Blog Twenty-Three: What A Wonderful World

1 August 2016

Well what can I say, my time at Cool FM has come to an end…and what an end it was!! The copious sweets and crisps, added to the indulgence that the final day had in store. Coming away from the studio, I felt sad, happy, over joyed but most importantly driven to what direction I was headed… We finished the day by writing down something nice about everyone that was in our group, including our mentors. Sometimes its hard to remember everything positive about yourself, so it was nice to have a slight sense of reassurance, and its something that I will keep with me forever! I was reminded to enjoy myself and to hold my head up, yes, I feel the soppiness coming on again…My time at Cool FM was amazing to say the least, I will take away every word of encouragement, every chance of experience and every hope that I have in the future!! Thank YOU

Blog Twenty-Two: Here Comes The Night

Finally, the script is finished!! I am proud of the final outcome! After a read through with Stephanie, Rebecca took us to the studio to record! Nerve wrecking is one way to describe this, challenging is also a good way to describe this experience but all in all it was outstanding, something that will stay with me for a very long time. I see myself, most times as being my own worst critic, but from this I went away with a great sense of achievement, not everyone can say they’ve recorded a show with Cool FM!!

Blog Twenty-One: Fly Boy Blue

Today I had an early start, as I had to be in the studio for 9am to interview on one of our topics. I must admit that I was a little nervous to begin with but soon settled into the role. The interview itself went very well, and I am proud of the final outcome. Adapting to a difference in opinion was something that I wanted to progress forward with and I feel that with these interviews that this is something that I will get better with time. All in all, my first interview went really well, and when it came to do my second interview of the day I have to say I feel comfortable with this role. Between these interviews we pushed forward with our script and we have almost got it finished bar a few tweaks.

Blog Twenty: For What It’s Worth

Half day Friday! We had a half day today, I don’t know what I was excited about the fact that we had a half day or that we are almost finished the script! Everything that has went into the script has been a learning curve for myself, I have learned new skills on how to adapt myself to a different style of thinking to get this script nailed! After our week off we have a fresh start of interviews, I’m excited!

Blog Nineteen: 4 + 20

Edits, edits…edits! The guys have done a really great job with the edits on the interviews so far! Lee and Chris have worked hard to get content that will be impactful for our broadcast! So far the interviews that we have done have been great, and I am excited to hear the final outcome! Today we have been scripting again, trying to get the right content generated, we have been told to make it as conversational as we can, but this has proved more difficult than I first thought, but as soon as I got into the swing of it with the help of Rebecca and Stephanie we are making our mark.

Blog Eighteen: Jump in the Line

7 July 2016

Script Day! This is something I have been really looking forward to getting stuck into, I am fascinated by how we can create something of magnitude by how we portray it verbally! Stephanie, Bridget, David, Rebecca and myself, all sat down to write up an introduction, and we have come up with a quirky start, which I am eager to get started! It will help provoke exactly what we want to get across to our audience! Hopefully tomorrow we will get our script completely finished and ready for recording! We got two interviews nailed today which is a relief, and the editing team are working steadily on these to ensure we have an impactful broadcast.

Blog Seventeen: Soul Time

Today was great, I felt more at ease with the broadcast topic, I knew what I had to get done and I did! This included chasing a few more possible interviews, and I along with Shannon and Bridget worked well to secure the ones we did! Each interviews will have a great impact on our broadcast and I can’t wait to hear what each of the has to say about the topics we will be discussing! We even secured an interview with Lynda Bryans, and she even gave me a follow on twitter!! The editing team are doing a fabulous job of sieving through Vox Pops, which were taken from each of our group on an individual level, it will be good to hear the end product. Everybody within this group is working really well and I am so glad to see the progress that we are making together!

Blog Sixteen: Monolith

Monday began unexpectedly! Everyone was slotted into their roles, and I am ecstatic to have gotten the role of presenter. This is something that I would love to learn more about and I’m excited to work alongside Rebecca. Not only did I get presenter role but I have gotten the opportunity to work closely alongside everyone as project manager. I understand that this will be a difficult role to fulfil but I am excited to learn new things from everyone on board! Monday was the first day of working properly on our broadcast; each of us had some work to get through. Shannon and I had to gather people to interview for our broadcast, I was a little tense about talking to these people over the phone, but once I got the first over me it was fine.

Blog Fifteen: Moonage Daydream

This week we got through a lot of our OCN work, which meant working together in different groups than we were used to. I really enjoyed this as I got to learn more and more about different things that effect the youth in Northern Ireland. Next week we will be getting stuck into our broadcast, and we will find out our roles.

Blog Fourteen: Friday I’m In Love

28 June 2016

Friday began with doing some more work on our OCN, which included looking at all the different concepts of Cool FM, including programmes etc., which helped us further our knowledge on the station itself. After this we listened to the recordings we did the day previous, I was a little anxious about listening to it, I thought what I did was a little rushed, but I am proud of what I did. It’s not every day you get to record something in the Cool FM studios!

