Sam

I have recently graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol, graduating in graphic design. I have a keen interest in illustration, typography and film.

Road Safety Show

5 November 2014

Accompanying Sonya at the safety road show at Methody school helping to inform teenagers about the safety of driving on the roads and ensuring that they stay away from the influence of drugs and alcohol whilst on the roads. This day was extremely educational and gave us a great insight into what the professionals work on outside of airtime.

Cash For Kids

Another department that works with Cool FM is the charity Cash For Kids. They host different events throughout the year to fundraise for the children that are in need of care within Northern Ireland. Most of the workers are volunteer charity workers. We had the great pleasure of working alongside the charity to work on a brief around the Christmas period to attempt to help generate funding to help those in need. I really enjoyed working with the charity as there are so many different factors to take into consideration, for instance how much the costs to run an event may outweigh the profits. We also got to join in on one of the live fundraising events held “funsie in a onesie”.

Plus Images

I have been regularly resizing images for the Cool FM website. This is something that I am really enjoying, not only is my design background helping those who work within Cool FM but I can actually see that my help is being used within the Cool FM website. It is also giving me the opportunity to work alongside some more of the professional bodies onboard Cool FM.

Take Care Get There

I have been working alongside the news team to help with their “take care get there” road campaign with the PSNI. Helping to generate ideas and images for their website page. I particularly like putting my ideas and design knowledge into real practice as it gives me a clear insight into the professional value of working within an area of Cool FM. The only downside to this is also realizing how slow it takes for other people to co-operate with the tasks to ensure that they are done within the limited time range.

Cool Choices Facebook

I am now, alongside Joe, an administrator of the Cool Choices Facebook page. I am really enjoying the social media side of the Cool Choices programme as it allows me to take Paulo’s advice and put it into practise. It is also really enjoyable to see the amount of likes increase. Though it is time consuming and it is also very important to only place up relevant information that won’t offend the public eye. Although the Cool Choices Facebook page is not going to reach the thousands it is still a good way to start thinking about social media, as it is something that I will be working on within my future career aspirations with my own business. It also gives me the opportunity to design some more work :)

Broadcast Demo

21 October 2014

My first ever broadcast demo

Setting up a studio

20 October 2014

Today we set up a studio, learning about input, controllers and outputs, in this case the input was a microphone, the controller was the mixer and the output was the speakers. We then learnt how to sound proof the studio so that any sound that was created was to be crisp clear. I have realised that I enjoy the more hands on type of work. Not only was this part of the programme fun but it was also very educational in terms of how the set-up of the studio can impact the sounds that we hear. Another thing I learnt today was that the microphone always has to be behind the speakers or you will hear feedback.

Introduction to broadcasting

For our “Cool Choices” hour takeover show we had to choose our presenting team, to do this we all had the pleasure of creating our own scripts and then recording them as demo’s, something that is required as part of gaining a job role as a presenter. Before today I never thought about being a radio presenter but after sitting behind a mic and coming up with entertaining scripts I have completely changed my mind, this is my favourite area so far, it is challenging and I sure am ready for a challenge.

China White Promotion and sales

Richard Ross gave us an insight into the sales department, showing us how advertising is used to generate income for the radio station and how the team go to pitch their sales to different employers. As a team we then worked on a live brief, creating a promotional advertising pitch for the new nightclub coming to Belfast, ‘China White’. A great part of carrying out the sales pitch for the brief was looking further into the different topics included within the idea process, who’s the advert for, when is it to be heard, where is it located, what should be advertised. I have learnt a great lot through working on live briefs and I have really enjoyed the process. Seeing how an idea can turn into a pitch that can be presented to clients is an exciting part of the experience and seeing how the brief would be carried out gives us all a more realistic view of how the projects would be created by the professional teams.

Applying for the programming job

A new job role was introduced to the Cool Choices team today. The role consisted of being fully trained in programming for the nighttime hours of Cool FM. Each of us had to create a statement on why we thought we were most suitable for the job role. This statement has given me a clear insight into how to approach applying for jobs, what is necessary to include, how research plays a great importance in applications and how to highlight my best qualities through paper. I also was successful in getting the job ;)

Cool Clinic introduction

As part of the Cool Choices training we will be taking over an hour on Sonya Mac’s Cool Clinic programme, an hour show that helps the listeners of Northern Ireland with problems that they face. As a group we came up with the subject area of “relationships” and then broke this down into four main categories that we felt were most important coming up to the Christmas period, bereavement, finance, break-ups and depression. We then split up into different groups to research further into the areas, listing the names of the Charities that we felt were best suited to have on air to talk about helping anyone with these issues. As a group we then accumulated an email that we wish to send out to the charities and hopefully with positive replies our next step will be to meet the charities and take voxpops from them, that we can then air on our Cool Choices show.

