Simon Woolcott

Blog post 1:

After eliminating some of the idea suggested during last weeks session we narrowed the choice to four radio station themes: Women’s Sport, Women’s Suffrage (expanded to include general civil rights); Disco; Gaming.

We split into four teams to put together pitches to convince the rest of the group that our idea would be the one to go with.

In the end, the Disco team, including myself, garnered about 5 or 6 members and we came up with some great ideas. There was a lot of enthusiasm for the music and great suggestions as to which speech packages would make a great addition to the format, but we were less coherent about ideas for outside broadcasts.

After an hour and a half, the pitching began.

First up: Gaming

For a start, they had put tougher a very impressive powerpoint presentation which included the potential station structure with roles for everyone. They had thought of practically everything, it was a very impressive pitch.

Second up: Disco

Our enthusiasm for the genre came across well, but we were less coherent when it came to structure, specific programme ideas and OB opportunities.

Third Up: Women’s Sports

Much like the Disco group, there was enthusiasm but the idea was quite vague and would have benefitted from being more structured and coherent.

Forth up: Women’s Equality (and general civil rights)

Once again it has to be said that the Gaming pitch left this one for dust. The pitch was presented with enthusiasm but it was by no means fully formed.

A fairly convoluted voting system was decided upon in which there were to be three rounds. Each round would see the least popular ousted from the competition. Each of us had two votes each for the first two rounds.

The first to fall by the wayside was the Women’s Sports station. Disco did extremely well (much to my surprise) and proved the most popular in the first round.

The second round was between Women’s / Civil Rights and Games. It was very tight indeed and Games just made it into the final.

There was a suggestion that Disco should be declared the outright winner with no further voting because it received a significantly higher number of votes than any other individual idea but we decided to follow the agreed process through.

Just before the final round, there was one more chance for the Disco team and the Games team to reinforce their pitch.

 

Much as I was against Gaming in the first instance, I came to realise that it had the potential to produce a very good pop-up station. More so than my own team’s Disco idea.

It was at this point I decided, simply because of the quality of the pitch and original idea, to swap allegiances. I made a fairly impassioned speech asking everyone to think of the benefits of the Gaming idea, and back it despite their indifference to the subject.

I abstained in the final vote because I didn’t want to actively vote against Disco. Gaming JUST scrapped past the finishing line. I believe it was the best outcome.

Everyone accepted the result with good grace, so much so that we decided to proceed with the allocation of roles so that we could begin to build the station in earnest.

By the close of play, everyone had a role with which they were generally satisfied. A great achievement.

I must comment that as the senior member of the year group I have witnessed a palpable growing of maturity among its members. It’s great to see so many people who would have been too reserved to speak up, or stand up for themselves in the first year, mature and gain in confidence.

There is a great deal of respect amongst the cohort, and maturity. This should prove to provide good teamwork which I believe will produce a great product.

Oh, I’m co-presenter / producer for the OBs

 

Blog post 1: part 2

Another good day today. Quite a lot of progress made.

I did say that by the close of play last week everyone had their roles sorted and were satisfied. This turned out to be not strictly true, however, the small changes that have been made are for the better, I believe.

We split into our various programme groups and made further inroads into the details of what each programme group would be producing.
As the OB team, Beth and I will be part of the production/presentation team for the speech programme which will open the broadcast each week so that is the main programme group we are affiliated with.

I have been asked if I would lend a hand to the music team if required and will be glad to. We have shared with them our clocks and spreadsheets for last year’s The Groove station from the Music Radio module to give them something from which to build.

We have come up with a myriad of ideas for the theme of each week’s programme and have agreed that the OBs will be associated with said themes. I have reiterated a few times that the OBs must come from a place which will give them a unique atmosphere, one that couldn’t be created in a studio setting. We have to have a good reason to be where we are going each week, be that access to people, equipment or some other reason.

I maintain that the Games station is the idea that best lends itself to OBs and all other content for a pop-up station. I fear if we had chosen any of the other ideas we would already be struggling.

 

Blog post 1: part 3

Most of my concentration is now going to be on the OBs.

Myself and Beth (The OB team) are spending most of our time with the speech radio programme (State of Play) team.

Each week the programme is going to have a theme and the OBs are going to reflect that theme.

So far four great themes have emerged, so it is up to us, alongside the programme producer to come up with an appropriate OB for each week.
I fear it is going to be harder than I originally thought to make the OBs worthy of an outside broadcast. There has to be something about the location and/or people in that location which means that a trip outside the studio environment is warranted.

 

Blog post 1: part 4

Unfortunately, Beth was away for this week’s session working on OBs but myself, Adam and the ‘State of Play’ team mucked in to try and get some balls rolling.

I bit the bullet and called the guy from Omescape who host a VR escape room game called ‘Mind Horror’. It appeared that the man in charge was the guy who answered the phone. I told him about Unlocked and really sold the idea to him.

He nearly stumped me by asking what our audience numbers were, but I told him we had no idea as it was a pop-up station but that three was already a buzz about it in the gaming world. Thankfully that seemed to satisfy him.

He seemed up for the idea of having us over to play the game live on air. I told him we would have three players and one tech crew as the OB team and he didn’t seem phased by that at all.

He asked me to send him a follow-up email with more details so I told him our programme editor would be the one to contact him.

Phoebe and I then set about composing this following email:

FAO Jack,

Hi Jack,



My name is Phoebe and I’m emailing from the Gaming pop-up radio station – Unlocked.



My colleague Simon Woolcott spoke to you earlier today about the possibility of including an Outside Broadcast from Omescape on Monday 26th March at midday.

 Our suggestion is that two of our presenters will play your VR game – Mind Horror – during our live talk programme ‘State of Play’.

Throughout the programme, the studio presenters will check in on the players who would then describe on air how much fun / how terrifying  / how exhilarating the gameplay is.



We will require at best a LAN connection or access to a reliable and fast WiFi network.

 We are happy to offer your company a complimentary commercial for Omescape which will run throughout our four weeks on air.

Unlocked will also have a significant social media presence on which we will include references to Omescape and additional promotion for your company.

Please confirm that these details suit you and let us know if you require any further information.



Kind regards,



Phoebe Emerson.

Dan gave us an email address to send it from so it appeared to come from Unlocked Online. All very efficient indeed.

Adam also sent out several emails to game bars and arcades and the rest of the team reached out to a few women gamers and various others people associated with our programme theme ideas / OB topics. Fingers crossed.

Blog post 1: part 5

Adam and I were very pleased to receive a positive response from Jimmy who represents a company called Loading Bar, who have two branches in London. They seem very keen to host our pilot and week 1 OB, so Adam emailed them with further details.

Unfortunately, we’ve just been informed that they don’t open until 2pm so that’s that idea down there drain.

At Adam’s suggestion, I emailed to thank them for their consideration and to tell them that we wouldn’t be able to use them as our OB hosts, but that another team from Unlocked may well contact them to arrange interviews etc for packages if they would be up for that.

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