Here I will reflect on my personal learning objectives in the project and if I achieved them or if I didn’t manage to.
My first learning objective was to improve my project management skills. I believe that I did this within this project as I effectively oversaw the project from start to finish and ultimately produced a good programme and this wouldn’t have happened if I had engaged the skills that oversee project management such as my organisational skills. I was particularly impressed with how my teamwork skills developed in this project, as at the start of the project I was probably to regimental in how I wanted to do things i.e group meetings and strict deadlines and we did implement this through compromise, however, Jame’s workflow differed to mine as he prefered to do things casually and at the start of the project I didn’t like this. However, towards the end, I would say that I’m much easier to work with as I would now consult with everyone and talk things through before setting out to try and get something done and make sure that everyone would be able to do achieve a target.
I was also happy that I developed my leadership skills at the same time, because I was the producer I was the one who was expected to make key decisions on things and this was definitely applied when we recording when I made the decision to abandon trying to make the drama studio work and move to multitrack studio. I also demonstrated this when I made some editorial decisions where I thought we were doing slander, or defaming someone. I do however think there is an improvement that could be made in regards to my organisational skills as we left it way too late in trying to find people to contribute and as a result only got three-panel members when we wanted four and they weren’t the best that was out there. This ultimately means that if I was to do the project again I would start trying to find people as soon as possible to avoid this happening and get the best people possible.
My second learning objective was to gain confidence in approaching people for projects, I would say that I didn’t achieve this to the highest possible standards as we didn’t get the four-person panel that we had wanted at the start of the project. Ultimately I need to lose the stigma of emailing or ringing people and asking them if they would be involved in the project and again this is crucial to the work I want to pursue, as radio as a medium relies on contributors to its programmes rather than just a presenter.
I also acknowledge the fact that we did not go an actively ask people first hand as we did not go to any stand-up events in Lincoln and we should have done as we could have got better contributors than the ones we did and have managed to achieve our project objective of getting a four-person panel from doing this rather than relying with online casting websites which did not get relevant or suitable applicants bar two people. I do however feel that I did progress in this at the same time as I was the one who booked Alex the BBC journalist. If we had not managed to get him then the project would have sounded significantly different as we would not have had someone who was confident in talking. It was also important as one of our objectives was to get a journalist as a panel member due to them normally being less biased and knowing the facts around a topic.
The third learning objective I had was to learn more about pitching to BBC Networks and the complexity that it involves. I would say that I fully achieved this one as I did a lot of research around the BBC commissioning guidelines as a whole and found out the process from start to finish such as the difficulty it is in becoming a registered supplier for the BBC before you can even submit a 250 word pitch or synopsis for the bid the programme you would like to produce. This learning objective also benefitted from us changing our idea, as this meant that I was able to look into the differences between Radio 4 and Radio 1 alongside how pitching for an ad hoc commission differs from pitching to a brief where what a network expects is strictly outlined, such as the duration and the type of content that is expected from you.
My fourth learning outcome was to be more experimental in how the final piece sounded I would say that this was achieved but could have definitely gone further in what we did. In terms of what I was happy with, I would say that the idea of doing a podcast it itself is still relatively new especially doing it for a network radio station rather than doing it as a programme and then taking the best bits out of this and then using this to build a podcast. I would also say that the clips approach we used was different as the only other podcast that uses them is one produced by Spotify and no comedy output by the BBC uses this approach with things such as Fighting Talk and the New’s Quiz being text-based i.e A newspaper heading. I feel the clip idea method worked but that it also failed, as certain clips didn’t gauge the reaction we had wanted to try and get and as a result it probably wouldn’t be funny for the majority of people who listened to it. This is the beauty of text-based discussion as it means that those who are discussing the clip have to engage with it and there is less need to contextualise things meaning that instead, you get funnier chat which I feel that we are missing to the vast majority, however, this was not helped by our contributors.
My fifth objective was to develop my social media skills. I would say that I did this to some degree, however, I could have put in more effort into to this as it was neglected for the primary concern which was the audio and as a result suffered. I did develop my understanding of social media as I still produced the audio content that was put on Facebook, but if we had have been more organised we would have considered using a 360-degree camera in the studio or at the very least rigged a go pro to a wall to try and get some sort of video content outputted and as a result gain more listeners. I did though gain an understanding of how the social media channels differ and how to approach them in terms of the audience, as Radio 1 uses Twitter and Facebook very differently with there being a lot more video content placed on Facebook and Twitter is better at engaging with listeners individually.
The sixth objective I had was to create a strong portfolio piece, I would say that this would be a strong piece however in hindsight putting comedy into a demo is exceptionally risky as the person listening may not find it funny and as a result, you instantly polarise the person who could potentially offer you a job. However bar this I do think the piece is strong, there are some technical issues that we could have avoided such as the amount of popping from the microphones and the levels do need to go up. Apart from this, I would definitely say that we succeeded as it wouldn’t be out of place on Radio 1 and if we were to compare it with some of Radio 1’s current podcast output it is similar, with the use of music beds and jingles.