Kevin Field is a radio presenter, radio producer, event host and social enterprise entrepreneur. He runs very successful media projects that empower isolated communities. Through his blog he shares some of his views, aspirations and frustrations. As well as hints and tips he’s picked up…
It is always great to get a thank you – it makes your day. It means that you have done the right thing and hopefully served your purpose for whatever you set out to achieve.
At one of the projects I manage we get a good number of thank you e-mails. On occasion though we receive thank you letters, we had one from the Samaritans a couple of weeks back for our work with them for raising awareness of their work.
On other occasions we receive hand written thank you letters. I received one last week. I’d been having a pretty thankless day up until I opened the letter. It made all the difference and reinforced the reasons why I do what I do.
The fact that the person took the time and effort to sit down, pick out nice paper and write their thoughts out to say thanks for their experience of the work we do is more powerful than an e-mail and a phone call.
So one thought for you then, next time you really want to say thank you in a powerful way why not do it by a hand written letter – it makes all the difference.
Your event is the biggest thing to happen for you, your organisation and your visitors, so how do you make sure it goes as well as possible?
As an event host and a manager of many events over the years I’ve seen some common elements of successful events. Here’s some simple tips to make sure your event happens without too many hitches.
We must start with planning – it’s at the heart of any successful event.
1. Planning makes perfect
You should plan, plan, plan. Sit down and create a map of everything that you want to happen at your event. Create to do lists, have meetings, delegate roles and arrange a time table in the lead up with the traffic light system. If it’s outside think weather, inside think sound, toilets, refreshments, flow of people.
2. Create a team
You cannot do it all, make sure you have people with the relevant skills and get them involved. Don’t be afraid of other people’s ideas, embrace them, but you are in charge – know when to say no.
Set up managers of areas of your event. If you have several stages or several rooms create a manager role in each of the rooms. They become your eyes and ears for the event and will meet up with you during the event duration.
3. Plan for the unexpected
The last event I managed was a tenth anniversary celebration. We had several issues that presented before people entered into the building, and some while they were already enjoying the activity. They had no idea.
We planned for eventualities. The PA kit failed, an audio engineer created a work around. The food was delayed, the team in charge managed to get it to the venue through a different route.
4. Event plan, running order, team meet and contact sheet
Prepare a running order for the event, make sure everyone knows their job through a team meeting. If it’s a long event hold regular meetings with key managers of areas. Make sure you have all the contact names listed on your plan, but also make sure they are all saved in your phone.
Everyone should be aware of the running order, health and safety points, who is in charge of what and what is happening at the event. Make sure people are able to take charge in certain situations.
5. Hire the right event host
You can put all of your hard work in, and if you have an event host make sure that person is right for your event. Whatever you do, don’t leave it to someone who might be good at it because they are great in the Nags Head on Friday, or they’re the loudest person in the staff room.
It takes a professional to deliver the content exactly how it should be delivered book an event host.
If you’d like personal one to one advise from Kevin Field about how he could be your event host or awards compere simply contact Kevin via this website.
Are You Ready To Remove E-Mail Clutter And Get Your Time Back?
I adore the French lifestyle especially that of Southern France, now is another reason: they no longer need to worry about work calls, texts, and emails after normal office hours.
But we can get away without the need for law and cut through the emails?
April 2014 and the French tech and consultancy sector signed up to a legally binding agreement. This included the likes of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC. It only affects around 1million of their total workforce of 40 million, but it’s a step in the right direction.
It seems to me that Work-life balance has always been something people on the continent get about right, more than can be said for us here in the UK.
The Centre for Creative Leadership suggests that we communicate with our office for around 72 hours a week and much of that via our smartphones, dependant on your job I would suggest, but e-mails can drag you down.
I try to cut e-mail clutter every month or so and have five steps to share that may help you achieve the same, without resulting to banning out of hours emails.
1. Schedule regular email de-clutter sessions
Although I have rules for normal e-mail usage, they still tend to clutter. I take a morning; afternoon or a day once a month, or quarter and I methodically sift through my e-mails.
While I’m busy clearing I have every other distraction switched off, no phone, no Facebook, twitter – nothing else. I even turn the radio off, which is rare for me.
2. To do list and rules
- I set up an action list of where everything is going to go.
