In this update… the P pod becomes our most popular production, Schools Audio Day brings together students from four local schools plus lots of geeky data and more great ways you can join in and help us grow.
the P pod
the P pod is our flagship show and our most popular audio.
It shares the best of the community radio project and provides an open platform for local news, discussion and debate.
Claire Vennis and Joff Lacey host the programme and have now made nine weekly editions in locations around Petersfield.
the P pod graphic design is created by designers Paul Martin and Nick Pye of Agent8 design on the High Street.
We’ve learned: listeners love a personality-led local show.
You can: propose interesting locations where you can help us record it.
Here’s the latest show – enjoy listening as you read through the rest of this newsletter.
One of the benefits of our digital platforms is we can measure the audience and see how our content is used.
We’re a learning project so the data helps us learn about the audience and what works best for listeners. We’re also an open project so we can share the numbers with you.
Our audio has been enjoyed more than 4,700 times. It took us four months to reach the first thousand. The latest one thousand have been added in a month. We’re growing and our growth is accelerating.
More than half of all listening is done on a mobile device:
Our decision to extend distribution to podcast platforms like Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts has paid off handsomely with around 25% of all listening taking place. That has grown to 40% in the last three months:
Attention is precious
Some pieces of audio hold listeners’ attention better than others. For example around 50% of listeners stayed with this piece to the end…
…but this piece held 80% of listeners right through to the end…
We’ve learned: good subject matter, strong storytelling, attractive production and the right duration all help to retain listeners’ attention.
You can: attend our next workshop to learn more.
What works best?
We’re starting to understand what stories are most popular with our listeners and what we can do to help more people find them.
Not everything we do has to be big, but covering group events and linking with other community organisations appears to help us us boost awareness of our project and get our audio heard.
These are the most popular audio stories we’ve made so far. You’ll see that community group stories and personal human stories perform particularly well, as well as our regular series that build loyal audiences who come back time and time again.
Our top 30
We’ve learned: we should make more weekly / fortnightly / monthly pieces.
You can: share your ideas for regular series – you could be making our next hit show.
Distribution and podcasts
In June we started to share our audio content as podcasts via Apple, Google and Spotify, among other platforms.
These channels have grown. In the last three months they delivered 40% of all listening. Our audio is now available on all these podcast apps:
In November, the P pod entered the most popular UK places and travel podcast chart published by Apple, peaking at number 31.
We now publish six podcast channels, each of which we update regularly:
|Petersfield Community Radio||All our audio|
|Suzie Wilde’s Wilde Walks||Suzie’s weekly walks|
|Petersfield Weather with Richard Marks||Richard’s forecasts|
|Dawn & Rob’s Bod Pod||Fitness, health and wellbeing|
|Money Moment with Martin Bamford||Useful finance stories|
|the P pod – everything Petersfield||Our flagship magazine show|
We’ve learned: podcasts build listening for our audio.
You can: encourage your family and friends to search, subscribe and listen to our audio on their favourite podcast app. If they like what they hear, it would be helpful if they rated and reviewed our podcasts. Five stars ***** are always nice to see!
With more than 6,000 users (individual browsers) and 16,000 pageviews our website at https://petersfieldradio.uk remains our biggest shopfront.
Most use of the website is from mobile devices and a lot of people find us from Google searches and links on Facebook.
We are also learning some tricks that drive additional listenership and make our audio look great online:
1. Post on social media
Share links to our audio stories on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a member of a relevant Facebook community page it makes a big difference to post them there, as well as on your own timeline.
2. Make radio look great
Take photos when you record. Strong images further boost the number of people who will click and enjoy your audio.
3. Use your contacts
Let your interviewees know when their piece goes live. Send them the link and pictures to share on their website and/or social media. They can even embed the audio on their own website. As with Meon Valley Travel (below) they can even embed the audio on their own website.
Thanks to you if you answered our call for production support.
Barry Baseley, James Sutton and Alice Payne have all dived in to edit and mix audio and several others are helpfully on the production group email.
If you record a story and it needs some editing or mixing just email firstname.lastname@example.org so one of the team can help you make it sound beautiful.
If you like the idea of editing audio and want to learn more about audio production this is the team for you. We still need more volunteers to edit, produce and publish audio.
See later in this newsletter for some specific opportunities.
Schools Audio Day
Our first Schools Audio Day brought together twenty students from our four partner schools for a day of practical learning about audio.
Bedales School hosted the event and the training was led by radio news editor Jonathan Richards and station sound producer James Stodd. Our own Richard Gaisford and Stephen Martin also appeared at the event.
The students spent half the day reporting original news stories for a “live” edition of the one o’clock news, working to a real deadline and presenting the news in front of their teachers and peers.
In the afternoon the students created a radio advertising campaign for the Open Air Swimming Pool. Members of the Churcher’s College team produced the winning ad and each earned their prize of ten free swims at the pool.
We’ve learned: a day at school has never sounded so good.
You can: help us find a sponsor so we can do more of these events in 2020.
More ways you can help us grow
1. Make some radio
Record an interview, cover an event, come-up with a regular feature idea. It doesn’t matter if this is new to you. Other volunteers, including media professionals Richard Gaisford, Dave Bowers and Stephen Martin, can help you make it happen.
All you need is your brilliant idea, commitment to learn and enthusiasm. See the list of specific openings below.
2. Tell your friends
Share our audio on social media, including any relevant group pages you’re on. If you know a local business owner let them know they can promote their business with us. Email email@example.com if someone you know wants to sponsor us or advertise their business.
3. Add to our events guide
If you’re a member of a local organisation that runs events make sure they have a logon to our database so they can get their events promoted in the P pod and on our website. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Bring in some money
You can help fund our project ambition and get the word out.
Join our fundraising and marketing team that applies for grants, invites local businesses to sponsor our work and promotes the project in the community.
Tell people who work in or run local businesses about our project and how they can sponsor us.
We have a sponsorship pack you can use to help raise funds. Email email@example.com to get a copy and join our fundraising drive.
We have some specific openings for volunteers at the project:
- We are looking for a volunteer to fill an editorial role which would suit a retired journalist – or similar. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- We require more volunteers to publish our content on Omny Studio and our website; we’ve established a good level of quality control and have set the standard but now is the time for more people to take on the responsibility. Basic knowledge of a CMS is all you need or it could be learned quite quickly. Contact email@example.com
- We have openings for genre-specific editors, who would take on responsibility for producing content in a category, such as business, arts, music, etc. If you have a particular interest and are keen to play more of a role within the project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- We want a brilliant administrator who can help Stephen, Richard and Dave keep on top of organisation and paperwork. If you know someone with superb attention to detail, good communication skills and ideally some experience of bookkeeeping please put us in touch email@example.com
- We are still keen to recruit more volunteers, so please encourage friends and family to join in. It’s a lot of fun, no experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or just sign-up on our homepage at https://petersfieldradio.uk
If you’ve supported our town’s community radio project in any way during 2019 thank you. We’ve come a long way in a short time and could not have done it without you.
If you have signed-up to the project but have yet to contribute in a practical way this is a great time to fulfill your commitment.
We believe that Petersfield deserves its own radio station and the next year will be a critical time to make our case and fund our ambition.
Meanwhile we’re working towards another workshop day in the New Year when all of us can learn new radio skills together.
Please let us know what you’d like to learn at the event and what you need to help you maximise your contribution to the success of the project.
Thank you for listening,
Stephen, Dave, Richard, Sarah and Jake