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Radio Traffic Manager - Job Profile

About the role

This job is not to be confused with traffic and travel. The traffic manager’s role is dealing with adverts, promos and trails for the radio station. The job entails loading the items onto the stations play out system in the right format and the right slots in order to ensure effectiveness, maximise revenue and then generate reports for various departments. This role is only found in commercial radio, the BBC use local staff to organise the scheduling of local trails and promotions.

The traffic manager will generate reports and information for the sales department, accounts and billing as well as programming and ad logs for presenters. Working with external companies on a daily basis the traffic manager will liaise with production companies and bodies such as PRS and RACC.

Radio Traffic Managers work closely with colleagues in sales and marketing, sponsorship, promotions, events, publicity and programming. They ensure that bookings and slot availability is communicated to the sales team and ads are delivered to listeners to the clients / agencies satisfaction.

What is the Job?

The traffic Department is responsible for processing the sales orders and arranging the daily production of the advert play out schedules. Traffic managers need to have attention to detail and the ability to assess and prioritize all the incoming information, telephone calls and requests in order to meet broadcasting deadlines. The traffic manager will usually manage a team who’s sole job is to accurately schedule the ads and generate data analysing the effectiveness of campaigns for the sales team and clients

During busy periods the constant adding and changing of orders makes for a dynamic fast paced environment. Of course the department has all the normal administrative functions common to any office to full fill such as reporting and filing.

Audio due for broadcast can come from a range of sources such as internally or from external production companies. The traffic manager is responsible for checking this content meets quality standards, complies with legal and station requirements and that it is correctly reported within the terms of the stations music license. A juggling act is required to balance the needs of the advertising clients and the programming department which ultimately will satisfy the listening audience.

Typical career routes

There is not a set entry requirement for this role although some traffic managers have started out as traffic assistants, learning the role before being promoted to the traffic manager position. Some traffic managers have moved across from scheduling in TV or advertising agencies.

Skills acquired through working in community radio, hospital radio or student radio can also be an advantage when seeking this career path.

Career progression for Traffic Managers will usually involve moving to a larger station or managing a group of traffic managers. Another option would be to gain a more senior position at a national station or moving to television or large ad agencies.

Essential knowledge and skills

Radio Traffic Managers need the following:

Strong computing skills and ability to learn new software quickly
Ability to coach, motivate and lead a team of traffic assistants
Excellent admin and organisational skills with particular attention for detail
Knowledge of Microsoft, Outlook, Excel and Word
Through knowledge of legislation, the law and broadcasting codes related to radio production
Strong communications and presentation skills
Ability to analyse and prioritise effectively to aid scheduling
Be able to communicate with colleagues from different levels of the business
Be able to react quickly to fast changing situations and be able to cope under pressure
Be able to work to strict and challenging deadlines
Be able to work independently and also as part of a team
A sound knowledge of the radio market and the stations demographic audience

Training & qualifications

Most traffic managers don’t need a formal qualification and many have worked their way up through the ranks from traffic assistants. Some employers will only require attention to detail, good admin skills and have ability to use office based software. Most of the tools for the job are specific software for the radio industry and in house training will be provided.

Once in the post traffic managers are expected to develop their skills and most employers will offer in house training or provide release to attend courses with outside providers. New technologies are being developed all the time and it is the traffic manager’s responsibility to keep themselves and their staff up to date with any new IT installed.

What can I expect to get paid?

Depending on which radio group you are working for the salary can range anywhere from £24,000 to £50,000

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