November instalment of Pride World Media's #ChamberYearintheLife
The last four weeks have been more of whirlwind than usual for the Pride Media Centre and Pride Radio team with a national award under their belt and a successful series of short wedding TV films produced.
‘Highlight of October has definitely been the Community Radio Awards’, said CEO of Pride Word Media, Peter Darrant-Parkes. ‘We have only been in existence 12 months and managed to win the innovation category and were shortlisted for Station of the Year. This achievement is all down to the great team we have here and the fantastic support of everyone in the centre.”
“Our chair of Pride Media Centre, Mark Nicholls, went to the ceremony in Barry, Wales and collected the award on behalf of everyone.”
Laurels and resting are not part of Peter’s thinking so he is already working on how to build on this success. ‘I’m know we have a ‘sound’ business model, excuse the pun, but it is really important we maximise the several income streams we have here, to support the radio station and vice versa.
“One of the ways we have done this is by the One Fine Day programme which enabled eight companies to outline what they offer couples about to get married. I got married recently and while researching the various options, soon became very fed up of being asked the name of my bride. He’s called Michael, in case its good to know.
“Through these short TV films we were able to highlight some great businesses who can help with anything from legal pre-nups to planning the whole wedding itself. No matter what gender the couple is. We’re delighted with the success of it with 5,000 views and growing, plus great engagement from people. Now we’re developing the next series to come out in January and before that we’ve got a Christmas special.”
The business plans going forward are as ambitious as you would expect from a team who renovated a derelict and deserted TV studio almost single-handedly in a matter of weeks.
But before cracking on with the next phase, to create more office-space, Peter has taken stock of what has been achieved and it makes a pretty impressive set of statistics.
He had anticipated three businesses would move into the centre and there are now nine. The plan was also to engage with 300 people at seminars and events in the building and the total is more than twice that at 800.
Taking full advantage of the huge TV studio space was also high on his list of priorities and he hoped for one or two bookings a month. There is currently that number every week.
Peter said: “The TV studio has been a very hard-working asset for us. We’re finding production companies based in the NE had been going to Manchester, for example, to make adverts or films. They are now using us. In the last few days we’ve had the studio styled to be a New York style 1970’s bedroom, which was great fun, a wine tasting programme used us, but unfortunately left no samples and podcasters also recorded here.
“The space works so well as it is a drive-in studio so can handle a substantial set build and it has an infinity screen, where there is no hard edge next to the ground. When we took over the building this screen was brown and so tatty. The paint to create a green screen of the right standard is not cheap, £78 for half a litre but its worth it, for the income it has generated.”
Despite being an eternal optimist Peter does acknowledge he sometimes get frustrated that he can’t make as big strides, at the speed he would like, towards the next development phase. But then he is encouraged to look back by his husband Michael and what has been achieved by everyone in the Pride Media Centre and Pride World Radio and he takes a second to enjoy it all. For a moment.