A Week In The Life Of… Meg Butler

As the PBS Marketing and Events Manager, Meg Butler usually has her hands full organising, promoting and overseeing all the events and membership runs throughout the year at 106.7 FM. However, on top of a heavy workload and schedule she manages to support her family as a full time mother and is absolutely killing it! She’s one of many Music Mum’s thriving in the industry and it’s a genuine pleasure to receive such a transparent glimpse into her weekly life!

An influential worker behind the scenes in both the creative and entertainment industries, Butler has undertaken a number of roles such as technical producer/operator of radio broadcasts, sound engineer and PA system setup for live sound and writer/publisher of print content for news outlets. SBS, ABC and 3CR are just a small handful of organisations that Meg has given her blood, sweat and tears too throughout her career. Her longtime service in the industry was rewarded in 2018 as she was invited on the panel of judges hosting The Age Music Victoria Awards – just wow!

Meg is an inspiring music industry professional and has written a perfect response to match! Check out her ‘Week in the Life‘ below!

A job description in your own words:

My job covers a variety of areas at PBS. I lead a small team, and together we look after all the PBS events, like Soul A Go Go, Rock A Bye Baby, Record Fair, Young Elder Of Jazz, Drive Live, IWD Live! plus many more throughout the year. We also manage all PBS memberships, and run the three major membership drives every year – Radio Festival, Spring Clean Your Conscience, and Performer Drive. I also build partnerships with other organisations, and seek funding for special projects through grants.

I’ve just finished rolling out our new website that I’ve been project managing for the last year or so, and I’m in the middle of working on our 40th Anniversary Book – due out in November. On top of this we create content for our website, all the PBS socials, EDMs, and our member magazine – Easey Mag.

Outside of paid work, I play in a band called Ninetynine, I’m on the Development & Operations Grants Advisory Committee (DOGAC) for the Community Broadcasting Foundation, I co-run a weekly knitting night at The Carringbush Hotel, and have two young children.

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Monday:

I ride my bike into work – today is a long day. I’ve stacked my hours to work around children’s drop offs and pick-ups. Check emails, check the website, have a look over the socials. I have a think about the week ahead, what my team is doing and what I need to do to help get us through!

I have a chat to Sarah Blaby, Sponsorship Manager, about some upcoming partnerships and on air campaigns. I read over our weekly EDM, and cast an eye over an exciting press release that is due to go out later in the week. The press release is great – Aleisha Hall, Marketing & Events Coordinator, is all over it.

I finalise an event line-up and shoot off a worksheet to the venue in the hope that they’ll send one back quickly, I’ve got bands asking for load in times.

At six I leave PBS and ride straight to The Carringbush to my knitting night. I’ve just finished making beanies for my kids, now I’m making a scarf for me. We chat about art, shift work and cabling.

Tuesday:

Staff meeting! We discuss the upcoming Radio Festival. My team is in charge of all the artwork and publicity for the Radio Festival, they are doing an amazing job. This is my third Radio Festival, and each year we’ve had membership growth, improved messaging and greater community engagement. It’s a special time of year when listeners, announcers, volunteers and staff all go above and beyond to ensure the station stays on air for another year.

The Radio Festival t-shirts arrive in the middle of the meeting; they look good!

The venue sends me back their worksheet with the wrong bands in it. I ask for a revision.

In the afternoon I prepare for tonight’s station meeting. I’m doing a presentation about our new website to our announcers. I get nervous public speaking, and the information I have for announcers is complicated, so I hope it all goes okay. I fear my power point slides lack design flare.

At five, I pick up my daughter from childcare, go home, and help make dinner, then head out to the station meeting at 6:30pm. The station meeting goes well, my team talks social media strategy and presents the new t-shirt design for Radio Festival. I talk about the website. The 40th Anniversary Book team talk about the book. I stay after the meeting finishes to answer questions announcers have about the website. I’m home by 9pm.