- I set up my own rules of what I’m going to do with the e-mails.
- I only open each email once
- I spend two minutes to make the decision and or reply.
- My replies are short paragraphs, if it warrants more I add it to my to do list and pop the e-mail in my actions folder.
- I bin it if it has no meaning.
- I never skip to the next one.
- If there is an attachment I save that in a folder and delete the email.
3. Dive in at the top.
It’s easier to start at the most recent; you’ll get through these e-mails quicker.
4. Opt out.
Get rid of those pointless newsletters and mail outs. They take up space and you spend time checking them out or deleting them in the future. I’ve started to set up specific e-mail addresses for newsletters; I can then look at them when I want to. I also sign up to an RSS Feeds, so I try to avoid getting lots of junk e-mails.
5. Take a break.
It can be frustrating staring at a screen for far too long, take a tea break every 30 minutes. Also, don’t get up to make endless cups of tea, schedule the breaks as a reward.
So when are you going to schedule your email clutter cutter day?
As for our French cousins and the out of hours work texts, calls and e-mails I have a simple remedy – switch off.
This year I was privileged to be invited as the host of the Taste of Kent Awards 2014. For those of you who don’t know it is Kent’s biggest annual showcase for the food and drink industry.
Celebrating ten years at the very best awards in Kent.
Celebrating their 10th Anniversary Awards Produced in Kent switched up a gear by moving to The Kent Event Centre at the county show ground, employing a new stage arena and adding an extra air of slick professionalism that an award event of its stature deserves.
Kevin Field was the event host at Taste of Kent Awards 2014
I’m really pleased that Produced in Kent asked me to join them. As an awards event host my delivery is often direct and to the point without too much faffing around. I avoid gags every couple of minutes at an event like this. It has to be a polished professional performance.
I’m happy to say it was and with a very happy client.
The Kent Event Centre is spot on for this type of event. I visited the week before with Produced in Kent’s Stephanie Durling, who is the driving force behind a superb dedicated team who manage the event, which showcases the best of the best of Kent’s locally sourced food and drink produce.
An arena fit for any awards event
When you rock up to the event centre and step through the doors it is simply cavernous. On the night though to see the transformation of this huge space into an awards arena was fantastic and fit for any major event of this type.
The sound and light system was impressive without being too overboard supplied by a company called STL Production Group who were frankly brilliant, what a great team who know their work down to the final LED light bulb.
As an event host you need someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to sound, these chaps were so good and I had no worries.
As for the event itself, as with many with so much going on, we started to drift on timings, not really through anyone’s fault, but happy to say that I pulled it back on time and as a part of a team helped deliver a memorable night for the guests.
Among my favourite moments is when you hear the joy when people win, when all their hard work and ambition is recognised.
I’m lucky enough to have been in that position with a few awards for my work and it is a fantastic moment, that should be treasured and so to see it from the other side as the person giving the good news is a real fillip.
If you’s like to see a full list of all the award winners visit the Taste of Kent Awards website.
Kevin is the host of Kent’s prestigious Taste of Kent Awards.
About The Awards
Produced in Kent have been organising The Taste of Kent Awards since 2004. The Awards showcases the best of Kent’s food and drink products. It is Kent’s longest running and most prestigious awards having gained many loyal sponsors and supporters during that time.
Kevin’s role at the awards night
Kevin said “I know what it’s like sat waiting to see if you’ve won or not, so it’s great to reveal the winner and feel the energy in the room”.
An awards hosts job is to make sure things run to time and if things do go slightly off schedule to keep it cool as if nothing has happened.
What the client thought
Stephanie Durling is Business Director of Produced in Kent and is a part of the team who put together the awards event.
Stephanie said “We were absolutely delighted with Kevin’s work for our awards. His pitch was just right and he managed timing issues so well it was a relief for all. We have so many positive feedbacks and with sponsors and supporters booking up for 2015 we’ve already booked Kevin for next year”.
The range of categories at The Taste of Kent Awards has grown year on year and now incorporates every product that Kent, the Garden of England, is renowned for. With each passing year, the number of votes cast for your favourite food and drink heroes has also grown massively with Kent foodies demonstrating great support for local products by participating in these annual awards.
