Posted by: Andrea Day | November 6, 2011

Foot in the Door at the Radio Festival 2011

Another year, another Radio Festival. I have to jump on the band wagon with the rest in saying that it really was the best one yet. The choice of speakers and sessions that were available meant that you were often torn between which room you wanted to be in. Damn it.

Every year at the Radio Festival there is the “Foot in the Door” session on the Monday. If you want to know a bit more about the set up, check out my previous blog post.

I was ask to speak on the topic of “What can I do now?…” to get into the radio industry. I do quite a bit of  “extra curricular” work outside of my day job; Radio Academy, Community Radio and a bit of work for Radio Today amongst just general radio anorak-ery.

Now it sounds like a fairly easy topic, but these guys are switched on. Practically every person that was there was already volunteering at their student, hospital or community station and were still keen to do much more to advance their position.

My advise (in a nut shell) was this:

  • Contacts, contacts, contacts – make yourself known to the right people for the right reasons.  Make sure that you are the first person that they think of when an opertunity arises. It is all about who you know.
  • Stalk people (Digitally) – social media makes this easy. Twitter, FB and Linkedin means that you can easily find out what the people you are going to meet are into.  Get to know them, have a conversation starter ready for that moment that you plan to “casually” bump into them.
  • Research – this goes in hand with the stalking. Find out what the ethos is of the company that you are keen to work for.  Understand it, understand their competitors, understand what they are and what they aren’t.  If you are going for an interview for a travel job and you don’t know the name of the motorway in the station’s patch, then it just makes you look stupid.
  • Send emails / tweets / make contact – when you meet people, get their contact details and then make contact. Just a quick couple of sentences to say “Hello” and a recap of what you spoke about when you met.  It means that they will recall your meeting AND have your contact details.
  • Know the industry – understand the core differences between commercial and BBC, know the latest news, gossip, movers and shakers.  I was surprised how few of the delegates knew what DQF was – especially all the ones that said they were desperate to work for the BBC.  I would say this, but Radio Today really is the best way to find stuff out and keep track of everything.  Their daily 24 hours in radio emails are perfect.
  • Have a digital presence – if someone Googles you, can they can find you? – and is what they find the bits that you want them to find? (and not the pictures of you being sick at your mate’s party).  Creating a blog and having your own website is great for showcasing your skills.  Make sure it is kept up to date – this is your shop window for your talent.

And finally…….

  • Don’t give up – you will find that you doing all the leg work at first with little return.  Stick with it and all that hard work that you have invested will come back over time. Promise.
After all this advice, I had just four deligates ask for my card and nearly a week later, not a single email.  However, I did get a nice tweet from Fred Bradley (@fredbradley) who was speaking on the same topic with me.
Posted by: Andrea Day | October 21, 2011

Male v’s female voice – Now Apple gets involved

Really interesting article in the Guardian this week discussing the Apple’s default choice for using a female voice in the US for Siri and a male voice in the UK.

Although Apple haven’t commented, it is thought that the long and short of it is; American’s are in a hurry and it is easier to hear a high pitched female voice, the British like to be told what to do with someone with authority – typically, a male voice.

Voices for traffic bulletins in the UK are very often female.  This is probably just because in the main, breakfast jocks are male and more thought is given to the balance of the genders on air, than actually delivering the information.

It would be great for there to be consideration at who is best at the job, rather than the gender behind the voice.

Prejudices behind our digital voices | Life and style | The Guardian.

Posted by: Andrea Day | October 5, 2011

Welcome to MediaCityUK with the @radioacademy

The Radio Academy do some great work bringing all sectors of the radio industry together. A lot of their evening series of events are based in London, but there are a few active regional branches out there too.

On Tuesday, the North West Branch held their first in a series of events, which looked at what Media City means for radio across the industry.

John Ryan leads the panel session

On the panel were;

  • Jonathan Aspinwall, Editor of late night and overnight programmes on 5Live
  • John Simons – Group PD, Real Radio GMG
  • Jo Meek – Freelance Executive Producer at Wise Buddah

The session was hosted by John Ryan, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Manchester and was opened by Peter Salmon, BBC North Director.

The highlights the panel session were tweeted by @radiotodaylive so no point in a recap, but the main theme from all the speakers and from the tour which we were treated to afterwards, is that MediaCity is all about a feeling; a spark of creativity.  It’s there already and the place isn’t even fully up and running yet.

Overlooking the main atrium

The best place to feel it was overlooking the main atrium from the front of the building towards the back – the whole building has stunning views of the working spaces littered with 70’s style vibrant colours mixed with shades of grey and black.

