Bournemouth University graduate and current Head of Programmes for BBC Radio 1 Rhys Hughes visited BU to give a guest lecture to students from the Faculty of Media and Communication.
Having graduated from BU 28 years ago, Rhys was on hand to offer advice to students and share his industry experience.
As the Head of Programmes for BBC Radio1 and 1Xtra since 2011, Hughes is celebrating 20 years at the organisation this year.
During his lecture, Rhys gave an informed and passionate insight into life at the BBC, covering a wide range of topics from across the spectrum of media, music, branding and representation. In particular, Rhys gave fascinating insights into the strategy that the BBC uses to survive and flourish in today’s media-laden world.
The most recent Radio1 strapline – “Listen, watch, share” – guides the organisation, with “the listen part very much pulling the carriage”. There has been, however, a huge focus on visualisation and harnessing the power of social media sharing in recent times.
Armed with videos and illustrations of how Radio1 is evolving, Rhys gave examples of things that had worked well for the station, highlighting Innuendo Bingo and Live Lounge as recent examples.
Rhys said that: “distinctiveness in a crowded marketplace” is what the organisation strived for, while highlighting how rival media firms faced unprecedented, global competition in today’s mediatised world. “Our rivals today are truly global,” Rhys said, revealing a “weird kind of pride that they had when Apple pinched Zane Lowe” last week when the presenter left to work for Beats Music in the USA.
“I told Zane that it did feel like I was being dumped by a girlfriend,” he said, before predicting that “the next big Jay-Z album will likely have an interview with Zane Lowe, filmed in California, exclusive to Beats for 30 days”.
Taking questions from the audience, Rhys spoke about how the BBC was making a “conscious effort” to be a diverse organisation, highlighting the success of people like Sarah Cox and Annie Mac, whom he said was “the biggest female dance DJ in the world”.
Hughes also offered guidance to the students, citing how “storytelling, a passion for music and tenacity” were absolutely key for people to succeed in modern media firms.