Today’s pilot consisted of a half an hour speech show with Makee and a one-hour music show with Callum and me. Instead of using one of the set themes that we have planned for the live shows, I thought it would be a good idea to trial the various aspects of the shows that we wanted to use to see how well they suited the shows and then we could see what needed to be changed for the live run.
- In the morning, before the pilot, I sat down with the head of digital content to look over the design of the website and make any changes. I suggested changing the colour scheme and page format as I felt the one we had at the time looked a little outdated. I decided on the pages we needed for the website as well as the type of content needed. I explained to Ozzy how I would like the playlist to be displayed, with a thumbnail of the artist artwork and a link to Spotify. I also asked for the posts on the homepage to be displayed as postcard pictures rather than displaying the whole post in one column, as I felt this also looked outdated. As well as this, I mentioned that we needed a schedule with photos of the presenters and a team page with each of the station members photos above their job title. I wanted to have an extensive schedule that would look as if there would be other shows on in the day to make the station feel more thorough.
- Charity finalised our logo for the station and uploaded it to the drive. The original logo was blue, with a black or white background optional; however, I felt that if we made it white and make it a PNG then we could layer it onto a different background each week to match the theme of the station. For example, love week would be love hearts and food week would be spices or a food market. This meant that rather than having a different colour scheme each week, we had a different photo to match the theme.
- Callum produced some sweeps and idents although they said ‘Atlas London Radio’ which is our social media handle and not our station name. I asked Makee to record some rough drafts of how she wanted the voiceovers to sound so that the group had a better understanding of what to ask their voice-over artists for. I said I wanted it to feel vibrant and colourful.
- I asked Profidencial and Makee to sit down together and go through the social media plan so that Profidencial could start making countdown and teaser posts ahead of the station launch.
- Callum had started to get positive responses from various businesses giving us permission to use their company for advertising on our station. I asked that both he and Claire write scripts for the companies that had gotten back to us so that once they were done, they could assign everyone in the class an ad each.
- I looked over the companies that we had listed and felt as though they could have been a bit more diverse to reflect the station identity and recommended other places such as Turtle Bay, Chuku’s and The Rainforest Cafe.
- I also scripted The Rainforest Cafe advert.
- Callum was still struggling to get in contact with Nando’s so I said he should try to contact other potential sponsors as well just to give ourselves options and time.
This week I changed the roles slightly and had Alex Irons become the Assistant Producer to the content team and Stephen as the head of speech content as Alex didn’t have enough time on his hands to be able to give his all to the role and Stephen felt he had lots of ideas to contribute and was happy to take on the position.
The content was already pre-determined before we got to class, therefore I asked that the content teams finalise the running orders and write up any scripts should the presenters feel they need one. Adam put together the clips for the food feature that we had planned to trial ahead of food week. I also said that it would be a good idea to have a run through with the presenter ahead of the show to double-check that they were comfortable with the content they were about to present.
Unfortunately, we weren’t in a position to use the tieline so we trialled using Facebook messenger to test the audio quality.
- I asked that the music team ensure the playlist was uploaded onto the google drive and that all the songs were uploaded into Myriad ahead of the shows once they had finalised which we would use for the pilots.
- Once Ryan had finalised a news bed, I asked that he upload it into Myriad ahead of time so that it could be played out properly before the bulletin.
- As well as the on-air bulletins, I asked if Ryan would be able to write some articles for the website. They didn’t have to necessarily be related to news topics, but I wanted there to be a presence on our website, so anything from recipes to Top 10 locations in London related to culture. Ryan would first upload these to drive where I could edit them before they got posted.
Overall the pilot went well. We were able to bring both shows to time exactly and we were able to figure out what worked for each of the shows and what could have gone differently.
I also decided that we should listen to the shows from studio 4 as opposed to 5 as it distracts the presenter whilst they’re in the booth.
I decided to run this week as Entertainment Week as it is the first theme in the run of live shows. This gave us an opportunity to test run the shows before we launched them. We met on the Wednesday prior to this show to go over content ideas and to answer any questions that anyone had about their role. One of the feature ideas I thought of for entertainment week that was then carried on across the rest of the shows is a ‘What’s On’ segment that discusses the different things there are to do in London to celebrate culture. I encouraged the OB team to secure a real location interview so that we could practice how it would sound and work on the actual live shows.
On the day of the pilot, I came in early to help the studio producer as the running order for the music show hadn’t been completed before the day and there was a miscommunication with the playlist for the day so I sat with Connor to decide which songs we wanted to use. We decided that we wanted to use music that matched the theme of the day and that we also wanted to include more British music such as Stormzy as it still matches our brand identity.
I said to Profidencial that she should look at the running orders as there is an extra column to put in what she plans to post at which point in the show as this would help both her and the presenters decide when they should throw to socials and what questions they should ask.
