New Presenter Pathway

This is an outline of the process for all new presenters wanting to become involved with Soar Sound. It is a guide for new potential volunteers, through initial contact, induction, understanding expectations and the legal obligations of being part of a community radio station, including the subsequent steps towards actively participating in broadcasting.

Download a copy of this process.

It is essential that all volunteers are aligning with Soar Sound’s ethos, audience demographic, and the operational intricacies of community radio broadcasting. Not only that, but it outlines the steps that a volunteer can expect from their first contact with the station, from induction, through to the process for making decisions about the scheduling and formatting of programmes, and the selection of appropriate broadcasting technology to assist them with creating and submitting content.

New volunteers need to understand the different categorises, shows and programmes and how they are defined based on content, scheduling, and technological needs. Volunteers should expect clear guidelines that ensure a consistent experience, based on the nature of their proposed shows and the operational protocols of Soar Sound. This pathway document serves as an internal guide to stream-line the volunteer integration process while ensuring that the programming aligns with Soar Sound’s social gain objectives and operational standards.

The document outlines a detailed process for guiding new volunteers into becoming active presenters at Soar Sound. The steps are organised to ensure that volunteers are well-informed, aligned with the station’s ethos, and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge for their role.

The process is as follows:

Initial Contact

  • Presenter makes initial contact with Soar Sound through whatever means (i.e. Volunteer Enquiry Form).
  • A suitable basic private means to maintain contact is established (i.e. telephone, email).
  • Ideally this would be email as it provides an audit trail.

Before attending an induction session, all individuals must confirm the following:

  • Are they resident within or have a connection with the Leicester Urban area?
  • Are they over 25?
  • Are they willing to engage with Soar Sounds training process?
  • Are there any immediate ‘red flags’ standing out, such as known difficult candidates, clear misunderstanding of what Soar Sound is about, etc.

Arrangements to attend the next induction session should take place at the next available opportunity, on the basis that:

  • Attendance and participation in all induction sessions is mandatory.
  • Induction session attendance does not automatically lead to going on air – there is some admin afterwards.
  • There is no commitment to proceeding after induction session.
  • Candidate will need to provide further relevant information after the induction sessions and sign the Soar Sound volunteer agreement before proceeding further.

Induction Session
All volunteers must attend an induction session that covers the following:

  • Soar Sound ethos.
  • Demographics of area served and the Soar Sound audience.
  • Relationship with Soar Sound and other stations locally and how we differ.
  • The legal obligations upon Soar Sound.
  • The characteristics of a community radio station.
  • The Key Commitments of Soar Sound.
  • The expectations upon all volunteers.
  • A brief overview of the process.
  • Basic Ofcom broadcast compliance training.

After Induction Session
After a volunteer has completed the initial induction stage, it is vital to ensure that further contact is maintained, whereby further information about the presenter and their intended content form can be identified. Clarification and acceptance that they can demonstrate they understand the Soar Sound Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct. Discuss and agree their proposed show type and format, and where they can ask questions about the proposed scheduling and contribution method:

  • Establish more details regarding presenter (i.e. complete the new Volunteer details form).
  • Agreement to the Soar Sound Volunteer Agreement and Code of Conduct.
  • Get overview of proposed show type and format.
  • Make decision regarding scheduling and contribution method (i.e. live, pre-prepared MP3, voicetrack, etc).
  • Identify any additional support needed such as loaning of equipment e.g. laptop, access to studio, etc.

After this has been collected, in collaboration with each candidate, the following will be established:

  • Time the show scheduled and station.
  • Technology path (including, Playit, the clock to be used).
  • Any assistance with using technology path as necessary.

Scheduling show
Firstly, the nature of the proposed show must be established. This will include the following:

  • What is the nature of the speech content? Serious talk, general entertainment, filler between music?
  • What is the nature of the music content? Is it continuous with speech over the top or a song with short speech between (presentation), or no music (talk only)?
  • What is the nature of the format – is it going to strictly follow a format, will it be more loosely following a format, or is it entirely free-format?
  • Will news be carried? Will adverts be carried throughout (which would dictate Playit) or at the beginning of the hour?
  • Is the show envisaged to be live later?
  • What nature of interaction is envisaged?

To be Produced
Flow chart.
Checklist.