Still not convinced? Read on to hear testimonials from former winners and nominees!
Time is running out! You have till 5pm on July 18th 2014 to make your entries for the Student Radio Awards 2014, supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global. If you have been involved with student radio in the last year, are looking for feedback on your work and the chance for your efforts to be recognised, be sure to submit an entry. Full details can be found on our dedicated website.
For now, we have some testimonials from former winners and nominees, to explain the benefits of making an entry.
First up, we have Abbie McCarthy. Abbie won Best Newcomer at the 2012 Awards and has since gone on to present BBC Introducing on BBC Radio Kent and produce for BBC Radio 6 Music. Not only that, but it’s just been announced that she will be the official BBC Introducing reporter at this year’s Glastonbury Festival (…my jealousy levels are off the scale)! Here’s what she had to say:
Oh hiii beautiful student radio-ers, Abbie McCarthy here! So for those of you that remember the SRAs in 2012 (there was a LOT of wine so I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t…) I won the award for Best Newcomer. This is still one of the best nights of my life, especially as I’ve never got awards for anything (only like a swimming badge and an award at school for being ‘the chattiest person in class’). Of course it’s an amazing feeling to know that people in the industry you want to work in have listened to your entry, enjoyed it and picked it as a winner.
Having an SRA under my belt also made me more confident than ever to approach stations and ask about coming to shadow shows or help out with stuff and it also meant some places thought of me when an opportunity did come up. I genuinely can’t say enough how strongly I would recommend putting an entry in, it’s incredible to get recognition for the work you’ve done and it can help open doors for you too. When I was putting my entry together I never in a million years thought I was going to win and just wanted feedback from the professionals, winning was obviously fantastic and I feel really honoured, but it’s worth taking the time even to get advice from the people who know their stuff.
There’s no excuses to not get in an entry, you’ll only regret it if you don’t! Please please make sure you do! And when you win on the night I can say “I told you so” and you’ll owe me a pint.
Wise words, Abbie. Look forward to having many drinks bought for you!
Next, we hear from BBC Radio 1 and Absolute‘s Pete Allison, originally from Fly FM. Pete won Best Male at the 2011 ceremony and has successfully moved into the world of radio presenting. He has some advice for what to consider when putting your entry together.
The Student Radio Awards. You may think it’s just a big booze-up where industry professionals and students join to drink the bar dry and stagger home, only to wake up the following morning deeply regretting embarrassing themselves. And you’d be right.
BUT! It’s also a night that an increasing number of people in the industry look back on and credit with being where it all started. Where they got their break. Where things started to get exciting.
Winning Best Male Presenter in 2011 was the beginning of three years of brilliant opportunities for me. A Programme Controller heard my winning entry on the Student Radio Awards’ website and invited me to pilot for him, resulting in my first regular gig in radio. A win or a nomination gives you something to get employers’ attention. Without my award, it’s unlikely I’d have had the chance to present on national radio so early in my career.
Don’t think you can whack an entry together the night before the deadline. Spend time sourcing more links than you need, then drop the links you don’t think make the grade. Put your very best link first – the bit where you showcase your music passion the best or say something that’ll make the judges smile. Play your entry to people and ask for their thoughts – mates or an industry contact. You won’t agree with all their feedback and it’s best to trust your instinct, but a link may be better in your head than it is in reality.
Never underestimate the respect that the radio industry has for the Student Radio Awards and the effect that winning, being nominated or even simply entering can have on your career. In a sentence: Pull your bloody finger out and enter because it could be the start of something incredibly exciting. Your name could be next on the list of student radio success stories.
Finally, we hear from the SRA’s very own Georgie Sullivan. Georgie is the outgoing North West and Wales Regional Officer and she spent the last year as Station Manager for The Cat Radio at the University of Chester. The Cat Radio were nominated for two awards in 2013, and as a member from a smaller station, Georgie is keen to stress the benefits of smaller stations making entries.
At the end of my second year at The Cat Radio the station manager really encouraged people to enter the SRA awards. The previous year, I can’t remember even knowing they were happening. However, many of us caught the bug in 2013 and put forward our entries. Being a small station with only 80 presenters, I didn’t think we would even have a chance of a nomination; I was just interested in getting feedback and learning how to improve our chances in the future.
Then time flew and it was October 2013 already and the nominations party in Manchester. Around 15 members of The Cat attended, more than we had before. We were all huddled together come 9 o’clock and were watching the nominations presentation trying not to get our hopes up too much but secretly praying that we had been noticed for our hard work… and we were. We were nominated for two awards, one in Best Journalistic Programming and one for Best Chart Show. It was amazing, The Cat Radio erupted in the little bar where the party was. I was over the other side of the room being all SRA official and I remember running over to them and having a massive group hug. Even just to be nominated it was an amazing achievement for us. Talking to other stations that were there that night, they were so surprised when we started cheering and jumping up and down, but they could see how happy and excited we were.
The Awards evening included around 20 students travelling down from our tiny campus in Warrington to the big smoke. Unfortunately we didn’t win the awards on the night but we were still so proud to have even got this far.
Being nominated for the SRA awards has led us to work extra hard this year, and constantly thinking whenever we did something ‘could we enter this into an award?’ I think that’s the whole thinking behind winning an SRA award, you have to constantly be on the ball throughout the year, making stuff you know will stand out when it comes to the awards. That feeling of being nominated but not winning has only motivated us even more, to prove that we are worthy of an award.
We’re putting in more entries than we ever have before and hoping that this year, The Cat Radio will be nominated again…and maybe even able to get up on that stage!
Have we done enough to convince you? I hope so! To find out how to make an entry, click here.