Marketing the news

Virginia BealOctober 2007

British Broadcasting Corporation marketing managers, executive producers and programming directors are turning to Virginia Beal, the BBC's Future Media and Digital Research Manager, for insights into marketing their new high definition channel and free satellite television.

"I am working primarily with two teams, the BBC High Definition channel team and Freesat, a satellite television service, which is a joint venture between BBC, ITV and C4," Beal said.

Following good advice from a career psychologist, Beal undertook a Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) and Bachelor of Management (Marketing) at UniSA, graduating at the top of her class in 2001.

"I became very much attracted to the marketing and media industry because of its practical focus," she said.

Beal was offered a scholarship to undertake a Master of Business (Research) at theEhrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at UniSA and the Ehrenberg Centre at London South Bank University.

"My master thesis looked at patterns in television viewing behaviour in the United Kingdom and the United States of America," Beal said.

Naming Ehrenberg-Bass Institute Director, Professor Byron Sharp as her principal mentor, Beal said networks she made at the Institute led to key work opportunities.

"Being part of the Institute's collaboration with London South Bank University was an incredible opportunity. I was given the chance to live in London for nine months, which helped me to create networks here in the UK. Their leading-edge research and international focus also gave my media career an edge," Beal said.

"My career in commercial media began with strategic planning at News International on The Sun and News of the World newspapers, then later Time Inc's Time and Fortune magazines."

In 2005 Beal became research department manager of Network Ten Australia where she developed and implemented research strategies that influenced audience communication.

"The highlight of my time there was presenting at the World Media Measurement Conference in Dublin with my colleague, Brian Rock. I always wanted to attend the conference, and to be a presenter was really rewarding," Beal said.

Beal began her stint as BBC's Future Media and Digital Research Manager in May.
"We are at the stage of developing and testing the marketing propositions that will form the basis of the marketing campaigns for the services," Beal said.

"I have always wanted to work here as it is an internationally recognised brand and their team undertakes advanced work. And being on a contract, I get to come home to Adelaide for a break over the summer!"

Virginia Beal completed the Bachelor of Management (Marketing) degree with the School of Marketing in 2001. Since then she has returned to the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute as a Senior Research Associate and undergraduate tutor at the School of Marketing.

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