Launching the Student Radio Survival Guide…. and the essential #SRACON Survival Guide

With the Student Radio Conference starting tomorrow, today is a good day for me to officially launch the Student Radio Survival Guide.

Having been a former Development Officer of the SRA for 2008-9 and having nearly seven years of involvement in student radio (2003-10), it’s seemed like a total waste to not use my knowledge of student radio. I originally posted on the old SRA forums, way back in March 2007, my intention to dump everything I’d learned about student radio into a single source. Following my election to the SRA exec, my intention was use my notes to put together a version for the SRA during an intended second year on the SRA exec, with a physical copy being sent out to all SRA member stations.

I didn’t get the opportunity to do that. So rather than let the draft notes I made go to waste, I’m launching it online.

You can find it at http://studentradiosurvivalguide.com. At the time of writing, it’s an extremely basic site with one article about the Student Radio Awards. It will be going through a redesign in the next few weeks and I’ll be adding content over the next few months. It should be content complete by the 2011 Student Radio Awards – possibly sooner. Since I’m going to Australia for 3 months at the end of the year, my deadline is to have the site complete before I go travelling.

I’ve yet to find a dedicated website that provides information that would be useful directly to student radio stations – there have been some good reference sites that have/had a similar focus to this, but usually are for a more general audience. And with the excellent Rad10 by Olly Benson having been closed (Olly was also a previous SRA Dev Officer) I’m please to launch an alternative.

I won’t be at the SRA conference this year – for the first time in 5 years. Feel free to share a link to the site – it’s run on WordPress so you’re more than welcome to leave comments/alternative suggestions.

The conference – my survival guide:

  1. Expect some nasty hangovers – but try not to miss any of the sessions. You’ll be handing the other delegates an advantage if you miss anything. YOU could also hurt the SRA if you’re not at the AGM.
  2. If there’s several of you from one station at the conference, make sure someone is at every split session – the more you can take back to your station, the better.
  3. Talk to other stations!!!!! The worst thing you can do is not talk to other stations. I haven’t forgotten 2007, when everyone from my station bar myself ignored the Monday night social and played drinking games in their accommodation block. You get to see the people from your own station on a ridiculously frequent basis – you won’t get that opportunity with people from other stations.
  4. Read the AGM Agenda BEFORE the AGM starts on Wednesday morning. It’s a vital part of the conference – even if 90% of you disagree, you’re choosing the people who will run the SRA for the next 12 months. I’ve seen plenty of poor decisions made previously – even if there’s only one person standing, don’t be afraid to vote RON if you want someone else!
  5. Push the exec for answers – even if they’re leaving the SRA, their work (or lack of) needs to be questioned.
  6. To those running for SRA exec positions – you need to be 100% committed to the SRA cause. If you’re running because you want an extra + on your CV, you’re not running for the right reasons. You need to care. Simples. I did when I ran. I’ve got my doubts about some of the people who have run previously – make sure you don’t fall into that group.
  7. The big name celebs aren’t necessarily the best people to talk to at the conference – most of the speakers will stay for the evening. Feel free to challenge them at drinking – and take advantage! You’ll get more from speaking to the non-presenters if my own experience is anything to go by -
  8. READ THE AGM AGENDA!!! I’ve read Sarah’s 5 page report for this year. Whilst I’m no longer involved, having worked with Sarah I’ve found her to report the truth in the past. I’d place a lot of money that this year is no different – and it’s vastly important that her report is taken on board by everyone at the conference
  9. If you’re interested in running for an SRA officer position, go for it – there’s plenty of regional officer positions still available – trust me when I say that they’re a lot of fun to do.
  10. Don’t houdn the celebs. They’ll only get annoyed if you try to talk to them too much.
  11. Make notes. Sounds obvious, but it really helps you to plan long term for your station.
  12. READ THE AGM AGENDA!!!!!
  13. Ask questions. Lots of them. You won’t get a better chance to get the information you want.
  14. Use Twitter – tag any tweet with #sracon and anyone who searches for the hashtag can find out what people are thinking/saying about different bits of the conference. Last year saw tweets appearing on the big screens in the main room – the same is happening this year. Take advantage.

It remains a disappointment that I didn’t get more time to shape the SRA and take it forward – take any chance you have to help it onwards. And have a good #sracon

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