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Attending - Mai, Noel, Eddie, Will, Amanda, Forrest, Ben
Not Attending - Tom
Guests - Ian, Luke, Chris
Convene - 7:32 PM
1st Item - Intern Program
Luke and Chris approached some colleges about having interns for the station. They have been doing guest segments for the last few years. This has been very valuable, one way to expand is an internship program. Luke is interested in that program in order to give back
Copy wrighting, social media,Research production. In California, internships have to be for academic credit or pay. BFF can’t pay at the moment. Luke emailed some professors and got quite a big response. He asked for more information and they reached back out and said internships run for 60-150 hours over the summer, or about 6 hours a week. THe topics would be around writing, segment development, and interviewing. The primary area would be segment development. There are also opportunities in social media outreach. It would be managed by Luke and Chris, station uncles, they see themselves as fairly responsible, and would like to be a test case for something like this and would like to be able to help expand this area.
Mai has worked in a non profit before, and she’s concerned that an Intern might make more work. For approximately 6 hours a week, would you have the extra 12 hours a week to guide them? Where would you meet them? The Alley may not be available at all times.
Luke believes he has the availability; he’s an independent contractor, and Chris works close by the station. In terms of contact, many things are online so that may provide more freedom.
Mai hasn’t worked all online, but has concerns with that approach. Do we have insurance? Everyone is a volunteer so we may not have needed it before. If something happens, how are we covered?
Luke says they haven’t considered that, but there hasn’t been any incidents since the station was started. He’d like to be a test case and consider these items. In terms of why an intern and not a volunteer, there’s more accountability. Also, it would be easier to recruit. I think the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Amanda wrote a recommendation for Britt to get into audio school, and she wasn’t an intern. As Mai said with the time, Amanda is more concerned with the additional workload. She would be looking for more time breakdown - this many hours per task, and which tasks. For example, creating a segment - how long does it take to create a segment? How many segments would we need. There doesn’t seem to be much barrier to entry to just go get a snowball mic and produce a segment.
Chris learned about radio in college, and was an intern. He found it useful for learning how to communicate. But it was an iterative process, they had to learn about how to run the project. We are the leaders (in his opinion) for community radio in SF, and I think we can share our expertise with the community.
Amanda is concerned with how high level this conversation is.
Luke would have agreed, but the professors have said that is tends to be a case by case basis. They don’t seem to expect a week by week plan. They wanted someone to attend a class to learn what the class is about.
Mai is worried about the copy writing aspect - there doesn’t seem to be much for Roll Over Easy.
Luke thinks that there would be opportunities for other shows to use the copy.
Mai, Will and Amanda are a little concerned about the term copy writing. Luke and Chris meant script writing.
Eddie wants to know what the downsides may be to the show and the station.
Luke would think that protecting the reputation of the station would be primary, but he thinks they are well suited to taking on this task.
Mai is a little concerned that if any slack needs to be taken up that it would be on Amanda to take on those tasks. Are you prepared for the entire period?
Chris doesn’t believe that they were gone for three weeks at a time, and that they have missed less than 10 shows by estimate. They are also trying to book out guests for months in advance. They usually lead by three months.
Mai do you think you’d need any support outside from the two of you?
Luke I don’t think so other than Amanda, we want to help the station grow so I’d like to include Amanda.
Amanda - you mentioned that you have experience with volunteers, but what about interns?
Chris - at KQES, I was asked to lead the interns, and had to create a communication plan.
Amanda - What type of people were interns at that station?
Chris - mostly college students, but some were a little older. 40-50 interns (dozens), booking hotels, working with director of promotions. The intern at my company for the last two years reported to me.
Noel - One of the risks is that we may not meet the academic requirements?
Luke - Are you getting academic value? Are you doing an intern’s job or just doing an assistant’s job?
Chris - Communication with Professors is crucial.
Forrest - We’ve talked about the high level, given the ideal scenario, what’s the target at the end of the summer?
Ben - We’d probably need pre-defined tracks. A professor may want to know ahead of time what they would be learning.
Chris - Less podcast production, more radio, planning events, writing scripts.
Luke - you do a recurring segment every week, plan a new segment once a month, book guests, plan events.
We are over time for this segment.
Mai - would be interested in knowing more - we may not know anything until it’s over, but would you be interested in a retrospective or debrief? Some sort of reporting?
Luke - if you want to create standards for further reporting, we can set that up. Let’s have a conversation about it.
Chris - Let’s make this a communicative process.
Mai - Do we have a lawyer?
Forrest - We do, he’s on retainer
Luke - when we discussed this with professors, they weren’t terribly concerned.
Amanda - because they wouldn’t be responsible.
Luke - but beyond that, we would need to explore.
Noel - We should try to get someone older, because this space is safe but isn’t foolproof.
Luke - Most of the people seemed senior level, at least junior.
Next Item - Prospective board memb er
Ian - if you don’t know me, I used to be a DJ called nick noir. A blues/oldies show on friday nights.
Ben asked to be shown Ian.
Ian - I stopped doing a show this year, but I’m still very interested in being a part of BFF. I’m a member of the arcade and secret alley. Amanda suggested that a prospective board member should bring a skill, so. For some years now I’ve been involved in video monetization - sony, other large brands. I don’t think we have a user acquisition strategy - we don’t have google or facebook ads to try to drive new listeners.
Amanda - we do, but it’s all been me. People here may not know this, but we have Google for non-profits, which includes a $10,000 per month ad grant. We haven;t been using it.
Ben - let me have access to this!
Amanda - so it may not seem that we have an ad budget, but we do on google.
