Saturday, February 20, 2016

Shake Hands, Kiss Babies, Open Shops...


In that America there's currently election-y type stuff happening.  You'll probably see a lot of scenes like the one above.  For somebody who wants to run for office they need to be "of the people".  This involves lots of hand-shaking, kissing babies foreheads, posing for selfies and all that jazz.

A year ago I moved to the North East to do radio.  I was very, very new to the area and I was keen to  throw myself into my new job and just tell people that I was there.  This means getting out, meeting the guys who actually work and rely on the radio to keep them amused, being part of the area (something I discussed in a blog a while back).  I was lucky to work with Dicky Dodd at Signal107 who personified that "out and about" mentality.  Every weekend he's somewhere flying the flag for the station and it encouraged me to do it as much as I could too.  It just so happens that I'm a bit of a socialite and I love making new friends and exploring.  I've got no qualms about rocking up at a launch party on my own and introducing myself or turning up to open a new charity shop and then just hang around and make friends with everybody.  I'm very blessed to be a brave idiot.  

A month into my new job, having seen me at work and out and about as much as possible, somebody I work with said "it feels like you're running for office".  In a way they were kind of right.

I'm now in a very privileged position whereby I offer advice to younger presenters looking to break out and move up.  As well as advice on how to construct the show I encourage everybody I coach to "get out there" in the same way I do.  If you're a local radio show you've got a unique opportunity that many other stations don't have; the opportunity to to be a part of the community you talk to on a daily basis.

The ability to go out and meet people in the radio world of 2016 isn't a bonus...I would argue it's vital.  With so much choice on the dial you want to put yourself front of mind.  The best way to do that is to do it in a way that many other stations can't...get out there!  Put on a clean shirt and get out there.  Be seen.  Offer your services for local charity events.  Turn up at a press night and flash an award-winning smile.  Maybe you've had a tweet from a small shop in town - why not pop in and make a fuss of the guys who graft in that shop?  At the very least it might just make their day!

You might be reading this thinking about how moronic all this is.  Maybe you think I put too much stock in going out...after all people might not have RAJAR diaries and people might not want to see you or talk to you.  Maybe you just think I'm a jumped up show-off who has "all the answers".  That's fine.  You're very entitled to your opinion...that's all this blog is.  It's my opinion.

So if you feel like that keep doing what you do.  Take that selfie in the studio and tweet out that you're on air then go home and don't think about it again until five minutes until your next show.

Whilst you're doing that I'll be stood on a chair in a cafe and laughing with the guys in there about how ridiculous I look as I change the radio station frequency from yours to mine.

That really happened by the way...that's another tale for another time.