Swinton Group hits the air waves with Key 103

14th September 2017

As part of our continued 60th anniversary celebrations we teamed up with Key 103, Manchester’s leading commercial radio station, to hold a Swinton FM radio day at the station.

We launched an internal competition for 28 colleagues from across the UK to win a place on the radio team, to present and produce a Swinton-themed radio show. Colleagues had to enter by sending in a catchy radio strapline that encapsulated Swinton FM.

This was a fabulous experience for staff to gain real life experience of how a radio station works, how programmes are put together and work within a professional studio with leading news editors and presenters.

On the day staff arrived at the station and met Paul Lockitt, a training coach and award-winning broadcaster, who has more than 26 years’ experience in presenting and broadcast journalism at Key 103, Sky TV and Granada TV.

They were then split into teams, with each group responsible for a different element of the show – presenting, news reporting, sports and commercials. They then had to work on content, with the help of Paul and his Key 103 colleagues, and then record one hour of Swinton FM.

Paul Lockitt, Key 103, said:  “I was genuinely astonished by the enthusiasm on display from all of the Swinton FM participants. The energy and passion everyone brought to their new roles in radio: presenting, creating jingles, news and commercials, was incredible. I felt honoured to work with them and humbled by their talent!”

Fun and unique experience

Kathy Harper, Senior Account Manager at Key 103, said: “Not only was this a really fun and unique experience for the Swinton team, they also got the opportunity to learn from a professional in the broadcasting industry and develop  their confidence and presentation skills.”

Matthew Cleeves, Customer Service Manager in Weston-super-Mare, said: “It was great to meet colleagues from other areas of the business and work together to come up with ideas to create a show.”

Sue Stokes , Customer Service Associate, Retail Network, said: “It was a really fun day, I enjoyed the teamwork. As news editor it was a challenge but very rewarding as I had to integrate each section and make sure it all flowed correctly.

“The feedback I received from Paul on the day was certainly a confidence booster. This was really beneficial for work as I think customers can hear the assuredness and positivity in your voice and it instills a confidence in the products you’re selling.”

Tammy-J Waddon, Customer Service Associate in Caerphilly, said: “It was a really fun day and a cool experience to see first-hand all the work that goes into producing a radio show. I really enjoyed going into the studio and working with the editing software and learning tricks to create a smooth transition from one segment to the next.”

Swinton FM is part of ’60 days of Swinton’, a programme of celebratory events taking place in August and September to commemorate the company’s 60 year history and involving colleagues.

The campaign has included taking part in Manchester Pride, creating a range of films which explain the significance of Pride and celebrate new starters and long standing staff, a Great Swinton Bake-off, launching Swinton Diamonds, a campaign looking for community heroes in 10 regions across the country (£10,000 has been donated to 10 charities)  and a week of charity volunteering as part of  'Colleagues in the Community’.

The campaign had been publicised internally and externally across the press, on radio, on social media channels and on the internal intranet.

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