Gone are the days that CR stations had to create an submit a detailed annual report to Ofcom, in fact, one of the tasks I had when I did a work placement with the CR team at Ofcom was to read some of these reports. They were fantastic documents that showcased what the station had done that year, achievements on and off air and how the station was really benefitting and supporting their local community. It was also great to see how many stations promoted those reports on their websites and shared with their communities (and wider stakeholders we would assume) – Now all CR stations have to do if file a finance document and a tick sheet to say they have or haven’t stuck to their Key Commitments.
Whats more of a shame is that without that mandate a lot of stations don’t seem to really publish anything like this anymore, and I think that’s a missed opportunity!
Charities in the UK are regulated to produce an annual report to the Charities Commission (and share with their trustees, members, and wider stakeholders), now the trend for many years is for these reports to be shiny, packed full of pictures, testimonials, and impact statements, they are using them as an opportunity to shout about what they are doing, how and why – almost a manifesto of their organisation, going far beyond whats needed or required of them.
There is an opportunity for Community Radio to do the same, why? For the same reason that the Charity sector is. Not only do these documents become a record of what you have done, they speak a lot more about your achievements, your aims, and purpose. They become a fantastic resource to engage with all your key and wider stakeholders;
- Share with your audience.
- Share amongst all your presenters and volunteers to help give them a bigger picture and their role in it.
- Share with all your key funders and advertisers so they can understand the impact of their support.
- Send to anyone and everyone you receive support or want to receive support from, local MPs, Councillors, Schools, Colleges and big companies and organisations.
Then whilst you are at it, why not submit it to the Community Radio Awards!, shameless plug aside, if you need anything else to motivate you then why not that. I have said since the inception that the written element of the Station of the Year entry is a great starting point for your station’s annual report, and if you do nothing more would be a fantastic document to fit that purpose.
So I throw down the challenge, to encourage and recommend that all Community Radio stations consider writing an annual report and please do let me know how you get on.
You can find advice from the NCVO on how to write an annual report here.
Below is the 2017 Gold recipient of Station of the Years written reports (full details can be found here 2017 Gold Entries)
Please comment below with your thoughts as to what could be included in a report or links to your report!