Skills Needed in Community Radio

Whether you are a new or established community radio station, one of the major questions you may discover is ‘what knowledge do you need to operate a community radio station?’ All community media organizations are different, of course, but here are some issues you may experience.

NFCB’s Circle of Engagement model says there are four key areas for all community radio: revenue, engagement, content and organizational capacity. These issues generally fall in those categories:

Finance/budgets. You would need to know how to: Set up a budget, have a basic understanding of it, and how to course correct when there are problems

Governance/bylaws. You would need to know how to: Identify board members, recruit for an effective board; and write good, simple bylaws.

Legal. You would need to know how to: stay in compliance with FCC rules related to content, underwriting, towers and public filings; and understand regulations related to music royalties and broadcast/streaming.

Membership programs. You would need to know how to: Create a membership model for your station, choose and set up a database with appropriate fields, and how to budget for membership.

Automation systems. You would need to know how to: Select an automation system and understand the basic principles of how they operate; this is less technical and more about understanding a station resource.

Community programming models. You would need to know how to: Choose a brand/sound/content vision, intentionally recruit for your station, train volunteers/staff, and coach for the best performance.

NFCB has been around since 1975 to help community radio stations do their best work. NFCB membership offers many benefits, including access to peers with knowledge on these subjects and more. To inquire about membership, please visit our join page.

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