Capacity building: a case study

About Insight Radio Insight Radio is an exciting new radio station from RNIB. It communicates the needs, interests and aspirations of blind and partially sighted people throughout the UK.The radio station was originally set up to broadcast as an internet radio station for a few hours a week in 2003. It was staffed by three people and broadcast live for about 11 hours a week. However, when the station (then called VIPonair) won an FM community license to broadcast to the Glasgow area it was necessary to re-assess the station’s goals for the future. Rebranding and expanding New management with considerable radio industry experience was employed and after some debate the decision was taken to re-brand the existing service. This was, in many respects, a difficult decision to make as it required the closure of VIPonair, the re-training of staff and the generation of a new identity backed by new marketing materials. However, in order to exploit all the opportunities that a radio station could provide a blind and partially sighted audience it was felt this was the only way forward. The goal was to create a station to give blind and partially sighted people information, to discuss shared issues and experiences as well as cover the usual topical news and entertainment.  Further growth Two years on and the investment of time and money into re-branding the station has been extremely worthwhile. The station has gone from strength to strength reaching larger and larger audiences. The radio station is now a far stronger service for RNIB’s target community and offers an innovative and informed service tailored to the needs of the blind and partially sighted listener. The station’s presenters are all either blind or partially sighted ensuring you’ll hear informed, intelligent and in touch broadcasting ranging from newspaper and magazine reviews through in depth feature interviews to lifestyle programmes. Insight Radio now broadcasts 24-hours a day, seven days a week and has won a prestigious Sony Award. The radio station also has launched on further listening platforms including, Sky and Freesat and is expanding throughout the UK by developing six satellite studios in Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Newcastle, Manchester and Belfast to provide local training opportunities for blind and partially sighted people of all ages. We are currently a team of 13 staff and 20 volunteers and broadcast to a wide audience throughout the UK. What we learnt Expanding and re-branding was a difficult process to go through but it has been worth it. It took two years but we are now bigger, stronger and reach more people. Fifty percent of the staff are blind and partially sighted and the radio station provides a great training ground to learn core employability skills. If you are considering re-branding your service our advice would be to ensure that you have the key expertise in place to ensure the smooth transition and development of your service. Having the correct personnel in place has enabled us to pinpoint the necessary goals needed to sharpen our operation and streamline our development financially. Tune in You can tune in to Insight Radio online, on Sky Channel 0188, Freesat 777 and in Glasgow on 101FM. Have your say Do you have a story to tell about the expansion or change of direction of your organisation? Write a case study to share your experience.

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