ten microsites NHPR ultimately plans have already been created and launched using Acquia Cloud Site Factory including: nhimmigration.org, based on NHPR’s immigration series; shiftingthebalance.nhpr.org, based on NHPR’s series on the effect of environmental and policy changes on the fight against obesity; classicalnh.org, based on the NHPR/ Highland Community Broadcasting partnership to promote classical music in the state; and campaign.nhpr.org, to house information and resources related to the 2012 Presidential Campaign. These thematic sites allow NHPR’s target audiences to discover more in-depth content from the station, built around a single topic.
Developing these microsites has confirmed the value of Acquia for the NHPR team. Beyond the flexibility of Drupal’s open source module architecture, Forcucci points to the Acquia Cloud Site Factory community as a valuable asset to NHPR, allowing the station and its microsites to benefit from features added to the platform when other Acquia clients ask for expanded functionality. And although the user-friendliness of the platform provided NHPR with autonomy in building the microsites, the team knew that Acquia resources were available if answers to their questions or support were needed.
“Acquia has a smart group of developers, technologists, and product people,” said Forcucci. “For us, having these sites up and running really reflects well on our brand. We quickly
realized this is a company—and a technology—we could count on. We haven’t had a moment’s worry.”
- Acquia Cloud Site Factory