Why your school needs a school radio station
Having a successful marketing strategy largely starts and ends with content. If your content is good, then you are far more likely to get the engagement and reach you desire. If your content is bad, it will inevitably end up being a waste of time. With good content, the question simply becomes when/where should it be posted.
Of course, “good content” is a relatively vague term:
“Good content” can differ massively from school to school; community to community.
“Good content” can become bad content very quickly, as trends shift.
“Good content” can be on Facebook; or Twitter; or Instagram; or Snapchat; or YouTube; or Pinterest; or any other platform, meaning the medium and type of content is not defined.
“Good content” can be measured in different ways, meaning that knowing what works better is not always so black and white.
With this in mind, it makes sense to be open to as many different forms of content as possible. It does not necessitate using each and every one, that would be close to impossible and almost certainly ineffective, but instead being experimental and ambitious. Trial and error will win out.
The School Radio Station
So how about this for an exciting and most likely to be engaging endeavour...a radio station for the school?
A school radio station can have lots of useful benefits, especially for pupils:
Inclusion: Radio is a tool for communication. Having a radio run by pupils, for pupils and a wider community, can help build an air of inclusion around the school.
Confidence: Not everyone is great at being in front of the camera. While video content has its place in school marketing (very much so in fact) it is always beneficial to have #SchoolStories involving all types of pupils from across your school. A radio can be far less intimidating, some kids are natural talkers but can feel stifled by the camera. Even if they are not natural talkers many pupils will still have a view they can express on radio, which can help build their confidence speaking in a more public forum.
Speaking & Listening: Radio can be a fantastic tool for developing these skills. Working on a radio does require good speaking and listening skills after all!
Student Voice: The Student Voice is often a very important aspect of a school; having that forum where pupils can have opinions and a say on their education. The school radio can be a perfect place to facilitate this.
Teamwork: Running a school radio will require dedication and teamwork - valuable traits for pupils to learn at school!
Setting up a School Radio
There are plenty of options that can be explored. To make the most of this experience, the school will require certain equipment and a platform to push content out on.
Speakers & Headphones.
Broadcast mixing desk: In short, this device allows you to send multiple sources of audio and push them out to a single or fewer output. In other words, you can have several mics and a device playing music all go through broadcast mixing desk to come out of a speaker or single broadcast signal.
Computer playout system: To play music and record content.
A transmission method: The method you’ll be sending out your radio. Is it for the school only? Or for a small community? Or global? The decision behind this will drastically alter the type of method required.
A 'mic live' light: Not a necessity but makes it all seem a lot more authentic.
With this equipment, you should be able to begin recording and broadcasting your radio out.
What to do with Past Broadcasts
Building an archive of recordings is awesome, but being able to share them with your community is even better. It gives valuable insight into what pupils are doing in your school, letting parents feel more intimate with their child’s education and showcasing to your prospectives.
With each recorded session you should have a saved audio file. We highly recommend using a social media platform such as SoundCloud to upload to. It becomes incredibly easy to archive content, sort it into playlists and share with your community (post on Facebook or Twitter for maximum reach). You can even embed the audio clips.
Check out these sessions from Alleyn Court Prep School:
Does your school broadcast or have you thought about starting a school radio? We’d love to hear about your experiences and thoughts on this matter. Please do comment below. Catch you on the airwaves!