Until the entry deadline for the
Student Radio Awards 2014 supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global Radio
LSR’s coverage of the 2013 Union Leadership Race was the most ambitious ever undertaken by student media in Leeds, culminating with the results show driven from the Union foyer with a live audience of over 1500 students and staff. Transmitting the tension and excitement at the results of the UK’s biggest ever student union election to listeners who could not make the event, was at the heart of this unmissable broadcast.// Planning began 2 months prior to the event. This provided us with the opportunity to research and interview all 50 candidates vying for the 7 sabbatical positions within the Union. As well as emailing and speaking to the candidates, we established a communication hub through Twitter, enabling contact between all of the candidates (https://twitter.com/LSRLUU2013). Our team of reporters conducted 3-minute interviews with all of the candidates, published through our dedicated webpage to encourage students to take part in the election (http://lsrfm.com/leadership-race2013/).// On the day of the event, the technical setup was a challenge. Not only would we be transmitting on our website, we would be broadcasting to a live audience in the foyer and providing a feed to the union bar. Within the presentation team we had presenters on stage, in the greenroom to interview the winning candidates and incumbent officers, and in the audience to gauge live reaction from the elected officers' friends and support team. To overcome communication issues within the busy environment, we resorted to visual talkback via iPads. Using ‘Google Docs’, we could communicate on an instant internal feed, including live script updates to incorporate interactive social media activity.// Throughout the broadcast, we made the show interactive not only with the live audience in the union, but also with listeners at home through social media. Therefore we appointed a team dedicated to shortlisting tweets and Facebook messages to be read on air. Using the hashtag ‘#LeadLUU’, listeners could let us know their reactions about the results instantly. The audience sent hundreds of tweets every minute, which even crashed the university’s Wi-Fi service at one point. Ultimately ‘#LeadLUU’ became a national Twitter trend.// Breaking all of our previous listenership records, the event ultimately trended 3rd in the UK on Twitter. Through our relentless preparation and dedication to this broadcast, we made democracy and representation exciting with an outstanding event that made students proud to be at Leeds University.