I'm Caprice, an 18 year old aspiring musician from Belfast with an interest in music, editing and photography.

I play bass in a local band, recording music, writing lyrics and music and playing gigs across Belfast. This gives me the opportunity to design gig posters, cd covers and any other promotional material. I also really enjoy skateboarding.

For me, Cool Choices is a great opportunity and experience to meet new people with different skills and stories as well as getting to see behind the scenes at the country's biggest radio station.

Monday 7th March

8 March 2016

I went to Stormont today with Zoe from Start 360, Tara, Clare and Conor. After an absolute hike up the mile long hill, we met with Ferghal McKinney from the SDLP and Nicola Turtle. We talked about how we’ve been getting on at Cool Choices since the last time we met at Start360. We then discussed ways that Ferghal and other politicians can help to improve opportunities for young people in Northern Ireland.

We were able to sit in and listen to one of the votes taking place. I honestly don’t know much about politics so most of it went over my head, but it was cool to see inside the parliament buildings.

I can’t wait to be back at Cool FM tomorrow and work towards finishing our broadcast. While we were at Stormont, the rest of the cohort interviewed Michael McKillop. I would have liked to meet him but I’m looking forward to hearing his interview tomorrow. :)

Friday 4th March

We began today with a team meeting to sort out what everyone should aim to have finished by the end of the day.

Jonny and I listened back to Aodhan Woods’s interview that I did yesterday. We decided on the key parts that we wanted to keep in for the broadcast. We made a list of what we thought was most important, the time stamp and began structuring it. We then passed this on yo Karl who started to edit the interview.

As Thomas had finished editing voxpops, Jonny and I went and listened to them. Steve then put them altogether and added a music bed. I think that they all sound really good and having the music bed makes it sound even better. Hearing this made it feel that the broadcast is coming together more.

This afternoon, interviews with Ellen Murray, Gavin from The Rainbow Project, Tania Lavery and St James’s forum took place. I’m really looking forward to hearing them. :)

I’m looking forward to next week. I can’t believe that will be our last week at Cool FM and our broadcast will be wrapped up.

Thursday 3rd March

This morning, we sat down and arranged what everyone’s roles were for the day. Garth and I wrote a list of interviewees and the dates/times that they are coming in. This helps to keep everyone on track and see which questions needed to be prepared.

I then sat down with Rebecca to finalise the questions for Aodhan Woods’s interview. Rebecca and I then headed into the studio to meet with Aodhan and do the interview. I think that Aodhan did amazing at telling his hard hitting story and I think it’s really going to be impactful for the people listening to our broadcast. I hope it reaches the ears of people that need to hear a story like Aodhan’s for them to realise that they don’t have to hide what’s happened to them and that there is help out there. I’m thankful that Rebecca stayed with me for the whole interview.

We then had the chance to listen back to both Aodhan Woods & Danielle Lavery’s (Amethyst Outreach) interviews. I wrote a list of each topic they spoke about and at which time. This means that we can sit with the editing team to pick out what we want to keep in each of the interviews.

In the afternoon, Garth and I began writing questions for two of the interviews that will be happening tomorrow. I’m looking forward to hearing what both interviewees have to say, as LGBT rights are something that I feel passionate about. :)

Wednesday 2nd March

7 March 2016

With a week to go before we have to finish our broadcast, we jumped right into working on it this morning. Myself and the programming team worked alongside Karl, head of Editing, and listened to Jack Graham’s interview from yesterday. I made a list of the different topics Jack covered in his interview and the different times he spoke about them at. We then used this to decide what we thought would be most crucial to include in the LGBT feature of our broadcast. Listening back to Jack’s interview was great and I think he spoke really really well.

I then worked with Matthew, head of Social Feeds, to create a video for the Cool Choices Facebook page. I enjoyed doing this because I got to see how much more confident people have become when talking infront of a camera. We did a similar activity at the beginning of the programme, but since then everyone has become much more confident!

Thanks to Steve and David, I got the chance to speak to one of my favourite bands, Walking On Cars, who happened to be in the Cool FM studios today! I asked them about their role models so that we could have their voxpops included on our broadcast. They were so lovely and down to earth. It’s refreshing to see a band remain so grounded, especially after their recent success with their debut album going to Number 1 in Ireland! This was definitely a big highlight of being on the Cool Choices programme so far :)

This afternoon, I worked with the rest of the programming team and Thomas from the editing team. We listened back to all of the voxpops and made a list of any that needed to be re-recorded. Jonny and myself then went ahead and got them recorded.

