Radio is something that so many people want to get involved with but don’t know how. I for one, always found radio interesting but never had any resources around me that pointed me in the right direction. It was only until I became employed by the BBC that I was opened up to the world of radio production & presenting.
We all have our favourite shows and styles of radio we like to listen to but how do you get from practicing with a hairbrush to having your own show?
Working in Radio may seem really farfetched to some but most radio presenters come from a normal background working unpaid and start out from scratch. So how can we go from clueless to qualified?
1. The first thing you can do is to listen to a range of radio stations. There are so many different varieties out there. Try and get familiar with as much as you can. However it is also important to understand the different styles of radio nationally and internationally. Even if it’s not something you would normally listen to it is really useful as it different genres and styles allowing you to be a little more creative. Check out stations such as Reprezent Radio, Bang Radio – variety is key!
2. Go to radio events such as recordings (many of them are free!) and DJ sets. It will help you get a feel of the process behind the scenes and how all the different roles contribute to putting on a professional show. Going to these kind of events is a great networking tool, helping to build contacts and meet other people in the industry who can give you tips & advice.
3. Find a radio station you can get involved with! Most stations are happy to take on work experience and as a result you’ll gain useful contacts. The Roundhouse is great for organising radio based community projects. You can also ask to join your university radio station. Check the roundhouse website regularly to see what projects you can get involved with.
4. What is your USP (unique selling point) Discover your style! What makes you stand out from the rest? Radio is a competitive industry and it’s important that you understand what you can offer to the industry. Start brainstorming your interests; try and find ways to expand your knowledge on your chosen specialities. Are you all clued up about UK grime artists? Then try to source all relevant websites, events and people to keep track on!
5. Practice makes perfect. Create as much content as you can, whether that’s creating playlists, interviewing a local artists or blogging about your favourite artists – everyone has a story to tell. One of the best thing to do is to get used to talking to people and sourcing material. Try and keep your work in one place (start a blog, get a SoundCloud account) so you can monitor your progress and share your work.
Lastly what ever you do. Don’t give up! When working in radio it takes a while to build your brand and audience. Your radio career will take time to develop…but that’s a good thing. Enjoy the journey, learn from as many people as you can and, most of all, enjoy what you do.