Social software gets integrated in SHMU radio station

It’s important that this kind of social media initiative becomes part of the regular daily activities of project staff so that extra costs and demands on manpower are reduced. This is called ‘embedding’ and without it staff are less likely to support or engage with the initiative.

Staff support is a key element on the road to a successful social media project. At SHMU, a community media hub with 24 hour radio station, in Aberdeen, Scotland, staff coordinating the Youth Radio Project have set aside time in their schedules to engage with the young members (14 young people aged 12 to 19, broadcasting 1 hour each weekday and 3 hours on Saturdays).

Three staff take on the roles of Site Leader (this person takes an overview of the site, and engages with the young people on all levels), Activities Leader (this person updates the site with regular radio programme production schedules as well as discussions and competitions) and Trainer (this person acts like a coach, working directly with the young people, helping them with queries and encouraging them to participate on the site).

The core role of the site is as a platform for exchange of information about programme activities, and benefits include: a venue for relevant information and discussion available 24 hrs a day, a more efficient use of staff time, developing greater responsibility in the young people. Forming these roles was an evolutionary process, but now they are well-established and staff members build them into their working week, we can see the site embedding in the project workflow.