Ian - on Google, it’s all about managing specific search terms, like finding people who are interested in community radio. And similar areas. If we did have a budget on facebook, we can drive users that way. There’s also opportunity to drive users to other shows, what would be called house ads. I understand we have the ability to play pre-roll ads. That may be useful to keep users listening more to other shows. There’s also the ability, if we want to monetize the site to add paid video or audio ads. I’d be happy to run that part. There are audio only DSP demand side partners that would aggregate advertisers.
Eddie - what do you do for fun? I do improv at endgames at stageworks. They aren’t a nonprofit - they are a for profit improv theater group, and have shows 6 nights a week. I’m auditioning for a herald team.
Forrest - would you like to have any board positions in 2018?
Ian - yes. Treasurer or secretary sound good.
Amanda - What treasurer entails is mostly just issuing receipts.
Mai - normally the treasurer would run quickbooks.
No other questions were raised.
Next Items - Year review
Starting Balance - $6,311.79
Revenue - $25,665.51
Expenses - $18,117.68
Ending Balance - $13,815.32
Current Balance - $19,100.95
Mai- we should mention that Ian did contribute $3,000.00.
Amanda - we made about 14,000 in the end of year fundraiser. She didn’t bring her laptop, but she made a chart. In 2015, we raised $16,000 total in the year. In 2016, we raised $8,000 and in 2017, we raised $18,000.
Ben - is there a reason for the dip?
Amanda - in 2015, we did the kickstarter. In 2016, we did a year end fundraiser because the board died. This year, the board gave significant amounts as well.
Forrest - the long term goals are for Amanda to be paid, salary for station managers in SF is approx. 100k. Also building more studios or buying the building. This is more nebulous.
Amanda - I’d like to have more money in the bank in case of emergencies, pay for our own insurance. For fundraising in 2018, I’d like to revist doing another fundraiser in the spring, but rather than setting a monetary goal, set a number of monthly supporters. Maybe something like 50-100 recurring donations, some of which would be $5, some may be $50. That would allow us to ask for less DJ dues. At some point, we’ll also hit a threshold where we will need more money for royalties. As we grow, the royalties will be a multiplier.
Eddie - that would make listenership numbers more important.
Amanda - it’s dependent on several things, and revenue may be more of a driver. On a related note, I spoke with simple radio today and they have some questions on which analytics are important. They were surprised because we look like a mid tier commercial station, and not a community station. We get approx 550 unique active users a day on their platform. This adds up to 16,000 listener hours per month. We knew that the number was more than zero, we hoped it was more than 100, but this is good to hear. They are trying to differentiate by working closer with smaller stations to monetize. We are going to be working with them to put a pre-roll and then share the profits with us. Tunein already does this but doesn’t revenue share with us. It may be good to do this, and keep our platform ad free. Another area they are interested in was building a website, but ours was just redesigned. We had two people from really impressive organizations help us, and they said that the platform is the hardest. We mentioned creek, and they seemed interested. This may be beneficial for us, as creek would have more resources to assist us. The biggest challenge I see is that we are on all these platforms, like tunein and simpleradio, but every listener they take away reduces our ability to know our users. They are going to try to run a report about us as a gesture of good faith. I mentioned that it is important to have a platform for analytics for us.
Ben - did you just get the number of listeners or other statistics?
Amanda - they only gave us numbers, but she did say they would run a report and see what other sorts of information they can share with us.
Ben - time spent on site is a killer statistic. That would fuel a lot of advertising dollars.
Eddie - Demographics?
Amanda - I’m too worried about that, but know generally 21-34 yo are our prime audience, 60% female, 40% male, fairly affluent.
Noel - Financially, are we looking to hire Amanda first or have DJs not pay dues first?
Amanda - dues would be the first thing. If we generated about $30k per year that would allow us to have the DJs become members.
Mai - we should probably decide as a group, but if we want to raise more money, we may need a development professional, not a station engineer. When I was a development person, I raised 5x my salary, so I could guarantee my position and several others. We can’t guarantee ongoing revenue without someone who can see how that is going.
Amanda - I think that makes sense. The question is how do you set something like that up. Like you wouldn’t work for free until you made your salary.
Mai - When I worked at bike coalition, someone wrote a grant and they were able to hire me, then I wrote a grant and that drove further growth.
Amanda - then the question is how do we locate and apply for that first grant?
Mai - or how much do we need to raise to get someone to write that first grant, like hiring a development person on contract, or contingency.
Amanda - I’d be happy to put money towards that, it’s more of a question of finidng that person.
Noel - would a lawyer be a good addition to the board?
Forrest - it’s a sign of dysfunction that Forrest has all of the positions on the board and am critical to the operation of the station at the same time. One solution is to get more board memebers.
Eddie - on that note - I could help with technical issues.
Amanda - many of the items are pretty simple.
Noel - would it be OK to have more remote board members?
Amanda - it would be preferred to have them physically at the meetings.
Noel - I have some lawyer friends but they are all in Santa Cruz - I have someone in mind in particular.
Mai - it would be nice to have someone occasionally help us, but they may not need ot be on the board.
Amanda - I don’t have the schedule in front of me, but we have a few new studio B DJs starting. We are 12 shows away from a completely full schedule.
Noel - how do we do the full moon show?
Amanda - we talked to the full moon show about that. We have a show that only plays on the night when there’s a full moon. It used to play when there wasn’t another show, but the schedule is filling up. We spoke with them, and they are going to be permanently removed from the schedule, but we will continue to get new episodes, and their show will still exist and get promoted from our front page every time a new episode comes on.
Mai - I’d like someone to help with my show.
Amanda - I talked to Emma Silvers, who is a freelance writer. She’d like to do a show but every week seems like a lot. I’ll put you in touch.
Vote: Ian to join the board. Forrest nominates, Mai seconds, passes by unanimous vote.
Discussion: Internship program
Proposal - discussion shelved, get a lawyer, get more details, get insurance.