Every available space and wall covering depicts the heritage of the BBC, from the start of broadcasting right up to minute.   BBC Sport is still being built on the ground floor but is easily recognisable by the bright yellow logos that litter the unfurnished space.
A non “bollocking booth”

Meeting pods are every where you turn – some open and some closed, the later of which are already being referred to as the “Bollocking booths”, however, they have no roof – bollockers beware. There are lounge areas, meeting spaces, dressing rooms and mini studios around every corner.

The building isn’t just a new physical location for some parts of the BBC; it is a new way of thinking, working and above all creating great content.

Posted by: Andrea Day | October 1, 2011

Appearing at @radioacademy Foot In The Door #fitd #radfest11

Last year The Radio Academy asked me to be on the committee for their annual “Foot in the Door” event at the Radio Festival. It was loads of fun; I got to help organise the event with the wonderful Heather Davis and also got to appear on a panel myself.

It’s a fantastic event for people who are looking to find out more about the radio industry and not just the normal on air roles that most people strive for.

It’s set up like speed dating; a load of tables with industry peeps on one side and then the delegates on the other.  Every 15 minutes a klaxon sounds and the delegates move round to the next table.

Helen and Olly from Answer me This! podcast

Last year I was very excited to appear on a table with Helen and Olly from Answer me This, speaking about what the delegates can do for free.  I was talking about the volunteer work that I do at Rossendale Radio.

This year, I am off to talk about how Trafficlink can often be a paid way into the industry and also talk about the work that I do for, Rossendale Radio and the Radio Academy.  Its all about having fingers in lots of pies.  Ummm… Pies…..

Tickets are £19 + VAT and I really would recommend anyone who,

  • works in community / student / hospital radio
  • is looking for their first, second or even third step in the industry
  • is studying any form of media qualification

…to come along.

There were lots of people queueing up to get in last year that hadn’t booked their tickets early enough, so I cant stress enough how much you need to get booked in today.

Get more info: Foot In The Door 2011 | The Radio Academy.

Posted by: Andrea Day | October 1, 2011

The search for @Girl_Geeks #ewtech

According to the Girl Geeks website and e-skills UK, the imbalance between male and female workers in some tech areas is getting worse rather than better;

“…only 18% of IT & Telecoms professionals are female, down from 22% in 2001. Likewise female representation within the IT & Telecoms industry as a whole is also on the decline, down from 27% in 2001 to 25% by the second quarter of this year.”

This makes me sad.

Thinking back to my uni course (BSc Music Technology), there were only 3 gals in the group, and on the electronics and programming modules, even less.  I graduated in 2003 and I didn’t think that we would ever go backwards from there.

However, if you are out there (and I KNOW you are) then perhaps you should consider the Everywoman Technology Awards.


The everywoman in Technology Awards are free to enter and the 2012 categories include:

  • Rising Star – awarded to a woman under 26 who is excelling in her technology career and is the one to watch.
  • Team Leader (in an SME with under 500 employees) – awarded to a woman whose team leadership has greatly contributed to the organisation’s success.
  • Leader (in a corporate organisation with over 500 employees) – awarded to a women operating in a senior management position making a contribution to the strategic direction of the business.
  • Innovator  awarded to a woman designing, developing, researching or implementing technology in an unconventional and innovative way.
  • Entrepreneur – awarded to an owner/operator of a technology business whose vision and talent will inspire others.
  • Inspiration – awarded to an individual (male or female) for their active commitment to encouraging, advancing or championing the progress of women working in technology.


 There is more info on the Everywoman  website.

The new High Definition Trafficlink TV studio uses the latest technology combining a full production suite into one very powerful computer – the NewTek TriCaster TCXD850

Trafficlink have developed software that can produce traffic and travel reports beyond conventional CCTV images with an in vision presenter which has been the standard for decades.   Utilising the multiple camera angles with the virtual studio set capabilities, they are able to produce the next generation of traffic reports in high definition.

As well as experimenting with graphics that are regularly seen in the US, they have been developing bespoke products to provide viewers with the most relevant and useful information which goes beyond a single picture of queues.

HD TV Strip Map

Trafficlink’s parent company, ITIS (yes, it is still officially ITIS and not INRIX  – yet) provides them with millions of anonymously GPS tracked vehicles and mobile phone data to provide a progressive traffic news service, delivered in the most visually engaging way.

The studio is already connected to ITN and subsequently all routes available through their switching hub.  From today, Trafficlink’s in vision bulletins for ITV’s regional opt outs during Daybreak will be live from the new HD studio.

Talks are already in progress with a number of other key broadcasting organisations about permanent connectivity to their broadcast centres.  They are also trialling IP based connections which will enable us to broadcast current and predicted travel conditions to Europe and the US as well as providing analysis and comments for travel related news stories.

Additional functionality has also been built into the new studio which allows it to be a ‘switching’ facility; images and graphics can be generated from London, but advice and commentary can be added by ISDN from a local travel news expert from one of Trafficlink’s six regional studios.

Exciting times.

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