Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tip Sheet for Virtual Participation in Community Radio Events


  1. Setup a Facebook Group for the event - Ideally, every community hosting a radio event would set-up their own Facebook Group, which would serve as a central online location for participants to gather virtually, share their experiences, and interact with the broadcast. 
  2. Add participants to the group - Whoever creates the Facebook Group will be responsible for adding the first participants.  Note that adding a group member does not require their permission, so as a courtesy it is advised that the group administrator first contacts potential group members before they are added. 
  3. Ask group members to add other group members - Administrators will only be allowed to add group members which appear on their friends list.  To broaden the network, all group members should add people from their personal friends lists to the group.
  4. Add group administrators - All individuals who are physically present at the event should be made group administrators.
  5. Promote the event and solicit participation from community members - Post all information people need to know about the event.  When it will be happening, what it is for, who to contact for participation, etc...
  1. Post in the Group - All participants who are physically present at the event should be instructed to post in the group, in addition to on their personal profiles. Posts should include photos, behind-the-scenes happenings, and personal reflections about participation.  
  2. Tag the group in personal posts - Participants who use their personal Facebook profile can tag status updates by placing the @ symbol before starting to type the group name.
  3. Let listeners know about the Facebook Group - Every time the station ID and website is mentioned, listeners should also be told where to find the Facebook Group for the event.  All groups will have the address*groupname*
  4. Ask for participation from listeners - Posts can also be asks for song requests, talk topic requests, shout-outs or relevant stories that can be shared on-air.
  5. Monitor Facebook Group -Group administrators should be continually monitoring the interaction in the group; relaying relevant information to on-air participants, responding to posts, responding to requests to join the group.
Ryakuga Facebook Page

The Ryakuga Facebook page is another virtual place for participant interaction during a community radio event which extends networks beyond individual communities and into the broader Ryakuga Network.
  1. Assign a Ryakuga Administrator - A community participant can be made administrator at the Ryakuga Page for the duration of the event.  Ideally, this administrator would also be the main administrator of the Facebook Group.  When an individual is made administrator of a Facebook Page, all posts that person makes on the page will show up as being from "Ryakuga" rather than their personal account.
  2. Tag posts and photos with Ryakuga - Posts can be tagged with Ryakuga in the same way groups can be tagged; type the @ symbol before the word Ryakuga.  Photos can be tagged with Ryakuga as well in the same way that people are tagged in Facebook photos; click tag photo, click anywhere on the photo, and type Ryakuga into the box that appears.
  3. Let listeners know about the Ryakuga Facebook Page - In addition to station ID, website and group name, on-air participants can let people know about the Ryakuga Facebook Page at
  1. If Twitter is to be included as part of the campaign for the event, it can be done either by creating a Twitter account for the event itself, or through the use of hashtags. Creating an account for the event on its own is unadvised, as building a Twitter network of followers can be task that requires time and effort, and not necessarily worth the work for a one-off event. 
  2. Ryakuga has a Twitter account that can be used during the event as well.  All posts to the Rykauga Facebook Page automatically update to Twitter.   
  3. Many communities have official or unofficial Twitter representation (for example @Branch_NL), a better approach would be to solicit participation with the individuals behind those accounts to broadcast the event on Twitter in addition to the Ryakuga Twitter.
  4. The event can be labelled using a hashtag, which is placing the pound symbol before a one character word or phrase representing the event, as in #nameofevent. Hashtags become search links, and clicking on them will produced a feed of all Tweets containing that hashtag.
  5. Tweets mentioning the event with a hashtag can be retweeted by the Ryakuga page and individuals participating via Twitter.  
  6. As with Facebook, someone should be monitoring Twitter at all times for mentions of the event, to respond to those tweets and share them on-air.  Also, listeners should be given the hashtag name for tweets about the event.