To see the 2014 winners and pictures from the event help at the Kent Events Centre follow the link to view the Taste of Kent Awards website.
I’m testing out a new app, well we will see if it can create the desired outcome I want. That is – to blog while on the go. Actually I’m not on the go right now, in-fact I’m not moving anywhere, apart from my hand whizzing across the ipad screen whilst sitting comfortably on the sofa.
It is a true fact that I love technology and gadgets, oh and could quite easily fire up the Mac or laptop, or pc – did I tell you I love technology. I’m sat here testing this new app for blogging. It got me thinking about how things can move on so quickly. I just watched a news review on Google Glass whipping up hysteria about invasion of privacy and so on.
If you don’t know Google’s Glass project is a simple concept of wearing a pair of glasses and ironically with no glass but with a small unit built over the right eye enabling you to see something akin to a large flat screen TV image appearing to float in the air in front of you. It is simply the next step in computing, Internet and app development.
Google Glass enables you to utalise many of their existing apps, Maps become further intuitive with Google’s street viewing overlaying your actual location, Gmail can be dictated on the go and one app idea could revaloutionse the way we shop, it is an app that includes a personal welcome from the owner of the restaurant to meet and great you before you go in – but it can do so much more.
Google earns a great deal of revenue from its advertising, but imagine if you we’re wearing a pair of their glasses walking down the high street and then approached by a virtual sales person linked to the product you had popped out to buy. This would happen as you walk through the town, you can buy it while talking to the virtual assitant and then collect at the store a few minutes later – It would save time if it genuinely provided you with the best deal.
Some are concerned about the potential for attack on privacy. The glasses have a built in camera for video and stills, the worry for some is that you can set up a code word that isn’t ‘take picture’ but does indeed take a picture.
However for a country where you are regularly seen on camera at least 80 times during an average day does it really matter, but surely only the odd balls of society would get off on taking pictures of strangers and in any case they can do that now. Interesting to note that we are the most photographed generation of all time.
I work in the media and as such I can see real potential for Google Glass, especially for citizen journalism. Imagine being able to react immediately with a piece loaded up to the Internet via a scene of a major event. Yes we can do this now with a few clicks of a a screen on an tablet or smartphone, but if it could be streamed live or added on-line via a voice command ‘upload Facebook’, imagine how quick an event could be added to the World Wide Web. Indeed our world is shrinking yet perhaps our knowledge the immediate world around us widens at the hand of technology.
Oh and this app, I’ll try and add to this post while on the move on train tomorrow, and perhaps in the future I’ll dictate this instead of type it, but then again I like the silent voice of my mind as I write my blog notes, image dictating to your blog on a train full of people… Hmmm.
You may not have noticed, but edited quite comfortably while arriving at Otford on said train.
The Show: The Saturday Show broadcasts on 106.9SFM for Sittingbourne, a community radio station broadcasting to the Swale area of Kent. The programme is aimed at the Saturday Morning kids TV audience of yesteryear. Each Saturday kicking off from 10am with the theme of the day. ‘Ask Kevin’ where listeners pit their questions against Kevin and the listener. Newsround three songs chosen by the listener linked to the quirky story of the day. The Saturday Show only plays great songs from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and the best new music from today. The Golden Oldies feature at mid-day with three songs usually from the 50’s. Kevin Field is the lead presenter assisted by Producer H or Harriet Childs. It’s a fun listen with light and shade as well as a touch of the serious issues that affect our lives. Sample it for your self tune in on-line or FM to 106.9SFM or listen to a sample of the show below.
Future Aims: We are currently looking at the possibility of networking the show with other community radio stations and providing a larger platform to contributors.
Contributors: We are always on the look out for contributors to the show. If you have a story to tell or a skill to share feel free to get in contact via the contact tab to the left of this page.
I recently listened to a Pod-cast by Music Radio Creative hosted by Mike Russell about creating a radio station logo. It reminded me of the rules I use when creating brand logo’s for a client, or for one of my own on-line projects. I thought I’d share 6 rules of creating a radio station logo.
Remember for any product it is all about your brand values, for example the BBC Logo’s all link to their brand and mission statement. i.e. To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain. The core of the logo has always been in a box setting. A chap called Abram Games created their first logo.
