Chapman Radio

Nicole Swinford and I hosting the Pretty Little Wire!
Nicole Swinford and I hosting the Pretty Little Wire!

This week also marked the last radio broadcast of my show, The Pretty Little Wire.  It’s been fun, but never fear!  I have big plans once the summer season of PLL starts on June 11th!

Watch “Gatsby x PLL” HERE!

This was my first semester participating in Chapman Radio and as a graduating senior, it was definitely a valuable experience.  However, I wish that I had enrolled in the Comm class during my first semester at Chapman.  As a transfer student, it can be difficult to graduate in two years, even with credits that carry over.  You can only imagine that with 20 units, an internship, and a part-time job in my last semester, I spread myself a bit thin.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that my radio show was a large commitment.  I just wish I had more time to devote to the show, because I had big plans for it.

My show, The Pretty Little Wire, is a music and talk after-show dedicated to ABC Family’s TV series, Pretty Little Liars (corny, I know).  I was inspired to take on something fun, something that I am passionate about.  Because of this, the semester was pretty much a breeze.  I was all ready watching the show religiously, so hosting the show was something that I could look forward to.

I started with inspiration from Maria Menounos’ After Buzz TV.  Hosts broadcast live on Youtube after their favorite TV shows with recaps and interviews.  Fascinated by the concept of being live, I knew that I wanted to have a similar feel for my own show.  I did some research, and stumbled upon, a website where you can host your own live stream and interact with viewers.  I decided that I would combine my Chapman Radio show and a Spreecast channel to create an awesome, fan girl-friendly simulcast.  In the beginning, I was very enthusiastic about the whole thing.

After the Spreecast channel, I created a Facebook page and Twitter, for the PLW.  I took Diane’s advice and spread the word to my friends on Facebook to like the page.  I even made “Host/On-Air Personality at the Pretty Little Wire” my occupation on my profile, in the hopes that people would take notice.  I learned how to use simple photoshop techniques and made posters that weren’t too shabby.

If you ever search the key words, “Pretty Little Liars” on Facebook, you’ll find a terrifying trove of girls [and possibly guys] that are absolutely obsessed with the show.  With so many thousands of likes and followers on other sites, I figured that I could make it happen for my own Facebook in no time.  I even made a goal to get to 1,000 likes for the semester.  I told other PLL Facebook page admins that if PLW could reach this, we would somehow get an interview with one of the cast members of Pretty Little Liars.  Okay, so that’s a somewhat large promise, but I knew that if I had that support behind our show, I would find a way to make it happen.

Well, as the many commitments of my last semester began to pile up, they buried my enthusiasm for the show.  Overall, the Pretty Little Wire did not go as I had planned, but I have learned so much:

1.  I am not ready to be a radio personality.

While I am a broadcast journalism major with plenty of experience reporting and hosting, radio is a completely different beast.  It takes practice, and definitely focus.  While I was juggling the live stream on my computer and the radio controls on the studio desktop, it was a struggle to get to enhancements such as sweepers or the “now playing” feature.

2.  Everything takes time.

Building a fan base will not usually happen overnight.  It takes hard work, dedication, and real passion.  People can see the difference between superficial content and a real, honest love for something.

3.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

I may not have reached my big dreams for the Pretty Little Wire, but there were several factors at play.  I don’t know many people at Chapman, so listenership was difficult to acquire.  The previously mentioned self-masochistic student schedule also played a role.  Perhaps most crucial was the fact that Pretty Little Liars season ended during the semester.  I will definitely be trying to continue my efforts on the Spreecast channel when the new summer season premieres.

4.  Count the accomplishments.

I’d like to throw this lesson in.  In the wise words of President Barack Obama,

“If our efforts are not successful in the terms we have set for ourselves, we need to reframe outcomes as partial successes and build on the parts that show improvement and strength.”

Although I didn’t get 1,000 Facebook likes, a special interview, or a Show of the Week award; but I did become better at hosting on the fly.  I also gained a small following on our live stream.  I know that if I continue to dedicate time toward the show, it can be something fun and maybe, even resume-worthy.

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