Funny how things turn out…
If you’d told me just over a year ago that I’d be on radio presenting a breakfast show on one of the most recognisable Christian radio and media brands in the country I’d have laughed in your face.
After I’d slapped you for being ridiculous.
I’d never ‘done’ radio before, and the people I knew in radio made it sound so easy when I listened to them.
I already knew enough to realise that the easier and better radio sounded, the harder the presenter/DJ/on-air personality and the production team behind them had worked to make it so.
Anyway, I digress.
I really want to talk about my sister-in-law Oreka (aka Rhecks), who’s now a radio and a burgeoning TV personality in Lagos, Nigeria.
Anyone who knows anything about the Nigerian music scene knows it’s arguably the biggest and most influential in Africa, so it’s a rather good look for her.
She presents on The Beat 99 FM. From what I can see it looks a pretty solid and popular radio brand in Lagos.
For whatever reason, she went on a bit of a Twitter rant a while back, and as I read her tweets I realised they were a highly invaluable and clever guide to starting your radio (and even your broader media) career.
Breaking into Radio and Media
It’s lifted pretty much ‘as is’ from her Twitter feed, and – as with content from the Twittersphere – it’s heavily abbreviated. I’ve restructured it so you’ll be reading the flow in the right order.
If you’re interested in breaking into radio and media, get the notepad out and take some notes. The truth is there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about these things, but what you’re about to read is a great career-start-up guide. Prepare for the grind. Take a sip – in fact, take several huge mouthfuls – of reality water Rhecks is pumping out, then go make your career happen!
See you on the airwaves!
16 Tweets to guide your radio (and media) career
Getting in and staying sane…
Tweet 1: people who wanna get into radio, don’t do it coz u think it’s guaranteed payday, fame and fortune. Do it the love of info or music or whatever else
Tweet 2 – 5: some DJs/show anchors have things they do to help time pass by. Some have a full time job & life besides radio. You shouldn’t rely on radio 2keep ur bread buttered. U gotta b resourceful.
Check d stats: working as an ‘on air personality’ (OAP) or whatever u call it is seen as one of the most lonely and depressing jobs there is. The world over. Most radio people are on drugs, alcoholics, clinically depressed or getting through with serious meditation when medication stops working.
Keeping urself grounded isn’t just about u (not) believing ur own hype.
Tweet 6: that said, with a microphone comes great power. Use it wisely. If u wanna b d funny chap on radio, always b professional even in ur clowning.
Tweet 7 – 13: B careful who u step on as u try2 corner ur own market. B careful of people who will claim to be your friends: artists, actors, marketers.
Even if u r not thinking it, they most certainly r: ‘what’s in it 4me?’. Sum “friends” only need u 4 their next single/album/movie/product launch
Regardless how many times/forms of it u hear, nothing will ever sufficiently prepare u 4d day when it finally hits. & believe me, it will
Career progression, friendships and the issue of money…
And suddenly you’ll look @ every1 differently from there on. Sad, but true. Then there’s d issue of getn paid2 put ur brand (4u as an OAP R a brand) behind something: a hype, voice over, MCing an event, making an appearance @ a new club. Whatever it is, be prepared 2 work 4free.
People don’t look @ it like it’s ur livelihood. If u think about it, artists complain all d time about d entertainment industry being messed up. Wot do u think it’s like for niche groups within d entertainment industry?
Tweet 14 – 16: there is ZERO structure in radio for presenters and a lot is left to the MD/GM/program director’s discretion. #fact
The people wit real pay work behind the scenes. An ‘on-air-personality’ who’s flossing is either doing it via family or friends or barter arrangement or has a stake behind the scenes.
So, there you have it. Odd Twitterspeak notwithstanding, most of what Rhecks describes here is the kind work you need to put in.
Ultimately remember why you do what you do.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in Christian media, or in a choir, or in some kind of Christian service and you perhaps feel a little bit undervalued, think about this: you’re doing it for a cause much bigger than yourself.
Sometimes you’ll do stuff to progress other peoples’ causes and agendas. Sometimes people will try to take advantage of you. Yep, Christians occasionally do that too.
Do other things. Diversify. I run UKGospel.com, UKGShop.com, work at Premier Gospel, and am hugely privileged to write for Mex Magazine.
If I’m having a bad day at one office, there’s usually something from any one of the other projects to lift me up.
And finally: be happy to serve. Let God take care of the rest.
- More tips? See the ‘Top 5’ blog series