To finish up the day, we sat with the editing team and listened to how they were editing Jack Graham’s interview so far. I think that everyone in the cohort is doing a great job and if we continue working hard enough, we’ll be able to make this something great! :)

Tuesday 1st March

We got a lot done for our broadcast today. I got the chance to use the H4s to record some voxpops. The editing team began to edit the voxpops that were recorded yesterday. I sat in the studio with them for a while so I knew what they were editing and how that could be incorporated into the script.

After finalising the script for the intro of the broadcast. Rebecca, Steve, Clare and Conor headed into the studio and recorded it. I then worked with Conor and Clare to summarise our research and chose key points to include in the script.

In the afternoon, Misky interviewed Jack Graham, who is a previous cohort member. He felt that it went really well and that Jack answered the questions informatively. After this I worked with Misky to come up with some questions that I could ask in the interview that I’m doing on Thursday.

Monday 29th February

The start of week 2 back at Cool FM! This morning we got stuck into working on our broadcast. I began summarising and picking out key information from our research. Everything was put into bullet points and put into a folder that is accessible by everyone.

I then moved on to help Liam record voxpops for the intro to the broadcast. I really enjoyed learning how to use the H4 microphones. It was nice to hear who everyone looks up to and the different reasons as to why.

After that we arranged which interviewees were coming in and when. People where then assigned to who they were interviewing.

People began working on skits and the intro script. This means that they are prepared to be recorded tomorrow. I think that we are coming on well with our broadcast but we still have a lot to do.

Friday 26th February

1 March 2016

This morning we wrote questions that we could use for the voxpops on our broadcast. We were then introduced to Molly who worked in one of the previous cohort. I learned a lot from Molly and enjoyed hearing how this programme changed her life. We took this as a chance to test out some of the questions we’d wrote earlier this morning.

Over lunch we met with Mark Mahaffy and had the chance to ask him questions. He spoke about his background and some of the many roles and responsibilities that come with his job. I found his talk very interesting and think that he is admirable.

We finished the day by splitting into groups and working on our broadcast. We worked on ideas for the intro script. I found this challenging as I don’t have much experience on working with scripting, but I think it went better than I expected. I look forward to working on it more on Monday.

Thursday 25th February

26 February 2016

We started today by listening to the broadcasts that the two previous cohorts had constructed. The topics that they used were social media and body image. I really liked how the one on body image was structured and their interviews really stood out. I felt that the editing humanized everyone who spoke in the broadcast and made it sound more natural. Both of the broadcasts were brilliant and have set the bar pretty high, but I’m if we put the work and energy in, we’ll be able to reach that!

We then began researching some of the topics that will be discussed on our broadcast (disability and homelessness), to make sure that we are educated in the different areas when we are speaking about them. I enjoyed researching and learning more about the topics, including local statistics. I’m looking forward to tomorrow so we can continue to get stuck into working on our broadcast and making it the best it possibly can be :)

Wednesday 24th February

25 February 2016

At Cool FM today, we met with Nigel Gould, who is the Head of News and Sport NI at the station. Nigel shared with us his background and how he had previously worked in the newspaper side of journalism before he started working at Cool FM. He told us that he sees journalism more as a way of storytelling, which I think is a great outlook to have on it. At Cool FM, Nigel and his award-winning news team create 17 news bulletins each day, each of them are around 3 minutes and include 5 stories. Across the week, the news team make 109 news bulletins. These could be about politics, education, health or business, but are all focussed on what is local to Cool FM’s target audience. Nigel also provided our group with some great interview techniques and how to approach some of the more fragile topics that will be used in our broadcast. I really enjoyed hearing Nigel’s story and I am thankful for the interview techniques that he recommended we put into practice.

In the afternoon, we began storyboarding for our broadcast. Everyone got stuck in and ideas were flying everywhere. We settled on our five choices of inspirational people that we would love to interview for our broadcast. We also came up with ideas for skits to use throughout the broadcast. I think that the structure we have planned to use is going to work really well and I’m excited to start working on our broadcast!

We ended the day with a discussion about what title we could use for our broadcast. Everyone had great ideas but we are yet to settle on the final title.

I enjoyed today and I think that we did really well coming up with our storyboard :)

Tuesday 23rd February

24 February 2016

Today we met with Adam McPeak from the Hype Factory. He told us how he started out recording skate videos on a borrowed camera from school and uploading them to a free web host. He now creates videos for entertainment and corporate companies. I thought his story was very interesting and the equipment he showed us looked really cool.

After that we began storyboarding for our broadcast. We went through a list of people that we could interview and began contacting them.

