June 27, 2017

Radio 101: What Does An "On-Air Personality" Do?

     Welcome to my first blog post in my new series all about one of my true loves: the radio industry! As many of you know, I just began my full-time job in the radio industry back in April. Pretty much since that point in time, I have been brainstorming how I can share my career on my blog. I decided to start a monthly post series (appropriately called "Radio 101") in which each month I'll answer a question about the radio industry in general, Top 40 radio, or my job specifically! If you have a question about any of these things- PLEASE send it my way!! You can comment on this post, email me or DM me on social media (I'm @miss_alk on Twitter and Instagram!). I'll use your question in a future post for this series.

     *If you're wondering how I first became interested in radio and how I decided to move to Vermont for my first job, check out this post! If you're wondering why I went to attend a year of broadcasting school after getting my undergraduate degree, check out this post!*

     Today's question: I saw you refer to your new job as being an "on-air personality." I've never heard of a DJ being called that! Besides for talking on the radio, what all does an on-air personality do?

      Such a great question to kick off this series! There's definitely a lot more to my job description than just announcing songs. 😉

      Of course, the main part of being an on-air personality is the radio portion of the job. This is probably 75% of what I do, and some weeks even more than that! In short, a lot of talking! Some personalities are one "cast member" in an ensemble show with multiple personalities (this is typically found in morning shows), and others like myself host our own solo shows.

      My current schedule is that I work for two radio stations in the same company, a Top 40 station and an AC (This stands for Adult Contemporary- meaning a blend of today's lighter pop hits and some 90s/2000s throwbacks). My primary station is the Top 40, Planet 96.7, - and I'm their midday personality, which means I host the show on weekdays which hits most of the workday hours! I'm on-air for Planet weekdays M-F from 10-3 pm. On Saturday evenings, I work for Star 92.9, the AC station. Weekends in radio often see different shifts than the weekdays, and I host the 3-8 pm shift on Saturdays for Star- after I'm off-air they play a nationally syndicated 90s music night show. I also do two additional weekend shifts for Planet. See what I mean- a lot of talking! (FYI- if you're ever interested in tuning in, both stations that I work for have free iPhone apps with streaming, and you can also stream the radio live on the websites!)

     The "talking on the radio" part is also more complicated than people think. While a good deal of my talk breaks for both stations are simply stating the station name and the song that's about the play,  that isn't all of them! I do a lot of prep work each day for my shows to find content to discuss with listeners. Top 40 radio shows often have an entertainment news flavor to them, since they're targeting young millennials. Each day I read about what's new in Hollywood, and look for stories that feature the artists that we're playing currently on the radio. I also look for anything viral or trending in the online world. 95% of what I read about each day I don't talk about on-air, either because it wouldn't appeal to enough of Planet's listeners, it's too long of a story to be broken down for a short radio talk break.... or sometimes just too weird of a story! (I share some of the weird ones that I read on IG stories and Snapchat sometimes- one of last week's was a trending article about a 60 something year old grandma who pole dances! That's just WEIRD!)

      The last portion with talking on the radio is the listener interaction component. I regularly run on-air giveaways and promotions! Airing regular phone calls with listeners is an important part of being a radio personality- you always want to show the audience (and your sales clients) that you're interacting with your demographic, and doing a good job at it! This summer, Planet is doing lots of concert ticket giveaways, so I qualify listeners for those and then edit and air the calls most weekdays during my show. (And no- radio calls are NOT aired live! They're recorded, edited, and then played back once made perfect on-air!)

     That concludes the talking on-air portion of the job duties... but there's still lots more that a radio personality does! Something else voice-related that I get to do that's lots of fun is voice commercials. Almost all of our commercials are voiced in-house with our own personalities as the writers, producers and vocal talent, which I think is so cool. I always love having the chance to read a new script and voice a commercial, and it's fun to hear them on-air when I'm out and about outside of work. My favorite one that I've done so far has been for a local grocery store chain that's hiring for summer employment.

      Social media and blogging are two huge components of my job, and no, I don't mean working on things related to Southern Belle in Training! 😉 Branding a radio station is so important, and in the digital age of media, a well executed social media strategy and a high quality website/blog for a radio station is so crucial. The top radio and TV markets across the country have digital departments in their offices, staffed with people who are simply devoted to making the digital side of the media great. But in a smaller radio company like that one that I work for, on-air personalities take care of all of the station social media needs. Each day, I take the show prep that I have prepared as talking points for my show and also transform it into social media content for station blog posts, and posts for our Facebook and Instagram. (We also do have a Twitter, but a lot of our station tweets are automated shares currently.)

     Events and promotions are the last portion of the job, and although this isn't an everyday component to my work, it is an important one. The visual part of radio are the community events and live broadcasts, which are called "remotes." Remotes are when your listeners really get the chance to interact with you up close and personally, and you can also attract new listeners at them! Some remotes are paid as advertising opportunities with local businesses, and others are for charitable causes for local non-profits. So far the remotes that I've worked since beginning my job were all for charity, but I will have my first live broadcast events (which are events that our sales team coordinate with local businesses!) coming up in July or August.

