Radiodays Europe Women #RDE19

Grace Lech attends the Women in Media session at Radiodays Europe.

It was an interesting insight into many women who divulged their inner-most media lives and how they were inspired by radio stalwarts during their growing and listening years.

With the advent of social media influencing some of their decisions, there was clear evidence of an age gap and how they coped with differences in appeal.

Many ladies spoke about the important people who had inspired and mentored them over the years and in particular, through the workplace. A point taken in hindsight: “make sure you feel uncomfortable with every job you take!”

Kremlin Trolls speaker Jessikka Aro found she was inspired by the Russian attack on Finland in 1932 and how her family was traumitised by what had happened. So in 2014, she wanted to know how the Kremlin Troll factory worked and employed workers to push out propaganda – and be paid for it. After some investigation and having interviewed some workers she asked how they felt making fake news stories. Jessika’s stories and reports about this has been quoted since 2016 and translated in 55 countries since.

Valerie Geller was an inspiration in herself on the day, she made it clear that a job where there’s a lot to be done doesn’t interest her anymore, she decided that radio was where her heart felt the most comfortable, “it’s your friend when you are alone and a voice is always around.”

Valerie’s message resonated with those who work in radio or wanting to, “tell the truth, make it matter and make it entertaining.”  She went on to say women do assist each other; it’s generous to help one another and give praise to your competitor. 

Podcasters were given an overview about why storytelling is so important in that they must be interesting and fascinating to the listener – the same as radio. There are no barriers to entry to make a podcast, it’s easy, but not everyone is excited to listen to them. Podcasts are personal and really get into their head, basically they are radio ‘on demand’ and that’s the best way to think of it. One more tip from Valerie about podcasts, “make sure you use the word “we”, such as I’m Valerie and we are listening to…”

Some issues were discussed. First problem? How do you aggregate what you want to listen to. Apple, Google and Spotify need to come together and agree in having podcasts in one central place.

Secondly, varifiable measure. How do you find the right podcast to listen to by way of popularity?

Apparently, in California there’s a new  way of invitiing people to engage, “would you like to be on my podcast” has now become the new “let’s go for coffee” and connect.

And when it comes to moving forward, Valerie assures us the only person who likes change is a wet baby! Change is the right way forward and it’s good to go out of your comfort zone. Just like exercise – it hurts but it feels better a few days later. Fighting fear … have the opportunity to fight it and change. 

There were many ideas of what inspired women. Some good tips from the discussions were:

“Those coming up behind you in the food chain are just as important to listen to.”

“Just remember, no  doesn’t mean no, not right now, don’t take it as a final answer.”

“Don’t override your instinct with logic!”

Finally, wise words of wisdom from Valerie Geller about making great radio: 

– Entertain
– Inform
– Inspire
– Persuade
– Connect

I’m looking forward to listening in again to Valerie, one of the most inspirational speakers here at Radiodays Europe 2019, in another session this week.

Reporting: Grace Lech



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