“It’s always about you isn’t it!”
Well that’s just fine, in fact this is what The Radio Academy is all about and so it should be. At this time of year many of us will look at our hopes and aspirations for the year ahead [or as many in management would rather we call them, goals and objectives, if it’s alright with you, I’ll stick with hopes and aspirations as they’re more relatable to most of us], and as I’ve been thinking about mine, I thought I would make a pitch for space amongst yours.
I had the privilege of being in the audience at the last John Peel Lecture at Radio Festival in 2015 delivered by the inspirational Brian Eno. During his truly amazing Lecture, he took issue with the word ‘industry’ in relation to the arts, culture and creativity and as someone that’s made their career in the monetisation of others creative talent in both radio & podcasting, he challenged my thinking on how I view our industry, or business or sector?
I once heard that good radio should give the listener the experience akin to ‘eavesdropping on an interesting conversation in the bar’, now whether you agree with this definition or not is irrelevant in the context of this blog, the point is - the very best audio/radio communicators are natural conversationalists and storytellers and therefore credible and relatable. Over the years those presenters that I have enjoyed and related to the most are;
I admire these people immensely and they have all provided me with so much company, entertainment, insight, magical moments and memories over the years.
Going back to the ‘bar’ conversation analogy, if I was asked - Who are you listening to at the moment? My answer[s] would be Shaun Keaveny, James O’Brien and Clint Boon’s podcast. Only if the questioner had not heard of these guys specifically, would I explain “Shaun does the Breakfast show on 6 Music” etc How unnatural would it be for my initial answer to be - “Well actually I prefer the BBC broadcaster Shaun Keaveny on the 6 Music Breakfast Show as my start to the day, followed by Global’s James O’Brien etc etc”
You see, I don’t have any loyalty to the stations/brands particularly, in fact I sometimes struggle with some of the music on 6 as an example, the rest of the LBC output is not really my thing and I was never part of the music scene [sadly] that Clint talks so wonderfully about. It is these fantastic presenters/people that engage me!
Similarly, it was Mark & Lard, Sara Cox, Hirsty, Danny & Jojo, Peter Allen & Jane Garvey, Fi Glover and Paul Carrington when they presented daily shows on Radio 1, Galaxy/Capital Yorkshire, 5 Live and Minster FM back in the day. I didn’t - ‘trust in new music’, ‘own any Dance or RnB’, need a daily fix of ‘live news and sport’ and certainly didn’t believe it was Yorkshire’s Best Music!
It was, still is and always will be the people!
Similarly in my career it has not been the companies or brands I worked for particularly that I learned much from, or that helped/inspired me, it was people like
..to name a few, plus the many colleagues who inspired/inspire me on a daily basis. So thinking about it, Brian Eno was absolutely spot on, it’s not about industry - the corporations, companies, brands, platforms etc provide the outlets for people to share their talents and develop their passion/careers, they are the conduit for people to shine.
This is what The Radio Academy is all about, we are a community of people who share a love, passion and career in creating, celebrating, supporting, sharing and monetising great audio content, across many platforms, on behalf of many companies/providers and our stated aim at the Academy is to help, support, inform, connect and celebrate all of these wonderful people.
In short, we are a mutually supportive peer to peer network of audio & radio people.
We are supported philanthropically in this mission by many corporate patrons large & small in radio & audio who share these supportive values and give something back to help us, help the people [our members] develop their careers, enrich listeners lives and keep raising the bar and we are enormously grateful to them.
To paraphrase Sir Richard Branson - “success in [audio/radio] is about people, people, people” so if you do nothing else for your career in 2017, then join The Radio Academy - a network of people, people, people that help one another to flourish. It’s less than the price of one decent coffee a month and will help you realise your hopes and aspirations in audio & radio, after all we know your next boss! ;-)
See you soon and Happy New Year!
Membership stars from just £3 a month [minimum 12 month period] http://radioacademy.org/membership/ If you work for one of our Patrons - membership is FREE, but you do still need to register personally with us to activate it.