Jamie Lynn Gilbert, CBI Secretary
On December 1, I began my seventh year on CBI’s board of directors. While my official title is secretary, what I really am is the organization’s membership coordinator. As part of that role, I take questions from media outlets across the country about what CBI does and why they should join our illustrious organization. In this board blog, I thought I would share some of my reasons for joining CBI.
Discounted National Student Electronic Media registration
As a practical person, I always start with the financial incentive to join CBI. Each October, CBI hosts the National Student Electronic Media Convention and brings students, adviser/managers and industry professionals together to talk about audio, video and multimedia programming, promotions and operations. I know it is expensive to send folks to conventions, but it is such an incredibly informative and empowering experience that it really is worth it. Our post-convention surveys show that nearly everyone who attends CBI’s annual convention would recommend it to others. While the convention is open to non-members, members save $60-$70 per person in convention registration. If your media outlets plans on sending more than two people it is actually cheaper to purchase a $125 annual media membership first and then take advantage of the discounted convention registration. (Shameless plug: The next National Student Electronic Media Convention will be Oct. 20-22, 2016 at the Philadelphia Sonesta Hotel.)
Free entry into the National Student Production Awards
If you are not interested in joining CBI for its great convention programming, another financial reason for membership is free entry into its National Student Production Awards. The awards are highly competitive, with more than 800 entries received in 24 categories in 2015. Each media outlet can submit two entries per category, but non-members pay a $65 fee per entry. As with convention registration, any media outlet planning to submit at least two entries saves money by first purchasing a media membership. While not every media outlet will be able to attend the National Student Electronic Media Convention every year, all of them should consider submitting at least one or two entries to the National Student Production Awards. (Shameless plug: The deadline for 2016 award entries will be in early May.)
Ask questions on the CBI listserv
If promises of trips to Philadelphia and fancy awards do not sway you, another compelling reason to join CBI is for its robust email listserv. I strongly encourage all CBI media members to join the general CBI listserv to ask questions and connect with students and adviser/managers across the world. From technical specifications to underwriting language to social media policies, the CBI listserv is a treasure trove of information for new and veteran members of student electronic media. Students are also encouraged to join the listserv, ask questions and make comments. Learn how to sign up at http://www.askcbi.org/resources/e-mail-lists. Even if you set up an email filter and only occasionally browse through responses, you are bound to find something worthwhile.
Be part of a student media community
While saving money and connecting with fellow radio and video folk are excellent justifications to join CBI, the best reason is to be part of a student media community. In June 2015, CBI updated its mission statement to read, “CBI is a member-driven organization serving students and advisers of college and high school electronic media outlets. Through events, programs and a network of expertise, we provide our members with educational and professional opportunities and facilitate advocacy.” CBI is a member-driven organization. Those who serve CBI on its board of directors, on awards and programming committees and in various other ways all represent a member media outlet. We each joined CBI originally to be part of that greater community (or maybe save money on convention registration) and contribute to the higher cause that is student radio and video operations. We joined to ask and answer questions of our student media peers. We joined to help fight for reasonable webcasting rates. We joined to provide our fellow members with educational and professional opportunities and to help facilitate advocacy. We joined to not be alone in our individual student media bubble, but to be part of something greater.
CBI media memberships are for radio, video and multimedia outlets run by students at middle school, high school, community colleges and colleges across the United States and world. If you have any questions – or what to join CBI or renew a lapsed membership – you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.