Digital is key to the success of local radio station Ribble FM

This week we spoke to Kath Lord-Green, station manager and co-ordinator of Ribble FM. Discussing her accomplishments, Kath shared her experience of getting a radio station dedicated to the Ribble Valley up and running in just two years. Kath originally applied for the radio station licence back in 2013, and when the licence was granted in July 2014, Kath was given two years to get the station on air.

With experience in both commercial and community radio, as well as a BA Hons in Business, Kath was confident that the project could be achieved. The station is now approaching its one year anniversary, and runs a host of successful shows 24/7. Ribble FM is a non for profit community radio station based in Clitheroe, made up of approximately 30 volunteers, 20 of which present shows on a regular basis, including Kath herself.

However, it is the digital arm of the station that is really making an impact, allowing Ribble FM to reach listeners nationwide and overseas; “The app, and our online services are absolutely key to our growth and success”, says Kath. One show of particular interest to listeners further afield, is the specialist motoring show ‘Sunday driver’, which as the only dedicated motoring show on the air in the UK, gathers a lot of interest from enthusiasts nationwide.

Kath also highlighted that the digital element of the project, was one of the most challenging components, commenting “digital has been a huge learning curve”, with areas such as automation and security being particular challenges. The station relies on the expertise and knowledge of their fantastic group of volunteers, and it is through this team of people, that these problems were overcome.

Kath credits networking as one of the key activities helping get the station off the ground, by establishing herself amongst the business community in the area.

“I made sure I attended events, chatted to people, and that people knew who I was”.

Kath’s advice for anybody starting up, is to; ask for help, include people, update people, and apply for everything. The old adage applies ‘If you don’t ask…’, stating:

We were very lucky, with most people I asked saying yes. As long as you are happy to accept a no, there is no harm in asking people the next time”.

Ribble FM are currently looking to recruit female volunteers to join their growing team, and especially welcome anybody with tech/digital expertise to get in touch.

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