Monday 22nd February

Today was our first day back at Cool FM after two weeks at Start 360. We worked on our OCN and did presentations. I focussed my presentation on LGBT Youth Issues.
We started today by recording our voices in the studio with David Corscadden. They were played back to the group to help with deciding who would best fit the presenter roles for our broadcast. I think that everyone sounded amazing and it made the decision difficult to make.
After that, the roles of the broadcast were discussed. The 3 groups are programming, news and editing. I was given the role of scripting the broadcast, which I have no experience in, but I am willing to give it a go to try something new.
The topic of the broadcast was then discussed. We decided on the topic of role models. I’m really looking forward to working on this and think our team can do a really good job.

Thursday 4th February

16 February 2016

Today we were able to speak to Paulo Ross, who presents the breakfast show alongside Pete Snodden and Rebecca McKinney. He spoke to us about social media and the amount the Cool FM Facebook page has grown since he started managing it. They recently hit half a million followers and ran a competition for someone on their Facebook page to win £5000. Paulo showed us the types of content he posts on the Cool FM Facebook page, including text posts, website links, videos, memes, scenery and local images. I think that the variety of posts is what attracts people to like the page on Facebook. I really enjoyed listening to Paulo’s presentation and seeing the massive impact that social media can have if it is used in the right way. We then had the chance to create some memes that Paulo may choose to post on the Cool FM Facebook page.

After lunch, David Corscadden spoke to us about the Cool Academy. He told us that it was started as a means to be a solution to some of the issues that youth experience. Hearing David’s story was great and I find him admirable and very approachable. He then went on to speak about marketing and set us a task. We discussed different advertising campaigns that have had a big impact, for example, the Coca Cola Christmas campaign and Red Bull’s Soapbox races.

I thought that today was enjoyable and everyone seemed to get really involved when it came to making memes and discussing the different methods of advertising.

Wednesday 3rd February

5 February 2016

I am really disappointed that I missed out on today :(

Darren Fowler from Cash For Kids came in to speak to the team about the charity and how it operates. Some of the guys filled me in with some of the things that Darren talked about. Cash For Kids give 85% of their earnings to charity which is significantly more than a lot of charities donate. They also give money to other charities to help them out. I wish was there to see Darren’s presentation and have the chance to speak to him about his job.

After Darren Fowler’s presentation, Steve showed the team how to use an editing software. I’m also disappointed that I missed this because I have a keen interest in editing. Although, I look forward to seeing it in action on Friday!! Hopefully I won’t miss any more days because I feel that I missed out on some really good and useful information.

Tuesday 2nd February

Richard Ross, Sales manager for Cool FM, Downtown and Downtown Country, spoke to us today about sponsorships and promotions. He talked about his previous experience in the media industry and his different positions at companies he used to work at.

Brand content was a topic that Richard spoke about on his presentation. This outlined the activities beyond normal spot advertising, for example, sponsorships of programmes, features and events using social media and the involvement of Cash For Kids.

Richard discussed how media is a trusted and intimate platform because of the warm relationships between the listeners and presenters. I learned that all good brands are built on trust and that coming up with fresh ideas can develop a more exciting outlook. To end his presentation, Richard has set us the task to come up with ways to get involved with Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink.

After that we began working in teams, coming up with ideas that we could pitch to Richard about Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. Although it took a while for us to decide on one of the months, I think we came up with some really good ideas that could be used. I am looking forward to spending more time on this task and coming up with more ideas.

Monday 1st February

2 February 2016

Today is the start of week two at the Cool Academy! I really really enjoyed last week, it was such a good experience and I learned a lot from our group and the people that work at Cool FM.

Today we spoke to Pete Snodden and had the chance to ask him some questions about his job. I asked him what has been his favourite interview so far and he was able to give an impressive list of people he’s interviewed including Usher, Cheryl Cole, One Direction and Alicia Keys. For me, Pete’s story of how he got to where he is today is inspirational. He told us about how he used to sit at the radio station during the overnight shows and how he wasn’t comfortable telling his careers advisor at school that his dream job was to be a radio presenter. He has now been broadcasting on radio for 15 years, 10 years of which he has spent presenting the breakfast show.

Pete outlined important qualities that he thinks make a good radio presenter, including, being passionate, knowing how to market yourself and the brand, having a keen interest in what you are doing, showing a real passion for music and being aware of modern day culture.

After that, we wrote a piece about someone that inspires us. We stood in front of a camera and a microphone and spoke about them in front of the group. I spoke about my best friend Clio, how we met and the many ways that she inspires me. After a nervous start, I started to feel more comfortable and relaxed. I think that activities like these are beneficial and can help to build my confidence.

