Well this year has been mixed! We started off in July with an entirely brand new elected team.
I started off in July and August having to pick up where the last years left off developing the key sponsorship connections for the Student Radio Awards 2011. This involved meetings, and number of emails and phone calls back and forth between myself and various contacts at BBC Radio 1, Global Radio, GMG, Absolute Radio and Bauer.
There is an unbelievable amount of politics almost pettiness about sponsorship of the Student Radio Awards. My aim for the awards, and for my tenure as Chair this year was to get as much of the industry to openly support student radio. I succeeded in this by having, at the awards in November representatives from: many areas of the BBC, GMG, Absolute Radio, Bauer, Amazing Radio, Tindle Radio, Orion Media, BFBS, UTV, Folder Media, MediaUK, RCS, RadioPlayer, Round2Creative, Wise Buddah, USP Content, Passion Radio Oxfordshire, Somethin’ Else, and music licensing company PPL! That’s almost 20 different companies from across the radio industry! Next year we’ll make it 20, as I can’t help but notice there’s one group that’s missing out on the party!
After the awards (well kind of overlapping) we started work on the National Student Radio Conference. I visited two of the three applicants stations. It was a surprisingly tough decision, where one location suffered, it surpassed in other aspects! Obviously you’re now aware we chose Bradford, and since November have been working with the team at RamAir 1350am to get to the point we are at now. My role in the conference has largely been to assist and coordinate the general aspects of the conference.
In December unfortunately our Web Officer, Scott Robinson, decided to step down from his role. Due to the state that we were in, and the unique hand-coded way that the website is written we decided that we wouldn’t advertise for a new Web Officer until the AGM. Until that time I have been doing that role. Not developing the site, but ensuring that the parts that we need work. A large part of this has meant that I have had to develop small bits of coding for the registrations for the conference.
In addition to the usuals (Awards and Conference), I have been constantly looking to improve the experience of the SRA for our members. Working with companies who are interested in partnerships with the SRA. For example there’s a company in London who is looking for interns and also looking at shortly offering ProTools training courses to our members. I have also continued DCW’s (previous Chair) strive towards getting more student radio stations on RadioPlayer. The stumbling block still at the moment is OfCom licensing but at the last Partnership meeting things looked like we could see progress during the next year. We’re hoping that the founding partners, (BBC, Global Radio, GMG Radio, Absolute Radio, and the RadioCentre) will allow, along with OfCom for an extended RadioPlayer agreement that non OfCom licensed SRA stations sign to ensure that they will comply with broadcasting standards.
Matt, our Finance Officer will give a more detailed report at the AGM however I have found one of the SRA’s main stumbling points this year has been money! The SRA never has any reserve funds. The majority of what we make on ticket sales and sponsorship goes back into event. This, I think is partly down to the fact that we always aim to keeps costs low to our members so we rarely put any markup on costs for our own expenditure. This, I feel, is something that will have to change in the next couple of years otherwise with the UK economy going the way it is managing SRA events will become increasingly difficult!
A great year with so much packed into it. Let’s do it again!