I know spring officially just began last week and, for many, you’re just coming off midterm exams/papers and spring break.
But I’m going to say it anyway.
What are your plans for your media operation to operate without a hitch this summer?
• Do you have office staffing during business hours every weekday?
• Are you going straight automation? Mix of live and automation? If so, who will be loading the automation/play-listing each day?
• Who will be updating your recorded promos all summer?
• Anyone scheduled to update content on your website?
• Weather? If you regularly air weather forecasts, your audience depends on them, so who will update several times each day?
These are just the tip of the iceberg of what many stations do every day/week, but what happens for three-plus months in the summer? Do you, in a sense, stop providing your audience with what they have come to depend on the other nine months?
How you can put this all together takes some planning and that needs to start soon. Some stations use alumni or community volunteers more during the summer, but these people also need to be organized to cover the bases listed above and then some.
Every summer since 1981, our station has hired “full-time” DJs (students) to each be on the air five days a week along with off-air responsibilities. Each is paid an hourly wage for their 20-25 on-air weekly hours.
It’s a significant part of our budget, but we feel that
1) it gives these students a true three-month snapshot of what a professional job in this field will be like and
2) we give our listeners a consistent product all year.
Both of these are equally important in our book.
You may not have the budget flexibility to duplicate this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still provide your audience with what they have become accumstomed to the rest of the year.
It just takes a little planning.