Progress – 27/2/13

After my problem regarding CRB checks, I emailed various companies to see if they wanted me to make them podcasts for their website. I sent out emails including my soundcloud, and informed them that I would work with a brief set out by them, and it would be a great promotional opportunity for them, and generate more content for their website.

 

Since then I have had a meeting with ‘The Old Joint Stock Theatre’ on 22/2/13 which went incredibly well, we discussed all the various different podcasts I could make, and a fee was even mentioned if everything goes well.

 

Tomorrow, 28/2/13, I have a meeting with ‘Acting Out’, I will be taking my recording equipment, and hopefully be getting my first lot of content! 

 

My meeting with Halesowen also went incredibly well, and I was informed that as long as I am supervised by teachers, I will still be able to do my original idea. So my role now has changed to freelance audio producer. 

 

My business also has a name and a branding identity. ‘Poetic Roar’, as I wish to work with creative people and organisations. I now also have a twitter, Facebook, and will also set up a SoundCloud page, once my first podcast under that name is complete. I have also set off for business cards in order to give to clients, in order to promote professional practise. 

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Podcast making?

After some research into making features for a college, I realised that in order to get a team of college students together and work with them, I would need a CRB check. Due to time constrictions of the deadline being the beginning of May, there would be no time in order to get my full CRB check and complete this project fully in the way I had envisioned. 

 

However, I do have a meeting with Hannah, from Halesowen College on Thursday, I am just waiting to hear back from her for a confirmed time, and I will discuss the project further and discover if Halesowen College would still like to be involved. 

 

I have decided that rather than give up on Halesowen College and my idea of working with college students, I will instead make podcasts for the college, rather than with them. I can still make my content around the topic of getting into the radio industry, just not work directly with the students. It would still be a gap in the market as I can ask my interviewees their opinions on degrees/experiences, which would be a huge help to students wanting to break into the radio industry but unsure if they want to continue on to higher education.

 

I am also planning on emailing live music venues and becoming a ‘freelance podcast maker’, rather than just the college project alone. This will help me bring my working hours towards this project up, and also help me gain more professional practice and gain contacts. 

 

I have a meeting with Sam tomorrow to discuss this idea further. 

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Halesowen College

Beths reply - 5:2:13My reply - 5:2:1311:2:13

On 5th February, I heard back from Beth, the director in creative arts at Halesowen College showing an interest in my project, she asked if I could let her know my availability to meet up to discuss the idea. I replied on the same day outlining my availability for that week.

It’s been almost a week since I had my initial reply from her, so today I sent a following email just to remind her of my project, and that she asked to inform her of my availability. Hopefully I shall hear back from her at some point this week.

Today I am going to focus on creating an ‘identity’ for my project. I am going to create a name, logo, and social media platforms. This will make my project look like a professional business, as opposed to a university project. It will also give some depth and stability to my project. It will also give me something to show to colleges and sixth forms that would like to discuss my project.

Having completed that, if I still haven’t heard back from Halesowen College, I am going to start emailing other college radio stations – I have found one in Coventry that I might email. And if that doesn’t work I’ll branch out into colleges that have no college radio and ask permission to upload their features and radio content online instead. However age restrictions may prohibit me from doing that, I shall have to talk to their college teachers beforehand if it comes to that.

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Progress

On the 8th November, I identified three main college radio stations in the West Midlands, unfortunately ‘PB Radio’ is no longer in broadcast, so I have now emailed TX Radio and HRC explaining about my project, and if they would be involved.

I have noted that I am a student, as opposed to a ‘company’ or a freelance worker, as during my experience at university, I have found that I get the best response from people if I am honest about my plans, and explain exactly why I am contacting them in a polite and friendly way.

Here are the emails I sent, and I am now waiting for a response.

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Competition

In terms of competition, there is a lot of websites and videos that include advice on “getting into radio”, the main one I found that provides a lot knowledge is theintern.co.uk. They include video interviews from Ben Cooper, who is a programme controller for Radio 1 and 1xra, and also a video of radio presenter, Trevor Nelson.