Once we confirmed where the features needed to be placed, I went to studio 4 to listen to the live output. From there I sat with Connor to add songs to the running order and I asked if we could add some more songs of African and Caribbean descent as I felt as though most of the influences on our playlist were Asian and European.
Although the shows were stressful and we presented the music show with the second hour completed whilst we were on air, we managed to carry on in a professional manner and carried the whole show to time.
This week I asked Ozzy to start working on digital content as I was concerned that we didn’t have anything on the website besides the posts that Ryan was writing. I asked for the background of the website to be changed to suit the launch of the website. We also didn’t have a sponsor confirmed in the morning of this show which I was worried about as I wanted to be able to mention them on air. Callum was still trying to contact Nando’s to confirm them as our sponsor, however, I knew at that point that they weren’t going to reply so I urged him again to try Vapiano – who said yes straight away to both being our sponsor and to allowing us two vouchers to give away as a competition prize. I removed all content from socials that was posted prior to this week as they were all practice posts and therefore didn’t match the on-air content. I made a document on the Friday before, for our ‘My Family Does That Too’ feature as we were in need of genuine responses. I created a poster for it using photoshop and wrote out a post that could then be copied and pasted & uploaded to Facebook as a status and adapted into a tweet. I was then able to get around 10 responses over the course of the weekend on my profile and 4 to my Instagram story. I also used the logo that Charity made and layered it over a confetti background to emphasise that it was our launch and made sure to mention and include it in the shows. During the speech show, I noticed that the line for our OB was sounding too rough to go back to it after a song, so I went into the studio and asked the producer to cut it short.
Prior to this week, I had created 3 different versions of our logo layered on top of various love heart backgrounds. I also asked that Ryan create a post for London’s top 10 date destinations and try to include places that could be culturally relevant to the station. Alongside this, I asked Ozzy to create a video to go out on YouTube that matched the article as we still didn’t have any digital content. Sara had come up with a great idea of running a ‘London Crushes’ feature where our listeners could send in clips or voice notes about people they had seen around London and had a crush on but not had the chance to get their name or number. However, the night before we went on air I realised we didn’t have any submissions as a post had not been made about it, so I put out a post to some of my Facebook friends and was able to get some voice note responses in ahead of the show which I edited together in the morning once I got in. This week I decided to launch the competition at the end of the show so that we could carry it out over social media and our website over the course of the week and resolve it on air during Food Week.
Unfortunately, our original OB fell through at the last minute so Sara suggested we put it in the music show instead and go to Little Venice. After discussing the logistics of it, I agreed it would be better suited to the music show just for this week and we could run it as a two-way. I felt that Little Venice didn’t really work as although it is a well-known spot in London, it doesn’t have much there for a date destination. Makee suggested Kew Gardens as they were currently hosting an Orchid Exhibition which showcased flowers from Indonesia. As this was also our top 10 date destination on our website too, I thought it was a perfect idea as we could use the OB to also throw to the website.
There were some group discrepancies this week that meant I was unable to present the beginning of the music show, however once I felt able to I took over from Connor – who was covering for me and I feel like it picked up quite nicely from there.
For social media, I mentioned to our social media producer that we could use some royalty-free image websites to get our pictures from rather than using google images all the time as some of the photos we were uploading were very low quality.
On the Friday before today, a small group of us; Sara, Stephen, Alex Irons, Adam, Stephen and Callum grouped together to create some digital content for the website as we were aware that we still didn’t have any. We used the green screen room to record a video of Callum and I tasting foods from different cultures and choosing our favourites. I also listened to and approved some of the themed idents and jingles that Makee had made before the show as well as take out the ones I felt didn’t work as well. One of the feedback points that we’d had so far was that we needed more music knowledge so prior to the show I researched each of the artists coming up in the playlist as well as their song and added in some information to the running order for Callum and me to use on air. I also asked for the Telenovela feature to be swapped for the food feature that we had trialled in the first pilot as I found it more fitting.
For the speech show, I arranged to have my mum on standby for an interview as the theme for Culture Box was pop up restaurants in people’s homes and we used to have a family-owned food business, run from my grandparents home.
For the music show, I asked that we keep reminding the listeners about the competition so that we could resolve it at the end of the first hour – giving our listeners enough time to then submit answers to our ‘My Family Does That Too’ feature. For the feature this week, we struggled to get new responses in so I crafted some based off of my own culture and flourished them to sound like they were submissions and I made sure to focus it around food to match the theme of the week.
We had been fortunate enough that Sara was able to record an interview with Lenny Henry for our station and we were able to play a clip of it on our to tease to our socials and our website, however it didn’t go up in time to match what was happening on-air. I had asked Charity to edit the video in two ways; one for YouTube and one that would fit the ratio of Instagram stories so that we could post it there as well. Charity did this before we went on air on the day, however it wasn’t uploaded by the digital team as there were issues with the video content that we had filmed prior.
