RCS products are used not only by commercial broadcasters, but by stations at educational institutions as well. In New Zealand, that includes public schools, polytechnic institutions, universities of technology and the University of Auckland. Some stations are funded by the schools, while others are commercial operations. Many are LPFM (Low Power FM) operations. Vocational schools often use stations for training, while others are an extracurricular activity.
RCS New Zealand lends a helping hand to educational stations whenever possible. Simon Tims, Support Manager for RCS (NZ) Ltd notes, “We give them the best service and support, and also share with them our love for the industry.” He adds that members of the RCS NZ team also attend career nights at schools to talk about radio and employment opportunities in broadcasting.
“This is also a valuable experience for us,” says Tims. “Students arrive on the scene with different ideas about radio and how it should work. We see a generation that integrates radio with social media. They have in effect been broadcasting via Facebook and Instagram with no investment of cash.”
In one instance, Tims recalls, “We were asked by a school that was starting an LPFM for suggestions, they had never done anything like this before. We helped them to get organized, file the necessary paperwork and generally shared our enthusiasm and passion for the business. After they launched their LPFM, they were using our products and employing the core information we gave them. By using our latest software, they have the best opportunities for learning, as well as launching a career in radio.”
Another assist was given by RCS to a Maori radio station that needed to add a new site. The Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, and they consist of many separate “Iwi” – or tribes. The majority of them are a part of the 20-plus station “Iwi Radio Network.” They are partially funded by the government, and part self-funded through advertising. Government funding depends to a large degree on a station’s use and promotion use of spoken-word Maori, which is an endangered language. About half of these stations use RCS software.
As Tims explains, “The station had developed a partnership with a local school to provide content, and asked us to help get them set up. We agreed to duplicate some of their material and provide it to the school on a hard drive. The station used the computer at the school as remote access, and it made the school part of the process of gathering and sharing content.”