Due to my project being on a smaller scale, I wouldn’t be able to compete with TheIntern, as they have managed to source inspiration people that have gained knowledge in this area. However, by using college radio and college students as my niche, I am providing something that is specifically catered for them, rather than for everybody who is thinking about breaking into the radio industry.

Other noteworthy websites that provide competition are The Pips and blog, ‘So You Want to Work in Radio?’ However, ThePips also provides a platform for inidivudals to promote themselves and their audio, as well as hints and tips regarding breaking into the industry. So You Want to Work in Radio is a past student project that provides friendly and helpful posts to anybody who wants to build up their knowledge of radio.

So, as stated and proved, there is a lot of content that already exists online about making it in the industry, however, when searching for ‘college student radio advice’ in search engines, there was little advice for college students specifically. My project will encourage college students to ask industry professionals their own questions by arranging interviews for them, it will also have college/sixth form students at it’s heart, and aim to provide a service for them specifically, this will provide my project a niche, and will be filling a gap in the market.

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College Radio Stations – West Midlands

After doing some research regarding college/sixth form radio stations within the West Midlands, I have discovered that quite a lot of college offer media courses, and some even specific radio training, however only a few have a campus radio station. The three main ones I found include PB Radio, which is a community station run by Plantsbrook school and sixth form in Sutton Coldfield.

PB Radio Homepage URL: http://www.pbradio.co.uk

There radio station has a very professional looking website, that would mirror a commercial stations branding, on their main page you can see events happening in the local community, song request pages and links to DJ/Presenter profiles. These are all things that would be present on commercial radio stations website. In terms of already established branding, and radio identity, PB Radio is so far the best example I have found.

Transmission Radio URL: http://www.bmetc.ac.uk/tx

However, I also discovered Transmission Radio, that is owned by the Birmingham Met College, they do not have their own external website and are only currently featured on the Birmingham Met, the streaming is also currently down at the moment, so I was unable to listen, however this might turn into an advantage due to working with college students. If the broadcast is only aired to the students, I may not have to gain permission slips from parents, school etc to make my documentaries.

The final station I wish to mention is HCR, which stands for Halesowen College Radio. This is the college I went to, the radio station played into the canteen and around the college. You can also now listen to the station online via iTunes, and they have a SoundCloud page where all recorded interviews are, and also a Flickr page for photographs of the students involved and various events.

Each has an email address present and over the next week I shall email all three of the station in order to discuss working with the students and what permission/CRB forms would need to be filled out. I shall also start to compile a list of my projects competitions, for example other forms of media that are advising young people into the career of radio.

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Tailoring my idea

My initial production idea was to have created a series of radio documentaries aimed towards college students advising them into the media industry, for example a documentary focused on journalism, and another about television etc. I aimed for these documentaries to be played on various local student radio stations such as Scratch FM and Kic FM.

However, after my first meeting with my production tutor, Sam Coley today, we have discussed my target audience and whether they would be listening to university stations at all. It is more than likely that college students will prefer Radio 1 programming over student radio, which creates a problem for me as Radio 1 would then be my competition. I was also originally going to make each documentary 20 minutes long, which is a long time to ask of young listeners.

In order to solve this, I have decided to create much short documentaries of 5 minutes each focusing on a different specialism in radio production for example presenting, producing, station sound, music programming etc. This will be more beneficial to me, as I have been a radio production student for almost 3 years, drawing upon my own knowledge will make the documentaries sound more informed and professional.

After my degree I want to pursue a PGSE in post-compulsary education as a aspire to be a college lecture, this gave me the idea to get college students involved in this production. As opposed to creating my own content for students, it might be very interesting to get college students involved. I would then take on the role of executive producer and editor. I like the idea of media documentaries aimed towards college students, made by college students and played on college radio.

Their is a niche in the market for this as not many companies have tailored content towards college students, whereas there are currently documentaries about getting into radio that are doing it much better than I would be able to, for example, radio 1 have interviews and advice from all of their presenters, that realistically I would be unable to get.

Over the next week I shall develop this idea further by researching my competition, researching college radio stations, and discovering compliance laws for college students. Next week I shall blog about my findings, and record all contact I have made with people.

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