Day 24: BBC Scotland
This morning we took the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow to visit Ian Smile at BBC Scotland. When we arrived in Glasgow we shopped around for a while and had some lunch before taking cabs over to the BBC building.
When we arrived, we were greeted with our own name badges (so official) and taken up to a meeting room on the first floor. There we met Mr. Small, and he took us through a brief history of Scotland’s BBC. Over the years the competition for the BBC has changed as the television industry rapidly evolves. In the past, the competition would have been other television channels, but Mr. Smalls brought up the growing presence of convenience watching and now, in his opinion, the biggest competitors are companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Netflix.
Staying up to date is a major focus for the BBC. Mr. Small was telling us about his application process and how he got his job. At the beginning of the interview, he was taken into a room with a computer and the prompt along the lines of “tell us about the future of the broadcasting industry. You have one hour.” The future is as much now as it is 10 years from now. Media consumption tactics are changing every day, and staying ahead of these evolving trends is one of the major keys to success.
Again, in an effort to keep up with the latest and greatest, a few years ago, BBC moved to a new building across the river to make a few improvements to the company. One of their major goals was to increase public access to the building because it is a publicly funded company. In doing so, they have had students visit from over 30 universities across the world. Additionally, in creating the layout of the building, the architects sat down with the different departments to create the most logical flow. The thought processes that went into deciding where each department would sit and who would be located next to each other were very complex, and the carefully thought out positioning definitely pays off. Departments are easily able to share the necessary information to keep things flowing and keep each other informed. No one at the BBC Scotland building has a private office. They all work in common spaces to ensure collaboration and easy access to necessary answers when needed.
Fun Fact: The entire BBC building is suitable for broadcasting purposes. The sound proofing panels on the walls the dark red, sandstone floors combined with the perfect mix of natural light create the perfect conditions in any part of the building.
At the end of the tour, Mr. Small had a bit of advice for us. He told us the most marketable characteristics in the industry right now are imagination and passion. Even with all the best equipment, broadcasting is not successful if the material to entertain an audience isn’t there, and great work can’t be created without a level of passion and enthusiasm behind it.