To end the afternoon, we pitched marketing ideas to Simon Mann about Northern Ireland qualifying for the Euro’s. We presented our ideas using a PowerPoint and spoke about all the different ways we could market this. I enjoyed this and again thought it was a good confidence booster.

Friday 29th February

Today, we met with Simon Mann who is the director of both Sales and Sponsorships and Promotions at Cool FM.

We learned about Simon’s background, such as, what different jobs he had before working at Cool FM and how he has got to where he is today. He gave us a lot of information about Cool FM’s target audience and weekly listeners. Simon also told us about the importance of marketing within radio and the different types of platforms they can use to target their audience.

Simon also showed us what type of music is played on Downtown Country, which was not the type of country music that I had imagined they would play. He also spoke to us about digital advertising, promotions, road shows, street team and events such as Jingle Ball. I enjoyed hearing about the different ways Cool FM conduct their sales, sponsorships and promotions. Simon then set us a task to come up with a marketing pitch which we worked on afterwards.

We then finally agreed on the topic for our broadcast which I’m very excited to work on :)

Thursday 28th January

Today we met with David McCammond, Deputy Programme Controller at Cool FM. He spoke about what programming is and how it effects the company. David gave a clear outline of the brand values, for example, how every song that’s played and how everything that is said and done must be representative of the Cool FM brand. He also spoke about how important it is for him to feel that the listeners’ expectations are being met 24/7. I learned a lot from David and what he does and found it very refreshing to see someone so passionate about their job. We were able to hear the new jingles that Cool FM will be using starting next Monday.

I found out about the extremely large audience that tune into Cool FM. They have 375,000 listeners per week between the ages of 15 to 34. Cool FM control almost half of the entire commercial share with 45% of all 15-34 year olds tuning in every week.

David then moved on to speak about how the music is chosen for each radio show. He showed us how they use a program called ‘Selector’, which has a library of over 12,000 songs with rules set in place so songs don’t repeat within a certain time period. He also spoke about how the mood of the songs that are played depend on the time of the day, for example, the songs played on the Cool Breakfast Show are more upbeat to give people a positive kick-start to their day.

I learned a lot from David and really enjoyed seeing how passionate he was about his job, which is the same with everyone that we’ve met so far.

Wednesday 26th January

On Wednesday morning, Florence Ambrose, Health & Safety Officer, First Aider and Fire Marshall at Cool FM came in to speak to us about her background with the company and about Health and Safety and how important it is to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. She started by telling us how she has been with Cool FM since 1980 and has been through various campaigns including Ethiopia and Bulgaria.

Florence provided us with a Health and Safety document and read through it with us. I found this extremely helpful as it gave us all a clear outline of the Health and Safety regulations that are in place and what to do in case of emergency such as a fire or an accident. We then had the opportunity to start working on our blogs and recording what we had done on our first few days at Cool FM. This afternoon we’ll be coming up with ideas for our broadcast. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s ideas

Tuesday 25th January

On Tuesday, Luke Gill spoke to us about how he’s developed the Cool Choices website over the past year and a half. He showed us how to navigate through the website and talked through the type of content that we are able to upload to our online space. He also gave us a brief story on how he got into his job. We also met with Matt Murdock who told us his story of how he got his job at Cool FM. He started on a weeks placement from the Prince’s Trust and spent a lot of his time doing voluntary work.

After that he was then asked to become a team member at Cool FM and now works on putting together sound packages to send to clients that run competitions with the radio station. He also spoke about his work on the Street Team and how they promote Cool FM. For me, speaking to Matt and being able to ask him questions was very helpful and I found his story inspirational because of the amount of hard work and effort that he put into getting his dream job.

We also got to see the photos that we got taken the previous Wednesday. I thought that they all turned out really well and that they portrayed everyone’s personalities effectively. Rebecca gave a presentation on an introduction to blogging and how social media can be a real benefit to you if you use it effectively and in the right way.

To round of the day Rebecca gave us a tour of the whole Cool FM building including the studios that the shows are broadcasted live from. I loved getting to see behind the scenes, it all looked very exciting!

Monday 25th January

Monday was my first proper day at Cool FM after a day of photos on the previous Wednesday. An introduction to the programme was delivered by Rebecca McKinney and Steve Turnbull. They discussed what we would be doing over the next few weeks, making it all sound very exciting!

After that we had the opportunity to interview both Steve and Rebecca. This allowed us to find out more about them and developed a clear picture of how hard they’ve worked to get to be to where they are today. For me, I was very interested in hearing the amazing opportunities that they get from they’re job and their passion for what they do is admirable.