March 2017

Convened at 7:36 PM

In Attendance: Amanda Guest, Forrest Guest, Noel Von Joo, Tom Tierney, Eddie Codel

Absent: Ben Russo, Mai Le

Tom: In contact with the founder of Pandora, who declined to be involved with the board, but was interested in supporting BFF.fm.

Forrest: We had discussed having an open house, he’d be a clear fit for an event like that.

Amanda: We’d be excited to have him involved.

Tom wasn’t sure what the mission statement of BFF was. Amanda wanted to go over it. She was in a college radio program, the interest started as being a DJ, but moved to supporting the community. Involved with Mutiny Radio and got exposed to running the station, and realized she could run her own station. Forrest and Amanda went to a party at the Secret Alley and looked into renting the office for work. Noel encouraged Amanda to run the radio station instead of working there. Bought the equipment out of our own pockets and convinced some friends to start shows. Got some early press and grew the DJ list. The mission is focused on local bands and underground bands and sharing information about the community. Education or highlighting community like mission local and roll over easy. We want to champion the bay area music scene through the magic of online radio. Some ideas for the future would be doing more live events to showcase local bands, or showcase visiting musicians. One day, we’d like to do a festival. Also interested in BFF.tv for visual works.

Luke Spray is unable to attend, but we have some information to share. We also have some mockups for a website redesign. One of the DJs, Ben, is working with Creek to do the redesign.

Amanda presented Luke’s proposal for a 221 license - provides up to six single day use liquor licenses. These require property owner consent and sign off from local police district permit officers. The proposal is to have several pop up beer gardens, with beer provided by local beer makers. Luke would like to propose Maclaren park as one location, and other locations. He has a friendship with Alite designs, who could sell samples and provide the location. Noel suggested Stern Grove, but no one knew what the process was for getting approval. Luke has asked that we put together some locations for him to look into. Tom says that a thing that gets bars business is a bartender competition. Forrest suggested a hammock bar. Amanda suggested “Pop Up Pop’s,” where we make an imitation Pop’s somewhere. Tom can get us bookings at Pop’s anytime and Madrone on Sundays. Forrest suggested the Guac Off. Tom may be able to get liquor partnerships. Eddie: Chicken John does some events. Tom: Golden Gate Park on Sundays would be good. Tom: Alamo Square Park redesign grand opening would be a big deal. Amanda: Phono Del Sol does a beer garden that has a fence around it, which feels a little strange but people really enjoy it. Eddie: what about a Capp st festival? Noel: does the bike coalition do something?

Action Item: Forrest to create a google sheet to list ideas and rate them

  • Locations (preferably public spaces)

  • Partners (Alite, etc)

Other fundraising suggestions

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Amanda: in the past, we’ve asked for funds when we need them, rather than seasonally. It would be good to do two fundraisers this year, one in June and one at the end of the year. Last year we did a fundraiser at the end of the year for the new board and got about $3000. It would be good to have two big fundraisers and two smaller ones. The exact strategy is unclear. On an ongoing basis, we’ve been trying to get listeners to support the station with an ongoing donorship. Amanda would like to come up with a good strategy to entice people to do monthly donations. Maybe a good title, like founding members. Eddie: like patreon is a thing. Tom: a typical donator - why do they donate? Amanda: they really like a particular program or all of BFF. Tom: how do they know to donate? Amanda: there’s a big button on the site. Tom: what about an NPR style drive? Eddie: I’d prefer not to have that method. Amanda: when we were trying to raise funds, people like Burrito Justice would use their networks to bring people in. We also did a facebook fundraiser, which was successful. Tom: how many recurring members do we have? Amanda: we have a tool called commit change that costs $125 a month, and we are losing money on it. But it has some interesting information. Where they came from, like which website, email campaign, etc. It allows shows to run drives. It has cost us around $500 to use it, and we’ve had $1200 raised through it.

Tom: you have DJs paying to play, can we set a quota to have people sign up recurring donors or one time donors? Amanda: the biggest thing is that some people are invested, but some people consider their $50 a month to be the end of their commitment to the station. Eddie: putting a quota on someone could be a tough request. Amanda: to be honest, every DJ may not be a good business representative of BFF. Tom: As a bartender, I have some influence over what the patrons buy. As a DJ, you have influence over your listeners. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to use that relationship. Forrest: we have tens of listeners, probably not hundreds, which is still good for a community station. Noel: can we get more listeners? Amanda: I’d like to make it more of a possibility. We don’t have good tracking information. Eddie: I should check with Rusty to see if he has any good tools. Amanda: our website is really bad for SEO, and built with a bunch of other tools. We are working on improving that. That leads into the website redesign

Amanda: THis is a preliminary deck; Amanda met with the designer to refine of the ideas. Here’s the current site. The heavy rotation doesn’t really get used. The central area is a bunch of boxes, which is hard to keep updated and looks cluttered. The banner ads at the bottom don’t really ever get sold. The new site has a main content area, where one topic will be displayed each day. Also, we chart our top ten tracks each week, and that would be more interesting. Tom: where are the banner ads in the new design? Amanda: we can put them in the carousel, but we don’t have any way to measure how many clicks they get. Tom: I keep coming back to liquor companies, since I have a big relationship with them. They could be convinced to spend some money, possibly. Forrest: we don’t really have anyone who wants to sell. Tom: I would be interested, but I don’t know much about it.

Noel: how much would we need to raise before we could pay someone? That seems like it would be a good goal. Amanda: I’d like to start with the goal of having no DJ be required to pay dues, they would still be able to pay dues. Forrest: this would make it a little gentler to raise 40k in 2016, 70k in 2017, etc instead of jumping right to $120k. Amanda: I’d like to make sure we don’t set the goal too high.

Noel: Have we set up a pre-roll yet? Amanda: we have the ability to do that, but have not set that up. Tom: you’d only hear that once? Amanda: I’d like to have something set up so that a spot plays once every two hours, or between the shows. Tom: would that be underwriting only? Amanda: that’s an FCC thing, we can do whatever we want.

Action Item: Forrest to explore pre-empting the broadcast automatically for a brief spot

Tom: if we did an ad every 2 hours, what would that look like? Amanda: I wouldn’t want to do more than one per show, but that’s 10 per day. There is also the opportunity to do native advertising, but the DJs would need to figure that out. Today we have that ability, but it would offset dues. Noel: If a company actually wanted to advertise, they could just sign up for a show. Forrest: yeah, that’s basically what Make it Funky is. Amanda: From the start, I’ve tried to pick DJs who are already promoting themselves. Tom: would you suggest any DJs who would be interested in talking about advertising? Amanda: for the most part, DJs are more interested in the music, but some may be interested in advertising.

Noel: I’d be interested in discussing more listenership at the next meeting. Events are good for fundraising, but listeners seem more important long term. Amanda: one thing I’d like to do is take the studio and move it somewhere else, exposure is difficult at the secret alley. It would be cool to do a popup radio station somewhere.

Noel: we have a sign outside the building that has empty panels. The landlord agreed to allow us to change it, we just needed to rent a lift.

Action item: Noel to find out how much it costs to put a sign outside the building

Tom: Did BFF do an ad in the guardian? Pop’s would split it with you.

Action Item: Amanda to find out how much we should charge to share ads.

Action Item: Tom to look into business underwriting and full commercials to present a summary next month

Action Item: Mai and Amanda to meet on seasonal fundraising campaigns

Meeting Closed at 9:34 PM