Quarterly GM Report May-August 2019

Quarterly GM Report

May-August 2019

By 

Quincy McCoy

 

August 17, 2019

 

Spring Fund Drive

In May we had our Spring Fundraiser with the theme of The Next 70 Years, continuing the promotion KPFA’s 70th anniversary. It was a long 18-day drive that ended 100k short of the 550k goal but we kept our promise to our listeners and didn’t extend.

 

Summer Fund Drive

During our Summer drive in July we centered the theme around the 50th anniversary of 1969, encouraging hosts to create shows that reflected on the events of that troubled year and echo in society today. During the drive we partnered with Heyday Books to present the teach-in panel about People’s Park. PD Kevin Cartwright curated a fantastic collection of broadcasting material primarily from KPFA of 1969 as well as created an incredible hour long piece about Altamont with author Joel Selvin. We also paused fundraising efforts to do live coverage of the Mueller testimony in addition to pausing again to cover Trump’s live address following the mass shootings. 

 

Despite these efforts, the drive was woefully short by the time we approached our end date. We extended the drive by 4 days and had an incredible response from listeners, ending with 40k over our goal! This is a great sigh of relief and will help to make up the deficient of the Spring Drive.   

 

New Answering Service

We procured a new answering service. The name of the company is A Better Answer (ABA for short). They are an award-winning call service company who is 100% women-owned and operated for the last 50 years located in Dallas, TX. They are a fantastic group of women who are smart and professional. With their service we received NO COMPLAINTS during the Summer Drive.

 

Tech and Database 

Over the past year KPFA has undergone some much needed and requested facility attention. There has been a significant amount of focus in modernizing the facility to support the level of production we serve.

KPFA provides content for over 300 radio stations across the world. We transmit directly on KPFA, KPFB, K248BR, provide 80% of programming for KFCF, as well as host two streaming stations for Pacifica. We produce over 90 shows, a dozen podcasts, and daily news segments.

The major complaint I heard in my first years was about the inability of programmers to come in and get their work done in a timely fashion and have the confidence that our equipment would work, and our data systems wouldn’t fail them. I’m proud to say we’ve finally reached a professional level that we can build on and be proud of. 

For KPFA to support current levels of content creation, operate on its current budget, and remediate technical issues that were blocking personnel workflow and confidence Engineering was tasked with making upgrades and adjustments.

You may have noticed new TV’s, computers, cameras, digital boards, software, membership database development. Each of these technologies have been carefully evaluated for its specific utility, merit, and purpose. 

  • A television was placed in the Lobby to showcase station news and upcoming events, as well as display real time information during fund drives.
  • A television was placed in the Conference Room to replace the aging television. This new TV allows phone and computer screens to be displayed wirelessly – useful during meetings and educational sessions.
  • Aging computers were replaced in order to standardize and equalize editing, performance, and reliability. We are aware there was some growing pains with software and we will continue to refine our selection and monitor industry best practices to best support the station.
  • Headphones have been replaced throughout the studios and workstations.
  • File Servers were upgraded to have a 10x storage capacity increase. Show shares and the Temps drive now take hourly snapshots of all data and retain copies across multiple redundant hard drives and backups on and off site.
  • We have redundant fiber internet to the building as well as plans to bring in even more redundancy and assurance that our network and internet connections are reliable and strong.
  • Time Synced Clocks were added to all studios and control rooms to display accurate time.
  • The KPFB Control Room has had its analog mixing console replaced with a digital mixing console. This was the first step in a larger project to upgrade the entire facility of 4 Control Rooms with funds from an upcoming Capitol Campaign.
  • This transition to digital will open up new assurance on air quality, new revenue options with studio reservations, easier technical operations, and bake in a reliability and confidence. Part of this process will include replacing the furniture, painting the walls, and making acoustic adjustments to Control Rooms and Studios. It will also entail upgrading our current Automation Control Software “DAD” to the latest version.
  • We’re migrating our donor records away from an aging MemSys database to an accountable modern system called Alligence. It’s design to meet the needs of KPFA and our sister stations. 

As managers of the station, we’ve observing workplace dynamics listening to staff members regarding their experiences to develop better responses to communication problems. In order to achieve this, we have come to the conclusion that all professional roles and responsibilities must be defined so all staff know their place in this collaborative work environment.  Soon, we will be instituting a policy update on Roles and Responsibilities for Programming and Operations Department staff.

 

Operations Department Internships

 

The Operations Department interns have been working at KPFA for about a 2 months month and they have learned Digital Audio Single Track and Multi-Track Editing, Studio Engineering, Promo Production and Line Producing for Live Shows.  A few have begun board-opping live shows as well.  All are expected to be certified Technical Producer Fill-Ins upon completion of the program.

