Congratulations! You are now on the executive management team at your college radio station. You got a position by showing dedication, having a good music show, and you knocked your interview out of the park. Now, you are king of the world, and can do anything you want!
Well, not exactly.
Being on an executive team is a privilege, as you now represent your college radio station to the students, the community, and the school. Most importantly – with this position, it is important to never look down at the other DJ’s, as if Big Brother is watching them. The gap between your staff and your DJs can be limited by giving them more opportunities and treating them equally. I’ve found that by using some of these ideas, not only will you get more positive feedback from your DJs, but it will improve your station as a whole.
Have monthly meetings, and invite DJs to events.
The first Wednesday of every month, WSUM holds a monthly meeting inviting the DJs to hear what is going on around the station, allowing them to get involved some more if the opportunity is given. Not only will you find your most committed DJs here, but it will be easier for them to get to know you. Refreshments and/or pizza are always a great way to get people in!
One of the biggest station bonding events that WSUM does is attend a baseball game at a local independent league. While I love baseball, the best part about it is that you can hate sports and still enjoy an event like this. Another great part about it is that it is different – if I had to guess where a bunch of college music lovers would go, the last place I would look at is around a baseball field.
Remember everybody’s name.
The “I have trouble remembering names” will need to change. Using the person’s name acknowledges their identity, massaging their ego and thus boosting their self-esteem. Just by recognizing that they exist, you have done them a great favor. I can recall the first time I walked into WSUM, wanting to help out in any way. The person I first talked to was incredible helpful, and she and I became good friends. She made me feel welcome to a place where I had no idea how things ran.
Create teams that they can join.
Try and create something so that they can come in for another hour during the week, instead of simply coming in to do their show. There are so many other things that they can get involved with if you give them the opportunity. For example, when I was the Production Director, I created the “production team” that would create ID’s, spots, PSA’s, and more fun things as another way to get involved. At first, not as many people showed up as I would have liked, but I never gave up and kept pushing the team. This past fall, three of the members of production team became members of the executive management team.
Listen to their shows, and provide feedback.
This past semester, I decided to listen to EVERYBODY’S show, which, as you can probably imagine, took some time. After listening to a ton of shows and writing down notes on what I liked and what I thought could improve, I almost gave up and said to myself that this was pointless to do. But after sending some emails out, I got so much positive feedback from the DJs, saying that it felt good that somebody on the exec team was listening, and that they would continue to work on their skills.
Even if you thought the show was bad, it is important to stay as positive as you can be with the email, call, etc. Not only did it improve quality control, but it made people feel more relaxed about doing their show, and felt more comfortable asking me any questions they had. I truly believe that this is one of the most important things to do to keep in touch with the rest of your station.
Be the first to say hi.
This sounds silly, but going out of your way to say hi to a new DJ will change everything. You do not have to wait to see if they come to you, just introduce yourself! Who knows – maybe the next person you say hi to will become the next in charge at the station.
Evan is the Station Manager at WSUM 91.7 FM at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. For any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to him at email@example.com.