Internal blog post
Operations Manager update #15

Afternoon everyone,

Hope the summer holidays are treating you well. If you are lucky enough to be taking a break, enjoy! There is a lot happening at Radio Verulam and with only four months left till the end of the year, a bit to update you on too.

Firstly, as you may be aware, I took on the Volunteer Manager role, alongside my Operations Manager role six months ago; as we were unable to find someone to replace Dave Adcock. During this time, I’ve been working extensively with Communities 1st on our overall volunteer management process. I’m pleased to say that we are now actively recruiting for a Volunteer Coordinator. This is a volunteer position and I am especially keen to hear from people you may know that have worked in community development, are HR graduates or, experienced in the volunteer sector. The ad went live today – and is open to both internal volunteers and external applicants. Please do share with your networks.

Any questions? leona.fensome@radioverulam.com

– Supporter Wall. Radio Verulam has a ‘supporter wall’ on the website. For £60 an individual or business has a ‘brick’ and one brick is chosen at random to be mentioned ‘on air’ alongside social media (and perhaps an interview!). The great thing is, it supports us as a local community radio station to stay on air and provide you with an opportunity to be a volunteer. On my last post there were 30 bricks; I’m pleased to say that’s now 50. Let’s double it before the next one!

– 85 volunteers in total. At present we have 80 active volunteers and a few people on indefinite leave. We are also bidding farewell (but not goodbye) to Kevee Lynch (Wake up With Kevee Saturdays 7-9am), Mandy McNeil (board member) and Ameen Almosawi (St Albans Drive). While Kevee and Mandy remain on as volunteers, Ameen has decided to discontinue his volunteering role.

Volunteer development plans. I’m currently putting volunteer development plans in place with over 20 existing volunteers. This a combination of new people, requests to increase skills and also, development into other roles at the station. Thank you to all these people I am working with. As you can imagine, putting pathways into place takes time, but enables us to harness and grow our internal talent. These include things like:

  • Taking on social media roles
  • Helping with volunteer management projects
  • Managing the interviews process across daytime programmes
  • Learning how to become a producer for employability in the media sector

If you would like to discuss ways you can get involved, please let me know.

Offering non-existent volunteer roles. As we’ve grown in brand, visibility and general public awareness, so too have the offers of wanting to become a volunteer with the station. Now, this is happening both organically and through recommendations from existing volunteers. By all means, it is important that community members are involved in the station – this is the lifeblood of community radio – but not when the requests are self-serving for marketing purposes, or, to present a one-hour programme people are an ‘expert’ in or, any other type of presenting/podcasting role (which really is the bulk of it).

ALL these requests come to me. I then have to:

  • Email or call the person to have a conversation
  • Discuss what volunteering opportunities are available (all current vacancies always listed here: https://radioverulam.com/volunteer/)
  • Discuss advertising options, or other ways of supporting the station
  • Often engage Andy if it is a programming or presenter request
  • If they are successful or been ‘advised’ there is a role, I need to induct them, place them into a role, ensure they have a team leader and a pathway for a positive experience

This might not seem like much, but it is happening every week with multiple requests. While we do NOT have a volunteer manager or coordinator, unfortunately, it then detracts from me focusing on training and developing existing volunteers and other core projects; impacting my time quite considerably.

So, here is my request, if you do get talking to anyone about wanting to volunteer at Radio Verulam, please direct them to the website. At present, we have engineering roles that Lawrence can talk to or, the Volunteer Coordinator role. I will post internal roles in the closed FB group and on a separate update.

–Advertising volunteer roles. However, if you do have a critical role that needs filling, please create the role on RV Inside and let me know. Ideally, we’d like to recruit from within first. Matthew Turvey is kindly working on a skills and capability list with me, and our plan is to find out what internal talent we have and record it in our database.

Programme promotions: Good news thanks to a tweak by Dave Neal your “Programme Promotions” as well as your “Audio Clips” now post automatically to our Radio Verulam Facebook Page which will help boost content and build audiences for your shows (and help Ren Behan enormously!).

 

You can find this at >> RV Inside >> Content >> Create >> Programme Promotion

– Snoop presenter training. A massive thank you to over 30 of our daytime (and some speciality show) presenters – from both the week and weekend programmes. I received an abundance of positive, insightful feedback and both Andy and I are really pleased so many of you derived great benefit. To put it into perspective, Nick and I worked out the total value was close to £100 per person we invested in to give you industry standard training and mentorship. Already we’ve seen individuals and teams make improvements to their programmes, so thank you again. It really helps our whole station sound and style come together as one quality output.

Shout outs. Big ups to … (drum roll …)

Jason McKenna – When Magician X was on Drive, Jason handled the social media and Ren has asked to make mention of his sterling effort: “He created some graphics and a video which I was able to share on social media in the run up to the interview. In total, on Facebook, with 10 posts we reached a staggering 33,556 people. These are all potential fans and new listeners and it’s a great example of a very successful social media campaign running alongside having a (well-known) radio guest coming in! He also managed to ‘Facebook Live’ the interview from the studio, which encouraged more interaction. Jason and I worked together to stagger the content and also research some hashtags with also generated lots of likes and new followers on Instagram.” Thank you Jason!

Lawrence Card – For his RTS Young Technologist of the Year Award. Congratulations! You put in an incredible amount of detailed, thorough and time-consuming work to keep the station on air. It is well deserved and it’ll be amazing to see where your engineering career takes you. (Not only is he a BBC broadcast engineering trainee, Lawrence is also the station’s engineer along with Nik Fox, Nick Hazell and Dave Neal)

Kevee Lynch – While you're Saturday morning breakfast show is coming to an end next weekend, we know it is not the end of your enthusiasm, love of the community and Ska-music. Thank you for providing an uplifting start to the weekend, week-on-week for a number of years. You’ll be missed and Jonny Seabrook will be presenting the Saturday breakfast show after Saturday August 24, alongside his Sunday breakfast show with Jenny & Dan.

Zara Martin – Every Friday from 12 noon to 2pm Zara has been hosting the Friday afternoon music show. Now, with Jonny moving to Saturday mornings, Zara will be presenting 1-4pm. Well done Zara! And also, thank you to Stephen Hall who has supported Zara every Friday to get on her feet and become confident at what she does. It is a lovely example of volunteers just being there and sharing their expertise.

As always, feel free to drop me a line with any feedback or suggestions: leona.fensome@radioverulam.com