Another interesting logo in terms of brand is the Kiss FM logo, it is a name used globally but the logo is different in almost all uses for soul stations, funk, urban and I once spotted a country station using the name – again the logo in each design reflected the brand identity of the station.
Your logo is much like your on air ident, it is your signature and as such you should set up rules for how it should be used. I once worked with a Head of Sales who called me anal-retentive because I told her to use the logo correctly in her sales documents. After all I’d designed it to be used in the right way and squashing a logo out of shape forgoes all the thought that we put into the design.
When using a logo attention to detail is everything. Actually one of the things that impresses me about Music Radio Creative is the use of the logo.
Set out some rules of how your logo is used – type “logo usage guidelines” into Google and you’ll find lots of advice.
Things to consider… if you or someone else is designing your logo.
Very important this. A colour will effect a viewers mood and relationship they have with your brand. Check out psychology of colours in google. Derren Brown uses colour in is shows to great effect. He normally designs sets and wears dark and neutral colours to keep people focused on his words and actions. He adds in bright colours when asking people to do things… It’s very interesting! Anyway back to colour in a logo – Trust = blue’s and greens. Young, youthful, fun and trendy, faster pace = Reds, Yellows. Authority Power = Black. And so on… The most popular colours for logo design at the moment are Green and Blue.
Think about some key words that describe your Unique Selling Point. Why would I want to listen to your radio station. It could be fun, classic, vibrant, modern, oldies, chilled. This will give you designer room to work on your image theme.
Size and Design (files)
Now this is important. Remember to ask for an eps, pdf, svg or ai scalable vector version of your logo and for a PNG version at the size you want it. Vector images can be scaled infinitely and never loose quality meaning it can fit on your website, business-card, letterhead, apps, in ITunes and on posters, mugs, T-shirts and so on. Jpeg’s are resterized images, without getting too geeky, the best jpeg image requires good resolution usually 300 dots per inch for printing.
A jpeg image can only be printed at the size provided or smaller. Online your logo can be 72 dots per inch. Dots Per Inch or DPI is the amount of dots that make up the image. Pixels are the amount of dots used in the area of the full area. So turned geeky for a moment. png is a great file format for logo’s online, they take up small amounts of file size and will help your site load up in a faster way.
Also ask for a transparent background – you can place your logo in many different appliances.
Don’t Throw in the Kitchen Sink
Simple is best. No need for e-mail, telephone numbers, location unless its needed. My advice would be use text slogans away from the logo as a support. The logos I design I create an icon and a brand name. The icon can be used on its own or together with the brand name. The brand name will never be used without the icon. I often use one to two colours only – it keeps cost down, and keeps out clutter on the computer screen.
Pay for What You Get
It was interesting to hear Mike talk about his mixed results from the services he employed. I’d say this, you pay for what you get. Don’t expect to get superior service for $5 – or £2.47. Mock ups cost time and money for the person designing them. I offer Skype and/or telephone calls with my clients. I want to hear their passion for what they are doing. I can’t always get that from an e-mail.
If you’d like any other advice or perhaps I could design your next logo feel free to get in touch.
Question: With the advent of National BBC Local and further regional BBC Local, is it time for the community radio sector in the UK to ask for a share of the BBC licence fee? Or perhaps its a signal that small scale local doesn’t work for Radio?
If the BBC can no longer deliver truly local radio with the budget’s they receive, then perhaps the predominately volunteer sector should receive some of the funds.
“…disenfranchised from homogeneous brand radio”
I am passionate about local radio serving its community and the BBC have been the finest at delivering it to a certain age group. In my view a gap is about to open up and although community radio broadcast areas are far too small (in my opinion) if they get their act together and super-serve their community it could provide a home for some sections of the listening public disenfranchised from homogeneous brand radio and regional localised radio.
Sometimes the quality on offer from community radio isn’t quite up to scratch for the listener, not my point of view but based on actual listener feedback, and perhaps that’s where some funds could come in – training and programme production support.
Then again some listener may not give a bag of goats toss about the quality or perhaps they may actually like the new national local service, further networking and they’ll stay tuned to the station they’ve always listened to out of habit.
Perhaps we should all go and create local Podcasts instead – maybe the licence fee could help pay for that… local podcasts, active citizen journalists published via a BBC App – Now there’s a thought.