With many young people choosing to stream rather than tune into radio, RMIT public relations students have helped Australia’s only LGBTIQ radio station spread a message of diversity and inclusion.
JOY 949FM is a community radio station for Melbourne’s LGBTIQ community broadcasting talk, news, current affairs, arts and cultural programs.
Recognising the need for the organisation to reach new audiences and attract new on air voices JOY approached students from the Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) to develop a communication campaign targeting young people and people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The real world client project was part of the Public Relations Campaigns, a course in which final year students work with not for profit clients responding to real world communication problems.
Working in teams, students plan, develop and implement a communication campaign to build their project and client management skills preparing for the transition to the workforce.
JOY had funding to train nine people how to produce, present and podcast their own radio show and wanted to use the training program as an opportunity to attract young people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to ensure the station reflected the diversity of the community that it represents.
Student Toby Heiniger said that being able to work with genuine organisations, to create, pitch, and implement a real life campaign allows students to get a taste for the workforce.
“Each student helped created such diverse campaigns and each played a unique role in putting together a mammoth task for each client," Heiniger said.
Lecturer, Justin Rogers said working with clients is an essential part of what a communications professional does and working for a real world client is incredibly valuable in helping our final year students develop their client management and project management skills.
“This project also provided students insights into the link between communication and organisational strategy as well as important societal issues such as diversity and inclusion.”
“Increasingly, organisations are developing diversity and inclusion policies and this project has exposed students to communities and issues they may not have previously encountered helping build both hard and soft skills essential for the success in industry,” Rogers said.
The students developed a campaign called “Youth Aloud” targeting young people and people from CALD backgrounds.
The campaign involved reaching out to young people through the safe schools coalition and existing multicultural youth groups, a media strategy using both traditional and digital media and a series of videos featuring ambassadors from LGBTIQ community.
The videos were subtitled into eight different languages including Mandarin, Vietnamese, Arabic and Greek featuring LGBTIQ ambassadors discussing their personal passions and calling for submissions for the radio training program.
Students recruited Jason Ball, LGBTIQ and mental health advocate who in 2012 became the first male Aussie Rules footballer at any level of the game to publicly come out as one of the ambassadors for the Youth Aloud campaign.
JOY has been rolling out the campaign through the month of October contacting schools and using the videos produced by RMIT students on its social media channels.
Students who worked on the Youth Aloud campaign include: Nick Papatheodorou, Lara Chase, Maggie Chen, Jessica Bird, Stephanie Garner, Toby Heiniger, Natasha Tirtadjaya, Matilda Bengtzen, Nicole Manton, Dominique Gattermayr, Tim Nelson, Olivia Cochrane, Astrid Koutoulas and Nadia Azlan.
Story: Justin Rogers