Saoirse’s Radio Broadcasting Blog

Saoirse’s Radio Broadcasting Blog

University of Hull music student Saoirse voices her music industry work experiences and achievements working for Radio Alty as a radio broadcaster whilst studying at The University of Hull.

“During semester one this academic year, I submitted a proposal and successfully interviewed for a placement at South Manchester community radio station, Radio Alty.

Through the early stages of the global pandemic in March 2020, a group of individuals that previously worked at Trafford Sound, took the initiative to set up an online community radio station in their local area, Altrincham. The main purpose of the station is to support the community and show off the area’s local talent and vibrancy.

I was in touch with one of the founding presenters and expressed my interest and passion for presenting my own show and in competition with over 30 other submissions, I have been successful in securing the position to produce and broadcast my own show, “Brand New Beats”. My weekly broadcast has been played live on the station since May 2020. On the show, I dive in to all the latest music that has been released locally and globally and in the middle of the show, I focus on a specific genre and new releases within that genre. The whole premise of the show is to provide a platform to enable people to explore new music they would not necessarily listen to, without them having to metaphorically go out and look for it themselves.

The process of producing and broadcasting my own show has allowed me to develop and learn new skills, along with broadening my knowledge of the process. Before each show I spend several hours each day planning the order of the show and researching additional interesting information on each of the artists I am planning to play, including information about their latest albums. I broadcast the show live using laptop software, headphones and my trusty mic! The show is also re-broadcast on two other occasions in the weeklong broadcasting schedule for the station.

In October 2020, I took on more responsibilities within the station. Alongside my fellow broadcasting volunteer, Leah, I manage the social media platforms for the station. This involves scheduling the posts on the platforms, with the aim of increasing the level of interaction on each platform, and determining how we can convert the social media interaction into increased listeners. Since Leah and I took over the social media platforms we have increased our station following significantly, from 77 followers to 1,007 on Instagram and 527 to 2,855 followers on twitter! Our ambition is to increase follower numbers by a minimum of 500 per month which are comfortably achieving at the moment! The conversion to listeners though is more of a challenge as we are unable to monitor this as accurately as we would like.

There are many additional skills that I have gained and developed while working at Radio Alty that were unplanned but still extremely beneficial:

ORGANISATION: Returning back to university, I have managed to continue producing and broadcasting my show, along with taking on more roles. Having all these tasks has enabled me to learn how to manage my time more efficiently whilst still completing everything I do to a high standard.

SELF-CONFIDENCE: Through broadcasting my own show, I have gained self-confidence in my presentation skills. Many people have commented on how they can hear the improvement in my tone and flow throughout my show. Taking on more tasks for the station has also helped build my confidence in my abilities, proving to myself what I am able to do and ability to learn quickly.

DECISION MAKING: Managing the social media posts for Radio Alty, I have had to take decisions in what gets posted on each platform and how the scheduling of various posts works. These sorts of decisions do have a huge impact on the footfall on the various social media pages. What is written and the time things are posted can also impact on the interaction the pages receive, so every decision is crucial.

RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: With the responsibility of managing the social media platforms for Radio Alty, I have been able to look at the results of various data and establish what times and posts get the most footfall and interaction from the public. I have also done research into the various algorithms for different social media platforms to find out how to obtain a greater amount of interaction. Using this information to the benefit of Radio Alty over the past few months has subsequently increased the footfall on their social pages.

MENTORING: With the social media management responsibility, I have been assisting other presenters at the station with managing posts they make for their own shows. Through this, I give them all the advice and knowledge I have learnt over the past few months, what factors will benefit the interaction their posts receive, and how to post or schedule posts on each social media platform.

This whole experience has really helped enhance my confidence in my abilities. I am now completely reassured that I am going down the right career path in becoming a radio broadcast producer, and I’m currently in communication with various radio stations around Manchester to get my foot in the door.” – Saoirse, University of Hull Music Student & Radio Broadcaster