     So in short, that is a summary of my current job as an on-air personality. Job descriptions do vary from station to station, as well as show times (For example, a morning radio personality might have slightly different responsibilities than I do hosting a midday show.). But for the most part- this is the gig! And I love it- so very much! I dream about being nationally syndicated someday, but for now I'm enjoying growing in my field and learning how to be the best radio personality I can be!

      I hope that you enjoyed my first Radio 101 post! I'm already looking forward to sharing the next few. If you have any sort of a question related to the radio industry, or any burning question you've ever wondered about your favorite radio station, send it my way! Email me at rainbowflash94@yahoo.com, or DM me on social media.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)

June 26, 2017

One Maxi Dress Two Ways: Breezy Daytime Look.

Photography by Melissa Lynn Studios 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training.

     How beautiful is this amazing watercolor maxi dress? I knew as soon as I saw it online that I had to have it. The way that the purples and blues blend together in the fabric is even prettier in person than on the website! 😊 These photos were taken when I was out for a mid-morning stroll in Burlington's Waterfront Park. This is a public park that runs all along the part of Lake Champlain that borders the downtown, and it's a lovely place to hangout at in the spring and summer! 

     Last fall, I wrote two fashion posts where I styled an off-the-shoulder top two different ways: one for a casual daytime look, and one outfit perfect for a girls' night out on the town. Since I love this beautiful dress so much, I wanted to try doing that again! A dressier look #2 with this maxi dress will be on the blog next Monday, but today's look is the more casual one. I wore it without the waist tie that it comes with, and paired it with these flat sandals, a bold clutch, and some fun statement earrings, and let my hair go free! This look would be great for lots of summer activities- dinner outside, errands, a casual party, or of course a stroll by the lake like I'm doing! I can't wait to show y'all how I made this dress look completely different and quite fancy in next Monday's post. 

     Getting real for a second... last week was a bit of a rough one for me. I truly LOVE my day job and the radio industry- for the most part since I started my job in April every week has felt like "fun" and not work. Last week was the first week that I had a rough week at work, and it actually started to feel like work. Fortunately it wasn't anything to do with the radio aspects of my job (which is 90% of what I do!) - I still love that. 😉 Just some of the other parts of having a job... the things that quite honestly everyone deals with no matter what industry! It was a rough week, but I am thankful it's now DONE and a new week is here. And a special treat came my way this weekend- I was able to get a surprise last minute visit here in Burlington from one of my sorority sisters! My ADPi sister Hannah moved to Boston almost a year ago to attend grad school, and this weekend happened to be free in her schedule for her to head up north to visit me. This was such a lovely thing to look forward to after a harder week! Today is my day off, so you can see what adventures we're up to on my IG stories (and Snapchat too!) @miss_alk. 

     Hoping your week is off to a good start!

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)

June 22, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.

Sharing this weekly post on Thursday instead of Wednesday this week since National Wear Your Lilly Day was yesterday! {Follow me on social media @miss_alk!}

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training.

  • Father's Day Weekend: Those of you who follow my IG stories know that my dad spent Father's Day Weekend with me here in Vermont! We had a great visit together. He hadn't been up to Vermont other than moving me into my apartment a couple months ago, so he was excited to see more of the Burlington area. He got to come visit me at work, we ate out a lot (which I don't get to do most weeks!), and then I planned a special Father's day surprise for him! My family actually vacationed in Vermont when I was growing up (not near Burlington- the Northeastern part of the state), and I surprised my dad with a day trip to the bed and breakfast and lake that we used to vacation on. It was a special day and brought back a lot of childhood memories- the last time that we were there for vacation was 2003!
  • Boyband: WHO ELSE is way too excited for this new show that premieres on ABC tonight? Boyband is a new reality competition that as you probably guessed from the name... is putting together America's next great boyband! As someone who had one of the best nights of her life seeing the Backstreet Boys in concert a few years ago, and who still mourns the loss of *NSYNC on a daily basis... let's just say I'm pumped for this show!! 

  • I restocked on some of my drugstore beauty essentials this week! This mascara is one of three that I wear everyday- I love the primer on it.
  • I also bought more of my favorite drugstore eyeliner. This one is amazing for the price!

  • A high quality work tote/large purse is starting to become a need and not just a want! I'm really starting to have eyes for this bag. I use a cute tote bag for work currently, but it's a bit flimsy and doesn't have any pockets inside, and it isn't really fitting my needs well.
  • This cute top looks perfect to wear to work at my casual radio office environment! It comes in five colors.
  • A polka dot, monogrammed umbrella for under $30? Say no more! This would also make a great birthday gift!
  • I can never resist anything hot pink, especially not a pretty top
  • Coral is one of my favorite colors to wear in the warmer months, so I was naturally drawn to this skirt

On the blog this week:

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)