Watch seven women from across the radio industry (BBC Radio, Talk Radio, Global Radio, Women’s Hour) discuss their top tips for starting out in radio and how to get a job in radio. Panel held at Goldsmiths University for International Women’s Day.
Another post in the Women In Radio series (thanks to Wired Radio’s International Women’s Day panel), this time the panelists discuss their advice on starting out in the radio industry. Whether you’re currently in student radio, presenting your own show on community radio or thinking about creating your own podcast here are a few pointers that helped get our panelists to where they are today.
Talk Radio Assistant Producer Marta Malagon says the biggest bit of advice she learnt studying was “it’s only radio, nobody dies” which brings us to our first bit of advice…
Whether you want to interview a celebrity visiting a town near you, want to get some work experience at your favourite station or want to learn a skill from somebody else, make sure you are not afraid to ask for help. You’ll be surprised who says yes, they were in your shoes once!
“People will say no; and when people say no it’s not personal… I call loads of people every day, if they say no, it’s not because they hate me… it’s because they don’t want to talk to my presenter or talk about the topic we’re talking about… so, it’s not personal but every now and again you get amazing people saying yes and talking to you!”- Marta Malagon - Assistant Producer at Talk Radio
“If you all walked into your dream job tomorrow you wouldn’t be great at it, that’ll come with experience and time. When I first started and wanted to be a presenter I always thought ‘I’m not as good as everyone else’ but with everything that goes wrong you learn 10 things from it so jump into the deep end.” – Jen Crothers - Founder of Boogaloo Radio
This is a hard one. Just because you may see demos tweeted, selfies with station logos and a microphone and status updates on LinkedIn - stop comparing yourself. These updates mean nothing, and if anything they’re only a confidence boost needed by the person posting. They could have just gone on a station tour…
“Make sure you know a broader range of listening. If you’ve got a passion for it, you really need to be across all forms of it. When you know your sector and you have that face to face meeting, they’ll see your passion. It’s about you understanding an audience and knowing how to do things creatively.” – Yasmeen Khan - Presenter at Talk Radio and BBC Three Counties Radio
“The radio industry is really small. If someone talks about someone I haven’t got on with, my face drops and people will just know!” – Emma Bradshaw - Student Radio Association and Social Media Editor at BBC One
First impressions count, be inquisitive, passionate and hard-working - as Emma says the industry is small, so create the right reputation for yourself as you never know who someone knows!
“It’s much better to ask, ‘hey can we meet for a coffee’ rather than sending a long email saying ‘this is me’. Say you have an idea for a radio programme, a documentary or a short film, ask that person to meet you, they’ll remember you and your passion.” – Olivia Cope - Assistant Producer - BBC Woman’s Hour
If you have some examples of your work already, send links in your emails. It’s much better to provide something interesting to watch, listen to or read that shows your skills first hand than describe what you want can do in an email. It also gives you more to discuss face to face.
“Class, race, experience, up and down the country. The point of our industry is to reflect our world and all our experiences and our viewpoints. Don’t be afraid to go for something, if you’re passionate…then that’ll override everything else. Passion and a willing to learn.” – Olivia Cope - Assistant Producer - BBC Woman’s Hour
Were these tips helpful? Or, do you have any of your own to add? Let me know in the comments 🎙️👇🏻
The Women In Radio panel was held at Goldsmiths University, London on International Women’s Day. The 7 Panelists include:
Anna Harding - Global News Editor - Heart FM
Olivia Cope - Assistant Producer - BBC Woman’s Hour
Yasmeen Khan - Presenter at Talk Radio and BBC Three Counties Radio
Marta Malagon - Assistant Producer at Talk Radio
Jen Crothers - Founder of Boogaloo Radio
Emma Bradshaw - Student Radio Association and Social Media Editor at BBC One
Hayley Wiltshire - Station Manager at Wired Student Radio
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