Flirt FM to do strategic review

June 23rd, 2005 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

Flirt FM, the Galway student radio station where I got my first radio experience, has launched a call for tenders to run a strategic review of the station and help develop a five-year plan for the station. I include the call below.

College Campus Radio Ltd., trading as Flirt FM, is seeking proposals from suitably qualified individuals and organisations to carry out a strategic review of the station and its operations, and to develop a strategic plan for the next five years.

Aims and Objectives of Strategic Review:

  • To examine the structure of the company and establish whether it adequately meets the needs of the station and consequently those of the student body.
  • To assess what students desire/require from a student station. Does Flirt FM meet this, particularly within its remit as a community of interest radio station?
  • Establish whether Flirt FM provides adequate and suitable access for all members of the student community in Galway.
  • To assess the quality and appropriateness of station programming, particularity in the context of a voluntary organisation.
  • Identify what impact the station has had on the student body and assess what proportion of them listens.
  • Examine how the financial, physical, human, and other resources can be best used for the betterment of the station and consequently the wider student body.
  • From the above findings; formulate a five year strategic plan for the station.

The origins of Flirt FM can be traced back to the early 1990s. When the IRTC sought applications to operate a community of interest station as part of its pilot project in community radio, Andrew Ó Baoill of he Radio Society approached the Director of the Language Laboratory in UCG (now NUI, Galway), who had previously signed the license contracts for Rag Week stations on behalf of UCG. Andrew was directed to Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Vice-President for Development and External Affairs, who acquired college support, and the support of Gay Corr, Director of Galway RTC (now GMIT). An application to the IRTC was prepared, which, following a public hearing in October 1994, was ultimately successful in gaining a community of interest radio license.

The shareholding of the company is split 2:1 between NUI, Galway and GMIT. The company employs a full-time Station Manager and a part-time Assistant. Almost 100 volunteers partake in the production and presentation of radio programmes. The Station Manager reports to the Board of Directors and also sits on the Executive Committee (a newly formed Board of Management). The membership of the Board of Directors reflects the shareholding, and also includes a representative each from NUI, Galway and GMIT Students’ Unions.

The primary audience of Flirt FM is the students of Galway City and, in particular, the students of NUI, Galway and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. It aims to provide a service that is generally not already available from other operators. Genres of music aired by the station include indie, metal, punk, rock, classical, ambient, traditional, world, and a variety of dance music. Speech programmes primarily cover topics relevant to students, but not exclusively so. Programmes dealing with national and global issues are also produced. The station aims to foster a culture of independent thought and action amongst students.

A further key role of the station is the provision of training and development to the student body, in particular its volunteers. This is currently provided via a mixture of practical classes and theory based classes. Initial sessions cover media law, studio operations and programme planning. Further sessions during the year provide training in interview skills, digital editing, journalism, drama production and DJing amongst other topics. Major training drives occur at the beginning of each academic year, with further sessions as the year progresses.

A conscious effort is made to cover a diversity of culture and also to foster local culture, in particular the Irish language. Galway is situated beside the Gaeltacht, and has many links with the Irish language. There is a positive attitude towards the language amongst students and the station aims to encourage this. This is done by providing several programmes either bilingually or completely through the medium of Irish.

Management & Coordination
The research project will be managed by the Board of Directors. The Board may not accept the lowest of any quote as the successful tender.

The completed evaluation will be submitted by January 1st 2006.

Deadline for receipt of submissions
Proposals may be submitted no later than Monday 4th of July at 5pm. They may be submitted in hard copy or electronically to address detailed below.

For further information contact Sean Mac Iomhair, Chairperson, Flirt FM, An Teanglann, National University of Ireland, Galway. Tel: 091 492 228 or email.

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