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Radio Commercials Producer

Industries:
Radio
Personality type:
Organiser
Departments:
Production

The lowdown

  • Creating radio advertising and station promotions for radio stations

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • have a strong interest in advertising, and a good understanding of how radio can be used to promote and sell goods and services
  • be able to generate original ideas, and to think creatively about how to communicate them to audiences
  • have excellent writing and storytelling skills, with the ability to tailor and adapt content for different audiences and platforms
  • have knowledge of the radio market, different station and programme styles, and audience demographics
  • be able to learn how to use a variety of recording equipment and to operate different radio studios
  • be able to manage budgets and ensure the efficient use of resources
  • have excellent communication skills, complemented by diplomacy, empathy and patience, along with the ability to build rapport and draw information from people
  • have the confidence to interpret a brief, and to pitch ideas to clients
  • possess a comprehensive knowledge of the subjects relevant to the radio genre in which you wish to work
  • be able to work calmly effectively under pressure, react quickly, and meet tight deadlines
  • have knowledge of the law, ethics and industry regulations around radio production and advertising
  • understand when it is necessary, and how to acquire, the relevant clearances and licences, including copyright and music clearances
  • understand the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures
  • have strong IT skills, including word processing and data handling - and, ideally, audio editing and image manipulation software

What does a Radio Commercials Producer do?

Commercials Producers create radio advertising in response to client briefs and station promotions for radio stations. This brings together high-level radio production skills with an understanding of the creative potential of radio and audio content to market and sell products and services.

Radio Commercials Producers may manage client briefings, generate and pitch ideas, and write scripts or work with writers. They may cast actors and voiceovers, select music, and organise and run recording sessions. They may also edit and produce finished commercials and other advertising material. They may produce trailers to promote client-sponsored events or competitions, or to build the station brand and promote the station itself.

They need to work closely with colleagues involved in sales and marketing, sponsorship and promotion, as well as programming, to ensure that audience and client expectations are met, and that revenue is maximised.

Although there is no commercial advertising on BBC Radio, local stations or national networks employ Radio Producers or Broadcast Journalists who are responsible for each station's programme trails and promotions. The production of BBC-wide trails and promotions is outsourced.

The role description here covers the role of a Commercials Producer in commercial radio. However, aspects of this role are relevant to community radio staff or volunteers with responsibility for commercials or trails.

Will I need a qualification?

You could work your way up from an entry-level role to become Radio Commercials Producer, without a degree. That said, some employers may want you to have a degree in business management, radio production, marketing or communications.

If you are considering taking a radio course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the radio industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a radio career:

Radio courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

To get onto one of the few industry trainee schemes that are out there, you’ll probably need a degree or equivalent and you should be prepared for a rigorous selection process. That said, some schemes are targeted at non-graduates.

You could also take a qualification or short course offered by one of a range of professional associations and awarding bodies in the fields of sales and marketing. Some of these are aimed specifically at those just starting out in the profession.

What’s the best route in?

There is no particular recognised route into this role. However, you could achieve a Radio Commercials Producer position having come from a radio or advertising background.

If you don’t study for a degree, you may need to start at more junior levels, usually in radio or an advertising agency, and work your way up to Commercials Producer.

Whatever your qualifications, employers will expect you to have an interest in, and hands-on experience of, radio broadcasting, particularly skills gained through community radio, student or hospital radio.

Where might the role take me?

You could move on from the Commercials Producer role to a larger station, or from a local to a regional or national commercials production department.

You could also make the move into an external organisation providing a service to a range of broadcasters. Another option would be to make the move to TV commercials or to move into, or return to, more general radio production roles.

Interested? Find out more...

Websites

  • Radio Academy - industry-wide charity dedicated to promoting excellence in UK audio broadcasting and production
  • Radio Centre - industry association for UK commercial radio with a website including information and on work placements and how to get job in radio
  • BBC Academy - College of Production - information and advice on the skills required to make engaging radio, including interviews with producers in music, speech, factual and comedy about what it takes to work in radio
  • Community Media Association - the UK representative body for the community media sector, committed to promoting access to the media for people and communities
  • Student Radio Association - representative body which supports and acts on behalf of the UK student radio community 
  • Hospital Broadcasting Association - the national charity that supports and promotes hospital broadcasting in the UK 
  • BECTU - the UK media and entertainment trade union with information on pay and conditions, training, and access to individual advice on personal and contract issues
  • National Union of Journalism - the trade union for journalists in the UK and Ireland - with information on pay and conditions, training and legal advice
  • Radio Today - radio industry news site
  • Radio Now - radio station directory, listen live to many UK radio stations
  • Advertising Standards Authority - independent regulator for advertisements, sales promotion and direct marketing in the UK; details of radio advertising standards code
  • Institute of Sales & Marketing Management - UK professional body for salespeople, awarding body for qualifications in selling and sales management, list of training providers and other resources
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing - the leading international body for professional marketers, details of qualifications and training and further resources
  • The Marketing Society - network for senior marketers, with some articles and other information available to non-members

Publications

Books

  • Creating Powerful Radio, Valerie Geller ISBN-10: 0240519280
  • Essential Radio Skills, Peter Stewart ISBN-10: 0713679131
  • The Broadcast Voice, Jenni Mills ISBN-10: 0240519396
  • Presenting on TV & Radio, Janet Trewin ISBN-10: 024051906X
  • Marketing: Concepts & Strategies, Sally Dibbs, Lyndon Simkin, William M. Pride & O.C. Ferrell ISBN–13: 978–0618532032
  • Making Waves: Radio On The Verge, Mark Ramsey ISBN–10: 1440102570
  • An Advertiser's Guide to Better Radio Advertising, Andrew Ingram & Mark Barber ISBN–10: 0470012927

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