Traditions Week (What would have gone out)
For this week, I had a phone meeting with the head of music content and suggested that we continue to run the ‘what’s on’ feature but given the circumstances, we would speak about what events are still on during this time that you can experience from your own home. I did some research and found around 4 or 5 different events to write about that were supposed to happen in person but have moved online due to the Covid-19 crisis. I felt that it was a good way to keep the structure of the usual show but to navigate it in a way that suited the current situation. This is uploaded on to the drive.
Last week we had a link about the amazing way that Italy conducted themselves during quarantine, by singing on their balconies and playing musical instruments as a way of coming together at a time where many of us may feel divided. I decided I wanted to keep a similar link in the show, so I asked that we create a ‘Good News’ link to put there instead. This link is solely to boost people’s spirits whilst they are at home as it’s easy to become overwhelmed by what we consume in the media and some of the positive news stories may be overlooked. I researched some good news websites and fact-checked the information before curating the top 3 stories into a link in a document on the drive.
In one of our general links, I thought it would be good to talk about Caribbean traditions and carnival culture as we were planning to have a steel pan band perform in a live lounge session later on in the music show.
I asked Ozzy to update the website so that it showed the digital content that we’d created as it was still missing. We uploaded the food tasting video and the Lenny Henry interview.
I also asked Ryan to create some articles for the website; 10 Traditions celebrated in London – this post is to showcase the various traditions from different cultures that take place right here in London that anyone can get involved in; 10 things to do whilst in isolation – given the current situation, I thought it would be a nice idea to put together a list of things you could do whilst at home to keep busy; Some Recipes to Try – even though it is Traditions week, I thought it would be a good idea to have some recipes from different cultures, that we could link to the Isolation post. Ryan wrote these articles and I edited them and approved them before they were uploaded to the website.
I also spoke with Profidential over Slack about potential posts and captions that she could use that would fit with the station branding.
What did you set out to achieve and how did this change over time?
As the idea for Atlas London was the idea that I thought of over summer before starting Third Year, it changed quite a lot from then till now. I set out to create a station that would be fully inclusive of all members of the year to explore and discuss each other’s cultures as well as share their own. I feel that to some extent we were able to do that, however, I do feel as though it was a station idea that not everyone was fully comfortable with or fully understood despite wanting to give it their best efforts. Originally, I wanted to discuss cultures from all across the world and after meetings with Matthew I realised it was too broad, so downscaled it to suit a London based audience as this was the extent of our scope of knowledge could really go for the station.
To what extent did your contribution meet the needs of the station? What worked and what didn’t work? What would you have done differently?
As the station editor, I feel that I was able to be the point of call for each of the teams. As the idea for the station was my original idea, I was able to oversee each element and bring it back to the mission statement that we had crafted at the beginning of the module. I think it helped that I implemented the structure of having a midweek meeting so that we could come together as a group and resolve any issues and make plans in advance of the shows as this really did help the content team and ensured we were prepared each week. It also worked well as I was able to go to each team and sit with them each week and help where necessary and provide any feedback that I felt could help to progress the station. I also feel that my communication skills helped a lot in circumstances where members of the group weren’t getting along and I was able to see both points of view and resolve the situation by helping where needed. I think what I would have done differently would have been to have more regular check-in meetings with individuals as this was something Ginny and I did during the first week but found it took a lot of time. However, I should have overcome that problem by spreading out 1 to 1’s across the week to see how each person felt in their individual role and asked if they needed help or wanted to ask me any questions. For example, if I had have sat down with Makee to explain what a house style is, it would have helped her with finalising our online brand identity which then would have helped Profidential with social media.
What did you learn about your role; what was challenging? What do you take forwards as learning for the workplace?
One of the most challenging aspects of this role is that although it does help to be friends with everyone and to get on well with them all, it can also be a hindrance. I think this is because I found it difficult to assert myself in a managerial way to friends, I like to be able to trust my team members to carry out tasks that I’ve asked them to do without having to set harsh deadlines and be on their case about it. However, I think that this led to some of the team not carrying out tasks when they should have or not following through with their role as they knew they should have because they felt that there would be no real ramifications as we were friends. I think going forwards into the workplace, I will have to learn how to separate myself from being a friend to those I am managing and although it is not a bad thing and it’s normal to be friends with my teammates; it is important to remind those I’m in charge of about their deadlines as it is vital that tasks get completed on time.
What did you learn about setting up a pop-up station? What would you do differently next time?
I realised that my station idea – whilst a good one – was a bit too broad for a 4-week pop-up station, as there is just so much you could cover regarding cultures in London and a lot of information that we probably missed. I also learned that if I were to do it again, we would have to be a lot more prepared ahead of time in terms of what we wanted to put out and the message that we were trying to deliver in a concise amount of time.