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Wednesday:

Wednesday is a short work day, so I have to really concentrate to get through it all. We announce Regurgitator doing their Pogogo Show for Rock A Bye Baby during Leaps and Bounds Festival. There is great feedback online from punters and from Leaps and Bounds Festival. We are excited about the show, it’s Rock A Bye Baby’s 10th year, so Regurgitator will be bringing the party!

When Soul Time starts (3pm), I drive home, drop off the car and walk to pick up my son from school. When we get home I cook dinner, make the next day’s lunches and try to convince my son to practice piano, and secretly check my work emails. At Afterglow time (5pm) we drive to pick up my daughter from childcare, we come home, have dinner, I bath the children, read stories, sing Puff the Magic Dragon and Purple People Eater, and put the kids into bed. I clean the kitchen, then I start reading through meeting papers for DOGAC. My partner comes home from work at 9pm and convinces me to watch The Avengers. I fall asleep.

Thursday:

I ride with my son to his school, then on to work. I have a quick meeting with a team member about some opportunities for professional development, and chat to Owen McKern, Program Manager, about what’s happening on air and anything programming related that might impact my department.

Tiny Ruins are playing a Studio 5 Live at 1:30pm, so I watch and listen to them while I eat my lunch at my desk.

It is Soul A Go Go this weekend, I make sure everything is ready; posters, guest list, running sheet, socials etc.

The venue sends the revised worksheet, this time the line-up is right. I forward it to the performers and ask for their tech specs.

When I get home it’s the children’s dinner, bath, bedtime routine again. I attempt the DOGAC meeting papers again.

Friday:

I ride with my son to school again, he’s doing a presentation at assembly so I hang around and watch for as long as I can, then I ride as fast as I can to work.

I’ve got a meeting with the book team and we discuss layout, launch plans and funding. Still need some more funding for the book if we can get it.

I try to get everything ready for the announce next week of our annual Record Fair. Even though the Record Fair is in October, I’ve already got last year’s stall holders asking to book. They’re a keen bunch.

Elle Young, Membership Coordinator, and I develop a work schedule for Radio Festival. It’s such a busy time that we need extra staff to process all the memberships. We also have an amazing bunch of volunteers that come in to help send off membership packs.

And then it’s Friday afternoon!I finish off those last bits and pieces before the weekend. My family and I go to the pub for dinner.

If you’ve enjoyed Meg’s insights our article on 6 Genuine Tips to Network Like A Professional is a great next step if you’re considering entering the music industry!

Challenges and accomplishments of the week:

Programming events and membership drives, rolling out station announcements and having effective communication with our announcers, listeners, members and other stakeholders is always the main focus of our department. In the lead up to Radio Festival pressure is always on to get the messaging right!

Highlights of the week:

Working at a music community radio station has a lot of positives. The shows, listeners, announcers, musicians, volunteers and the staff. And especially my team; I’m so lucky to have such competent and enthusiastic staff.

Lowlights of the week:

While PBS has come a long way over the past 39 years, we are still a community organisation and finances are tight. We can’t afford big marketing budgets, so we have to be inventive about the way we raise money to keep the station going. But come to think of it, this is also a benefit – it keeps the job interesting.

Want to learn more about industry issues? You can listen to the experts give their two cents in our Contemporary Industry Issues course.

Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field:

Having an understanding of what community radio is all about is really important. Community radio is an amazing resource that we are all really lucky to have. It’s a medium for sharing information with each other without commercial interests getting in the way. It’s for community, by community. All the community radio stations in Melbourne play an incredibly important role in informing, educating and entertaining us. PBS is Melbourne’s specialist music station, so loving music is important. So I’d recommend getting familiar with community radio. And being good at working with others. And spreadsheets.

This years PBS Radio Festival runs from May 13 to May 26, if you’d be keen on supporting the station you can join as a member. Call (03) 8415 1067 or head to the PBS website www.pbsfm.org.au/signup to sign up!

If you enjoyed reading Meg’s delightful response you can check out our other ‘Week in the Life’ features here.

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