Blof Thirteen: Pearl’s A Singer

Thursday began later than usual, however, we got to look at how much of an impact marketing has on a brand and specifically Cool FM. This lesson was taken by David, who gave us a brief on marketing and the main aspects that goes into marketing a brand. After this he allowed us to come up with ideas to brand ‘Cool Choices’ and how to make it more relevant to young people; Bridget and I both thought about ideas, I thought about “Cool Voices”- ‘Stay Tuned’. We also thought about how we would market it, and came up with the ideas of road shows and sign up days, specifically aimed at young people of school age. We also looked at the combinations used to market a brand for example TV, social media etc, and how these are linked to a specific ‘type’ of people- to make it relevant to them. We got to record our voices after this, I was a little nervous, and perhaps a little rushed, but I did what I could, looking forward to hearing it today!

Blog Twelve: Eight Days a Week

I have to say Wednesday proved very influential for me as we had a chat with Jordan Moates who is head of news for Cool FM. He talked us through our broadcast topics and how we should go about dealing with them; as they are quite controversial. I thoroughly enjoyed everything Jordan told us about the news room! It shocked me how much the news team fit into one day, and it is a credit to them how much they get done to get the news through. His advice gave me a lot to think about, and I am eager to begin looking at each of the topics to create a fair argument on how they each affect the people in Northern Ireland. After this John Rosborough gave us a talk on the history of radio as well as Downtown and Cool FM. I found this interesting as I enjoy history and learning how things come about, and John used audio clips so we could identify how much radio has changed since it began. Looking forward to what tomorrow holds…

Blog Eleven: Day Dreaming

22 June 2016

I was all bizz about DJ-ing, but I have to say I’ll let Jonny take the lead with it! I enjoyed learning the techniques – thank Jonny for keeping it basic for me! David set some editing up for us; I am keen to learn how to edit programmes as it’s something I would like to begin doing with pod-casts. He set us a small tasks of interviewing with a recorder, to let us see how different surroundings can have an impact on the finished product. I’m looking forward to learning more about editing in the next three weeks. Our evening was finished with Keith, who is head of scripting, I found what he said fascinating, and his work was amazing. His approach to on-air advertisements is peculiar but remarkable, as his flare with comedy ties in well with the message he is trying to put across!

Monday Morning

21 June 2016

Monday morning began with a talk from Mark, who is the managing director of Cool FM. He talked through his job role with us and answered some questions, I have to say talking with him has given me a bit more confidence as I feel that he has put some of my anxieties about the media industry at ease. I always thought that working within this industry meant you had to come along with bags of experience, however, a good work ethic proves more influential. After this Darren came from Cash4Kids to talk to us about the charity within Cool FM. A lot of work goes into this organisation, and it is a big part of children in Northern Ireland. Up next we had a chat with William who is head of the engineer department, and I was amazed at everything that goes into maintaining the station. I was also amazed at the multiple pairs of glasses he owns! DJ-ing was next on the agenda with Jonny Seeds, I hope to get a go tomorrow, excited!!!

Shiny Happy People

Monday 6th- Friday 17th

We went back to Start 360 for two weeks where we had to take a topic from our broadcast and research it for a presentation. I really enjoyed this as it gave me a better insight into this area in particular, and now I feel more comfortable about discussing it. With this presentation I was phased with doing a power point which is something I wasn’t sure about, however, with some help I was able to complete it, and even enjoyed it!! My topic was same-sex marriage, which among others proved a very controversial topic, however, I tried to keep neutral grounding as I knew it was a tough topic to cover. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this as it helped me in an area that I wasn’t sure about and am glad I took it in my stride to complete. We are back to Cool FM next week, fir three full weeks, I can’t wait to get started!!

Blog Eight: Rudy, A Message To You

Paulo came into us today to talk to us about how important social media is in relation with Cool FM, this was interesting because it came to my attention that Cool FM’s Facebook page is not just Northern Ireland based, but it is a worldwide platform. Paulo has helped create something from very little, and has paved the way for a forward way of thinking and doing. What I found interesting about Paulo was how relaxed he was, and how happy he was to do what he does. We talked further about our broadcast topic and jotted down ideas about possible interviewees as well as relevant introductions we could use to set each topic up…progress is key. Simon Mann came back again so we could pitch our ideas to him about a possible partnership, this went well, I think my presentation skills are coming on a little, and I have to say I felt a little more confident about it as a whole.

Blog Seven: Yesterday

What an exciting start to the day, we had the opportunity to go into a live broadcast with Pete, Paulo and Rebecca! I got to see how all three of them work together as a whole to create something special, and it really gave me an idea of how much work goes into a broadcast. After this we got to have a Q&A with Pete about how he got to where he is, it was refreshing to hear the journey he underwent. On air he seems a confident guy, broadcasting appears to be seamless to him. However, he gave us great advice about how far he has come out of his own comfort zone to get to the next stage. From the Q&A we got a real insight into Pete’s genuine love for his job, and it beamed from his answers. His answers offered me a sense of relief, and his best piece of advice was, “know little about a lot.” Simon Mann came to talk to us about the commercial side of things, I found this interesting as, every day I can see how all components of Cool work together to create the success it is. He gave us a task to think about, in relation with Cool FM, teaming up with another company to promote a new scheme. We will brief him tomorrow on this, and hopefully he will run with the idea myself, Matthew and Chris have come up with.

