SHE might make it look easy, but JayDee Lok – that bright new spark you hear on Red FM every afternoon – says getting into the radio industry is quite a challenge.
“It’s true especially if you don’t know where to start,” said the 24-year-old. “But if you do your research, make the right connections, practice your diction and have a great personality, you will go far.”
Lok was a really early bloomer in the radio industry. She became a radio announcer after winning a deejay search contest in 2010, but took a break in 2012 to complete her studies.
Now, Lok is back on air with Red FM, on the Red 101 show.
Despite being away from the industry for over two years, she was still working in the media line, writing for R.AGE and hosting events; so it didn’t even feel like she had left the scene at all.
The first thing she noticed since getting back in the game? The importance of constantly and consistently updating social media accounts.
“Being a radio announcer isn’t just about being funny and likeable on-air anymore,” she said.
“It’s how you manage your brand, how you groom yourself and your public image because there are so much more people on social media these days compared to 2012.”
While she admits an education in mass communication will give you an advantage in the industry, the business and commerce graduate believes having a background in another field can give you more depth and perspective as an announcer.
And there’s no one specific way to get into the industry. As Lok points out, JJ Fernandez from The Red Breakfast WTF show started out being part of the on-ground team, while she simply got in through a contest.
“It’s about being at the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. You can email the radio station to ask if they have any vacancies, or just approach the on-ground team,” she said.
Lok went on to debunk concerns that radio doesn’t provide a sustainable career, explaining that it depends on every individual’s work ethic, passion and what they make of their time working in the industry.
She added that while some people use it as a stepping-stone to get into managerial positions, others use their connections to start their own businesses.
“So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get through an audition – there are always more. Just make sure you’re always on your best behaviour and be humble because people will remember you for your manners and personality,” she said. “The world can be your oyster if you’re willing to work for it.”
Tune into JayDee’s show, Red 101, every weekday from noon to 4pm on Red FM (104.9 in the Klang Valley, or online at red.fm).