NPR On Air

Sponsorship Guidelines

On-air messaging with NPR and public radio stations identifies and describes sponsors, offering a unique and effective complement to any national or regional ad campaign. Messaging guidelines are shaped by audience research as well as government regulations to provide a sponsorship environment that works best for listeners and sponsors alike.

All messaging on NPR must include the legal name of the sponsor, read following the standard opening phrase: “Support for NPR comes from…”

Messaging for regional campaigns on public radio stations is read after the opening phrase: “Support for [WXYZ] comes from…” 

Click the images below to hear examples of sponsor copy heard on NPR.

Messaging that works on public radio:

  • Keep it clear: State who you are, what you do, and where listeners can learn more. Operating divisions and subsidiaries may be named as well.
  • Focus on features: Instead of “fast and safe,” say “240 horsepower and side-curtain airbags.” NPR listeners prefer a direct approach.
  • Reference current creative: Established, non-promotional slogans are allowed and broader themes often emerge from existing ad creative.
  • Acknowledge the environment: Where possible, underscore alignment with NPR and listener values.


Submitting copy for network campaigns:

  • Sponsorship copy is up to 15 seconds (not including standard opening phrase)
  • Copy may be faxed or emailed to your NPR sales representative
  • Written copy must be submitted with as much lead time as possible before airdate (no pre-produced creative)


Submitting copy for regional/local campaigns:

  • Max copy length is 10 or 15 seconds, depending on the local stations’ policy
  • Stations need copy in advance, usually 2–4 business days before scheduled flight
  • Copy may be faxed or emailed to your NPR sales representative
  • Each station interprets copy individually, at all times


Download NPR 2018 Broadcast Calendar & Guidelines


NPR has an open access policy for considering funding sources. Learn more here.