Blog Six: Mr Blue Sky

We finally got to put our blogs up on line, this was an exciting time as I have somewhere to put down my thoughts and experiences, to share with family and friends. We discussed our topic further, hoping to narrow it down to three main areas that everybody was happy to per-sue for our broadcast. After this Rebecca and David gave us some more advice about our topic and which direction we should go with it. It gave me some reassurance to have their opinion; the three topics we have chosen are ‘hot topics’ and have a huge impact on the lives of young people within Northern Ireland. As a group we did some research on our topic in a hope to further understand it. Tomorrow we get to talk to Pete Snodden, I’m excited to hear his journey.

Blog Five: Rebel Rebel

1 June 2016

On Friday we had a brief introduction to Ross who is in charge of Events and Digital for Cool FM. Ross made this job sound really exciting, and I am sure it isn’t as easy as people assume. He talked to us about how important it is to engage with the listeners/audience and how this has an impact on Cool FM’s footprint on Facebook and other media platforms. We also brainstormed our broadcast topic again which generated heated debate, this was needed to get ideas across with the group. We had the opportunity of listening to a previous Cohort’s broadcast, which really gave us something to think about. It was a really good broadcast and sounded professional, I’m excited to see how we can follow this with our topic, and how we can all put a different slant on it!

Blog Four: Big Girls Don’t Cry

Thursday began with a movie ice breaker, where we had to pick a movie that best described us. For this I chose Dirty Dancing, as I love the soundtrack and have loved it from a young age! From this we had a talk with Richard Ross who is head of promotions, he talked us through some aspects about commercial radio and how important it is to include the audience; by generating various competitions. After this he set us a task of creating a marketing campaign, that linked Cool FM with the Euros. At the beginning the connections seemed difficult to create but we were split into smaller groups, and by doing so where able to bounce our ideas more readily. Our group consisted of Bridget, Chris and myself, we thought of a few ideas and put them on paper and after this tried to create a logic for them. We took on board what Richard said about how to generate the audience’s attention, so we looked at how social media could play an important role with this link from Cool FM and the Euros. We thought about using the platform of video/photo to generate a sense of fandom; this would be a short clip that celebrated Northern Irelands previous achievements on the pitch. This allowed us to work as a group effectively, allowing each of us to get a say. After this we had to pitch our idea to Richard, which I was nervous about, but with the help of Bridget and Chris, we got our idea across well. We finished the day off with researching our broadcast topic, I’m excited to continue this tomorrow.

Blog Three: Mr Rock & Roll

Day three began with a talk from Florence Ambrose on the elements of health and safety, after which we had a quiz. I am usually a very competitive person, which is something that I hate to own up to. However, I met my match with Pogey, who proved to be as competitive as me! In fairness it was maybe more shouting over each other than anything, to get, but when a Cool FM goody bag is in offer, who wouldn’t? To avoid complication, we both won, because no one would own up as a sore loser. After this we took our topic, and narrowed it down to a few topics. Which I am excited to begin research on. We finally began our blogs, which I am excited to keep up to date! David came down to talk to us from programming, I didn’t realise how much planning is put into a show, which gave me a great insight into what works when broadcasting!

Blog Two: Into the Mystic

On Tuesday we were presented with the photographs that were taken the week previous. I was a little nervous about the outcome, but was pleased by what I saw; Simon is an amazing photographer and captured everyone in an amazing light. Luke Gill came to talk to us about the cool academy website and what our blog should include, I’m excited about this, as blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do and what better way to begin, than with Cool Choices! After this we had a Q & A with David, who up unto that point was an anonymous burst of energy; but after this we found out a lot more about him and his 80’s ripped jeans fashion sense! Rebecca organises people within Cool FM to come to speak to us, and today we were introduced to Matt who worked his way from a volunteering post to becoming a programming editor! He spoke about how hard work is key to success and the road he took to getting to where he is today. Our evening was finished with brain storming ideas on what our broadcast would be about. As a group we decided on Youth Empowerment and the effect of Stereotypes and Human Rights in Northern Ireland, I’m excited to see where this goes…stay tuned!

Blog One: Teenage Kinks

Driving from Bellaghy to Netwonards, I felt extremely enthusiastic about what the day had to offer. I tuned into Cool FM and felt a sense of pride about the direction I was heading. Our day began with introductions and ice breakers, which allowed for an easier start with my peers. I’m becoming more comfortable with the group each day and I’m excited to find out more about them. We were introduced to Johnny Seeds, who was so welcoming and made me feel at ease. Rebecca set us a task in making up questions about her and Johnny, in order to find out more about them and how they got to where they are. It was refreshing to learn about their journey and their path to success. After which David took us on a tour of the studio, which I was super excited about! He showed us behind the scenes, even the signal hub. My highlight was seeing the recording device that the ‘The Undertones’ used to lay down the track ‘Teenage Kicks’!