The Creativity training that we've been running recently has been mentioned in the Media Guardian - Finger on the buzzer: When Radio 1 asked the questions, its head of programmes came up with some impressive answers. Now he's a step away from the ultimate prize, by John Plunkett - Monday April 16 2007.
The Head of Programmes for Radio 1, Ben Cooper, described the training in a recent internal review as: "the most successful sort of training we've ever organised, we've never had such an overwhelmingly positive response to a set of training from the participants. It has created a demand for the training within the building with Producers and now APs asking to go on it. We feel this is something we should be running regularly to drive the creative life of the network".
The article in the Guardian described it as follows: "Cooper has also overseen the station's biggest piece of research for years, sending his producers beyond the M25 to hear what young people and opinion formers think about the station.
"In the past, Radio 1 has been, 'here we are, come and knock on our door if you think you're good enough'. We have got rid of that arrogance, we are much more interested in listening to people with ideas. If you just stay in London, you would soon become irrelevant."
So what did they like? Listeners still love their "trusted guides", DJs such as Pete Tong, Steve Lamacq and Tim Westwood. "We have got our entertainers - Moyles, Mills - but the idea that we broadcast new music, champion British music, is still very relevant."
And what didn't they like? A big pause. "Nothing strikes me as being hideously wrong; one thing that we have to do is strike the balance. In the dance scene, for example, getting the superstars like the [Paul] Oakenfolds and Carl Coxes on air, but also the local heroes who do the local residences week in, week out."
Basically, radio producers were given the research techniques and tools to go out and meet the audience. They brought back insights and used them to shape live projects.