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Sometimes you have to step in and shake things up. This is especially true when taking a flagging product that is being left behind by competitors because the historic value of its name is proving to be the deadweight pulling it down, “Radio St Lucia is one of the oldest radio stations in St Lucia,” General Manager Claude Emmanuel opens up, “And I was given the appointment as GM in October 2012 to not only increase and revitalize the listening audience but change the consciousness of the radio station itself.” WRITTEN BY DONNIE RUST

BRINGING INTO SOCIAL NETWORKING

Radio


RADIO ST LUCIA

The youngest General Manager in the history of Radio St Lucia, Mc Claude Emmanuel has enjoyed a diverse career that has not always been involved in radio. With his formal education being in economics and business management he admits to always having had an active interest in social media marketing, managing Facebook pages for company websites and developing an intrinsic understanding of the online topography which has been crucial for the new direction that Radio St Lucia has taken under his leadership.

“I

served as a director at Radio St Lucia prior to being appointed

to sacrifice them for the purposes of being seen as a purely young

as the general manager,” Mc Claude explains, “Which allowed

station,” he explains, “The shows we have now include programmes on

me the chance to get a very solid impression of where things

youth, health, policing and policies, social securities, live guests and

stood and what needed to be prioritized in terms of taking action. Since then we’ve undergone a much needed transformation.”

interviews and entertainment news.” He goes on to add how one of the important moves was to change

As with all media, there is a life cycle for radio stations. Historically

the on air personalities and in doing so brought a wealth of new

they have always served as a voice for the listeners and has, as a

talent, experience and potential to the radio station, “We revamped

medium, seamlessly joined with the internet, standing its ground in

the entire manner in which we reach our audience,” he continues, “We

popularity. However, Mc Claude explained that lack of a fresh update

redid the website turning it into something that was engaging and

has seen Radio St Lucia falling into decline for a couple of years now.

attractive and we established a new Facebook Page and Twitter Page

“Radio St Lucia is known for information,” he elaborates, “And a lot

for us to directly engage our listeners. It’s important to them that

of young people have gravitated to more youth friendly stations. If we

they are able to link directly with their favourite personalities, which

were going to bring listeners back to Radio St Lucia we would have to

encourages stronger loyalties to our station and programmes.”

start with what we could offer people to listen to.”

The changes were not purely to the airwaves alone. Understanding

A series of new programmes has been implemented to revitalize

that people always become a product of their environment over the

the product. Since Feb 2013 a total of fifteen new, fresh programmes

past year, over $300 000 has been invested into refurbishing the

have been launched catering towards all demographics.

plant, “The station had become a bit of an eyesore,” Mc Claude says,

“We have always had dedicated listeners and we were not going

“As a building it had not been looked after, which had a significant

“We have always had dedicated listeners and we were not going to sacrifice them for the purposes of being seen as a purely young station.”


RADIO ST LUCIA

effect upon the radio personalities themselves, after all how can

Claude says, “But in 2012 the

Immersion is the key,” he

you feel like a valuable member of the team if your premises are not

station was in a better position

continues, “We get stuck in with

valued?”

and was ranked sixth out of

the crowds with live broadcasts

sixteen on the island. In 2013 we

from events keeping it fun and

were ranked at number three.”

lively. We also interact with

Some of the changes included repair of the studios and a new newsroom. Other aesthetic repairs gave it a fresh feeling that suited the new targets and motives. Understanding what an employee needs comes naturally to Mc

Much of the success has come

from

combined

encourage everyone to get in

Claude who comes from a human resource background, “Radio St

efforts of hitting social media

touch. The response to our new

Lucia didn’t have any sort of HR policy prior to my appointment. So

like

Mc

format has been overwhelming

one of the first things I did was to create a performance management

Claude relates how the older

and we are very appreciative

system,”

stakeholders simply did not

of the support and want to give

Through this every employee gets personal targets to achieve, to

grasp the power and importance

back as often as we can.”

help them develop and grow and to facilitate the development of an

of social networking for the

2014 will see a continuation

environment where meeting targets is valued they have yearly formal

ongoing and future success of

and a doubling of the efforts to

appraisals for each employee moving up the management chain.

their product:

further expose and enrapture

never

their

listeners online and actively

before

and

These assessments are incredibly important to provide

“They used to feel that it was

new listeners through the media

benchmarks for people to strive to achieve on an individual basis and

social and not professional,” he

of social networking, which will

it keeps everyone working together in the same director direction

laments, “But the two are the

include such developments to

towards a common goal. This has already had a quantifiable affect.

same and now we are big in all

further encourage and enhance

media including

connectivity

“Radio St Lucia had fallen significantly in the popularity polls since the 1980s when lack of major competition had us at the number slot,”

newspapers,

FaceBook, Twitter and Youtube.

through

the

Radio St Lucia radio app that is


currently being developed. “The Radio App will make listening to Radio St Lucia incredible easy and convenient and will also keep us on the cutting edge which is exactly where we want to be if we are going to reach this top spot,” The addition of new technology aside there is one key development that will help push this radio station higher up the ranks and eventually beyond the reach of the competition. “The National Television Network (NTN) and Radio St Lucia will be merging together to form the National Broadcast Network (NBN) and will act as a major influence to the populace of the island,” Mc Claude tells us, “The government feel that this is the best way to create a synergy between the two networks. Bringing them under one operational roof with one board of directors put in place to oversee the day to day activities.” As many of the other radio stations have forged relationships with TV channels, this merger between the two government owned broadcasters will create a powerhouse of activities that will open up new possibilities and broaden their offering for advertisers and marketing as well as giving them even more scope as far as audience. “It is going to be a benefit to us all,” Mc Claude concludes.

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