On Air

15 October 2014

Business in progress

Road Safety Roadshow

Accompanying Sonya Mac at Methody School to inform teenagers about the importance of road safety.

Recs Room

Images to show the inside of the recs room

Engineering

13 October 2014

Richard kindly brought us on a tour of the Cool FM engineering department, showing us how the studios are set up as a controller for the sound and then how the sound is transmitted from the recs room. We were introduced to Dala – the system that is used for radio presenters when on air. This system is used by many radio stations in the UK. The Recs room is the most important room in the station, without it we would have no music. If anything happens to the software in the studios it is the engineering team that will help to solve it. The recs room is where everything is controlled, therefore before anyone can go on air the recs team will have to set it up. The recs room looks like a room filled with loads of wires and equipment. The equipment is run 24/7 and is in a suitable coolness for the equipment, so that nothing overheats and causes a fire. There are also several backup devices so that if there is any electricity problems the backup devices will kick in until the generator starts up, so that listeners will never have a silent station. I enjoyed seeing the recs room though I don’t think I will be an engineer any time soon.

Programming

Where do I want to be? What do I want to achieve? Where do I fit in? We have Sarah Owens coming over later to inform us more about the promotions side of the programme, I am looking forward to this department as I feel that helping to brand Cool FM will be something that I have an interest in. We have been informed about the upcoming week, from learning how to broadcast to finding an area that we will eventually work in I am looking forward to finding my own specific area of interest that I will work in. Throughout the next week I will ask myself the questions that I included at the start of this blog and hopefully find myself answering the questions as time goes by. From last week I found that the programming job role was extremely interesting in terms of how to get a wider audience, from the Cool FM bus helping to gain more listeners to the choice of music having a great impact, this talk was very inspiring and it is great to be given an insight into the different areas within Cool FM.

Promotions

8 October 2014

Where do I want to be? What do I want to achieve? Where do I fit in? We have Sarah Owens coming over later to inform us more about the promotions side of the programme, I am looking forward to this department as I feel that helping to brand Cool FM will be something that I have an interest in. We have been informed about the upcoming week, from learning how to broadcast to finding an area that we will eventually work in I am looking forward to finding my own specific area of interest that I will work in. Throughout the next week I will ask myself the questions that I included at the start of this blog and hopefully find myself answering the questions as time goes by. From last week I found that the programming job role was extremely interesting in terms of how to get a wider audience, from the Cool FM bus helping to gain more listeners to the choice of music having a great impact, this talk was very inspiring and it is great to be given an insight into the different areas within Cool FM.

Jingle Ball Promotion

We just met Sarah Owens, sponsorship and promotions manager, after being provided with a brief (to help promote Cool FM Jingle Ball), we then as a team came up with several different pitch ideas to promote the selling of the tickets for the venue. I really enjoyed the process of working to live briefs. Working as a team really helped to generate and develop ideas which inturn produced 3 valuable ideas that we were then able to pitch Sarah, hopefully some of these will start to make an impression on the rest of the Cool FM professionals.

Advertising with Keith

7 October 2014

Keith is the main man for commercial voiceovers for advertising. I actually enjoyed this session more than I thought I would, it was very informative. It was very evident that language, pitch and tone play an important role in influencing audiences to purchases what the adverts advertise. Commerical adverts are what keeps Cool FM’s income overturning meaning that the adverts are a main aspect of air time on the radio station. Taking up 12-15 minutes of airtime each hour.

Pete Snodden

Today we had a talk from the professional presenter Pete Snodden. His motivational speech has definatly inspired us all. From giving us an insight about how he got into the job role, to advising us on the best ways to perfrom when broadcasting this was a great pleasure to be part of the inside of one of Cool FM’s leading presenters minds. “Be yourself, put yourself out there, prepare and work hard and you will achieve your goals”.

Foot in the door

2 October 2014

So far the programme has been a great pleasure to be a part of. The cool choices team are fantastic and the professionals that you work with are giving us a great insight into the digital media sector. From seeing the inside of the radio station, including the dj studio to the Cool FM bus and having the opportunity to meet with Sonya Mac, Pete Snodden, Steve Turnbull and Rebecca McKinney the programme has been the perfect choice for my future career. I am looking forward to learning more about everything the cool programme has to offer.

PK

This week we were introduced to PK and given an introduction into how music is selected on the Cool FM radio station. Cool FM makes its money from advertising, in comparison to Radio 1 which is a licenced radio station meaning that Cool FM plays music to suit commercial objectives. The age range that they aim to play music for is the 14-35 age bracket.