Internal blog post
Operations Manager Update #29

If Content is King, Context is Queen.

Last week you would’ve received my detailed update about the Coronavirus guidelines (Covid-19). As you all know, the government and Public Health England is keeping us informed every step of the way and we are heeding their advice. From Monday, Andy has scheduled PSA’s to play every day and we will be updating our posters at the station. Please continue to wash your hands, use gel and instruct your guests and co-volunteers to do so too. We do rely on your support and cooperation in our efforts to responsibly meet this challenge. The most up to date advice can be found here:

If you are feeling uncomfortable about coming in, that is completely fine. For on-air presenter roles, please do let Andy know, so we can support a workaround. Otherwise, for any off-air roles, I am available to discuss options with you as well.

This week Callum mentioned to me that Content is King, and it reminded me of this saying we’d bandy around in a former advertising role, “if the content is king, context is queen.” I think it still reigns true and remains increasingly relevant in the ever-divergent world of journalism, radio production and digital media.

As a feature’s journalist and radio producer, I wholeheartedly believe having a content production workflow is so crucial to bring your work to life and also, to ensure it lands in people’s minds and ears. There’s an abundance of ways to consume audio now – podcasting, music streaming, internet radio, and getting your show heard (rather than being broadcast once and going into the ether) is really important considering the work we all put in.

With over 45 Radio Verulam shows going to air every week – not including short-run series or segments – there is an abundance of content going out during the daytime and evening, seven days a week. However, if listeners do not tune into your output at the time of broadcast, how else are they hearing your programme? Of course, there is the Listen Again function, but what are you actively doing to draw an audience in?

Lately, I’ve seen many examples of best practice and I’d like to highlight these:


Programme promotion: The ‘On-Air Dashboard’ is Radio Verulam’s tool to support all 60 presenters in enabling fellow volunteer presenters to trail upcoming shows. Plus, most importantly, it gives the listener a reason, an appointment to TUNE IN!

Every week or the week before, you write a short paragraph about what is coming up on your show – your guests, topics of interviews, or the type of specialist music you are playing. At a minimum, everyone presenting a talks-based programme needs to be highlighting their programme content. This not only forms the basis of reads in other shows but, helps our digital media team share your content through our social media. Plus, it appears on show pages up to three days before the broadcast date:

How to:

Example: Dan Bury’s read for International Women’s Day.

Trailing or teasing your show on social media: Contact Ren or Callum if you have copyright-free images from guests to go with your show promotions, a quick tease about what you may be discussing on your show – a paragraph is great and even, social media handles they can tag people in. They can help you finesse this and then, repeat the process or share it with volunteers in your team to ensure skill development.

Example: The Parents Show on Twitter for World Book Day (@radioverulam)

Confirm details with your guests: We have templated emails to help you let guests know important information. The only caveat is, to follow the guidelines on Covid-19.

Directions to the studio:

Booking a guest:


Engagement: Talk to Ren and Callum about best practice on social media; especially how to interact with your listeners – this can include everything from reading out their tweets or message on Facebook, putting questions out beforehand and reading the answers out on air or, using credible sources to talk to things our audience is having conversations about. With the latter, always ensure you run anything iffy past, Andy.

On a non-social media front, I know Dereck Staines from Dereck’s Saturday Music Show has a great rapport with his listeners and they form a significant part of our morning magazine show. If you are around on a Saturday between 9 am -midday have a listen to the show or, come in and catch Dereck during a song, I’m sure he’d love to share how he has built and continues to nurture his loyal listeners.

How to: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @radioverulam and LinkedIn: @926radioverulam

Examples: Kerry Cobb on GMSA recently put a question out on All Things St Albans asking what landmark residents still hadn’t visited and received … 243 comments!

Steve from Friday Verulam in the Morning regularly interviews Hertfordshire Police for community bulletins and he also takes this approach for community questions.

Richard Edwards regularly receives emails and texts from local and global listeners who love their show and tune in regularly.


Audio-clipping: If you’ve had a really interesting guest on, a great way for them to keep their interview content is to provide an audio-clip of that segment. It does need to be clipped without any music attached for copyright reasons, but we’ve had some fantastic feedback from our community about being able to keep it.

For many, it forms a significant part of social proofing what they do. I’ve seen links put up on people’s websites to enhance their bio or about us page and our audio clips have been posted in social media feeds. These links help to showcase your guests – whether they are individuals, local businesses or third sector. In some instances, it highlights their professional expertise on a subject matter. This is so valuable to people.

PLUS, others get to hear YOU interviewing them. I mean, what could be better than that? Your interview gets to live again and again and again (you get the drift).

And, also, you get known as a volunteer presenter who does a certain type of show and it builds your brand. So many personal benefits!

How to:

Examples: The Mama Bamboo interview which can be found in our Facebook group.

Thank you email to guests: It costs £5.30 for Radio Verulam to produce one hour of your radio show, please encourage guests to donate via the donation box in the studio, sponsor a show (even your show if they loved it!) and encourage them to come along to one of our fundraising events – there are four planned for May already!

How to:


As always, feel free to drop me a line with any feedback or suggestions: