Essential tips for broadcasters
Broadcasting your own choice of chat, music and programmes across the internet is great fun and can be very rewarding on many levels.
There is a whole community of online radio broadcasters to help you, and running a station that’s open to the community you live in can create a super resource for locals to share news, their favourite music and important information.
There are few guidelines you might want to take on board if you are new to broadcasting – they are listed below, and further down the page is a list of apps you might need.
Draw up guidelines for any volunteers (on and off air). Station rules such as no offensive language on air, equal opportunities, no discrimination etc, you might have a music policy stating ‘clean’ versions of songs only; or only playing music of a particular genre or decade. Best to lay these ground rules out at the get-go.
You might also decide to police-check volunteers.
Think of where you live and market your station as the local community station. This may help you with selling commercial air time as well as ads on your station’s website. Yes, you can broadcast to the world, but listeners in foreign lands, or even in the next city may not benefit you or your station’s supporters.
Build relationships with local businesses, charitable organisations and support each other.
You must have a professional website for your station. One that looks great on smartphones and has an audio player that works on every platform. Have a contact form for listeners and advertisers to contact you, social sharing buttons and local news if you can.
Remember though that the vast majority of your listeners may not hear your station by visiting your website, they will use services such as TuneIn and other digital radio listing services.
Because of the above, you need to clearly ID your station name, the area it serves and your website using a station ID jingle. Keep jingles clear, short and punchy. Use the same piece of ID music for everything, to help build the brand and listener recognition.
Do think about having a station logo. Study the logos of the stations you enjoy listening to and create a logo that is simple, legible, and can be scaled to be used at any size. Try and keep it to no more than 2 colours plus white or black. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
One thing we have noticed is lots of digital broadcasters use Auto DJ all week and then play out shows at weekends. We have a view that it wouldn’t hurt to schedule your weekly shows to run every night of the week – i.e; a daily schedule that repeats for 7 days until newer shows are loaded. Not everyone listens all the time (worth a thought, eh).
Your pre-recorded shows are up in the cloud anyway, why not use them more? And you can schedule them to play out at different times on different days.
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