How College Radio Has Made Me a Better PR Student
I always anticipated being a part of college radio. After all, it does combine some of my favorite things: music, talking about music, and connecting with people. However, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do at a radio station. Now, as WHIP Radio’s (Temple’s student-run radio station) promotions director and an on-air host, I’m confident I’ve figured it out. Being a part of WHIP has not only furthered my love for radio but also allowed me to become a more creative and well-rounded communications student and future PR professional. Here’s how:
1. It strengthened my social media sensibilities
Many people assume radio is on the way out as a media form. That definitely isn’t true, especially with social media breathing new life into radio.
At WHIP, we use social media every day to cross-promote our on-air and web content. Our sports department live tweets during Temple games and our entertainment and music shows have Instagram pages to complement their time on-air. The WHIP station Instagram account (which you should definitely follow) is our main focus and it’s versatile (guest announcements, our Rocktober battle of the bands competition, and individual show promotions all find a home on our page).
I’ve come to realize that social media strategy has a broad definition. For WHIP, versatility in social media is our goal, but another organization may want to focus on creating one format or campaign for its posts. You can plan a strategy for either, and you can get creative with it.
2. I’ve gotten in-house PR experience
WHIP is a student-run station with all the departments of a professional radio station (sports, production, programming, events etc.) that operate separately. Promotions impact all departments - we want to share all of the awesome projects our members create!
When my department members and I are looking to create a campaign, we have to think about how it can be incorporated into our on-air shows, social media, and our website.
As opposed to an agency setup where a team of primarily PR professionals works with clients, WHIP promotions is an in-house position. I am a WHIP staff member and I work to advance the station.
3. I’ve become a better conversationalist
Being an on-air host is the latest addition to my WHIP experience, and it has helped my verbal communication. I host “Interview Hour” each Wednesday at 8 p.m. where I talk to cool people who have cool things to share. Some weeks I have pre-recorded interviews, and other weeks I have a guest in the studio with me.
I’m working on mastering the combination between planning my talk breaks word-for-word and speaking more off-the-cuff. Coming up with a general idea of what I plan to say during my talk segments is what has been best for me.
Being on-air has made me a more intentional speaker because I only get one chance to say what I need to say! I try to cut out filler words and limit my rambling on-air. I’ve already seen this good habit transfer to my day-to-day life, too.
I love everything I do for WHIP in promotions since it allows me to be innovative, implement my writing skills, and see what we can create . “Interview Hour” is a challenge each week in figuring out how I can make the most of my show, make connections with people, have good conversations, learn from them, and have fun.
This blog post was written by Caitlin McGeehan, Vice President.