 

Training Classes have officially begun this week and classes include:

 

Studio Engineering and Board-Opping 101

Beginning and Intermediate Live Music Engineering

Beginning Radio Documentary

Podcasting 101

Field Recording and Production 101

Beginning Improvisation

Beginning Voice Acting

Digital Audio Multi-Track Editing

Dialogue and Collaboration Skills for Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces Training

 

The goal is to provide Programming and Operations Department Staff the skills to improve their radio production skills and ultimately those skills will manifest themselves in the improvement of KPFA Air.

 

 

KPFA Social Media Strategic Plan 

Social Media platforms with the right strategies, content, and intentions, offer an enormous pool of people with whom KPFA can engage, inform, and interact.  Social media platforms also give us invaluable data about the composition of our audience allowing us to best serve our community. 

 

It is KPFA’s intention to use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to grow our audience, build trust with our audience, and deepen our impact as a progressive media organization. Effective use of Social Media will cement KPFA as a reliable authority on progressive voices, artists, and movements.

 

KPFA’s Current Social Media Breakdown

 

  • Facebook 
    • 18,011 Followers
    • Our organic reach is about 1,000 people per post
    • Our two largest groups of followers are 35-44 year-olds followed by 45-54 year- olds
    • 49% women 47% men
    • Oakland, SF, LA, Berkeley, San Jose, New York are our top cities
  • Twitter 
    • 11,726 Followers
    • 39% Male 61% Female
    • We gain about 1 new follower per day
  • Instagram
    • 1,085 Followers
    • Oakland, SF, Berkeley, San Jose, and LA are our top cities
    • Majority ages 25-44
    • 57% women 43% men

 

KPFA’s New Social Media Infrastructure:

  • February 2019 we hired a dedicated Communications Manager to oversee all social media platforms and develop and implement social media strategy.  
  • With new strategy implementation we have gained 1,279 Followers on Facebook and 285 on Instagram since February

 We have gained about 400 new followers since February.

  • We have developed a relationship with a graphic designer who is contracted for special events such as the 70th Anniversary to increase our visual tools on social media.
  • The Communications Manager is working with individual shows on their own social media accounts to develop specialized relationships with their audience, which feeds the station’s audience as well. More than half of our daily shows have their own accounts.
  • With Technical Producers supporting content on our website we also have an increased amount of branded material available to share via social media bringing increasing traffic to KPFA’s website.  
  • We are encouraging more of our audience to follow us on social media by promoting our platforms in newsletters and on the air. 

KPFA’s Social Media Content Strategy:

  • Branded content that leads directly back to the KPFA website where people can access the breadth of our work and are able to donate to the station
  • Behind the scenes station updates to build trust and keep our audience informed.
  • Re-posting community content to grow our audience and deepen partnerships with allied news outlets, progressive organizations, guests we have on air etc.  
  • Increasing KPFA’s social impact through sharing resources and events.

Social Media Goals:

  • We have goals to increase our followers across all three platforms:
    • Facebook to 18k by the end of the year
    • Twitter to 12k by the end of the year
    • Instagram to 2k by the end of the year
  • Based on the growth we have seen in just the last few months, these goals should be achievable.  Our longer-term goals are based in part on our peer organizations:
    • East Bay Express – 18.8k Followers on FB
    • KALW – 9.7k Followers on FB
    • KPFK – 30.4k Followers on FB
  • In order to achieve these numbers we are concentrating on the following areas:
    • On-air push for our audience to follow us on social media
    • Development of KPFA News web content to post on social including getting News on our website 
    • Organizing and indexing of KPFA-related content including a centralized place for individual show accounts, as well as accounts of all on-air guests 
    • Continued development of partnerships through re-posting, tagging, and cross promotion
    • Increased support for the Communications Department in the form of an intern or volunteers, particularly to increase our visual content (photographs, graphics, video).

KPFA Survey Results

A couple of months ago KPFA conducted a survey with our listeners, asking them to provide verbatim feedback about our programming. In an effort to get a better handle on where, why and how our listeners receive and feel about our content. The survey last two weeks and we received over 11 hundred responses. It’s just a snapshot, a glimpse, no major decisions will be made based on this material, yet there is some food for thought that’s why I’m passing the results along.

Program Director Search

Kevin Cartwright has made the exciting decision to relocate to Denver, Colorado. 

Kevin did a magnificent job as PD.  We will miss his creative spark, collaborative spirit, outrageous sense of humor, and his selflessness.  I’m sure you’ll join me and the rest of our management team in wishing Kevin and his family all the best in their adventures ahead.

 

We’re happy to welcome back Laura Prives as Interim PD. Laura will hold the reins (till the end of the year) while we begin the search for a permanent replacement. Laura begins on Tuesday, August 27th.

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