How Louise Reeves got ahead

What is the next big brand in your view? The outdoor furniture company that is going to clean up when smoking is banned in pubs. Perhaps by creating outdoor smoking meccas?

Name: Louise Reeves
Company: Virgin Radio
Job title: Head of sponsorship

What made you want to get into brands/advertising/media/marketing? I’ve been obsessed with advertising from a very young age (I thought I had created the greatest poster campaign for the lager SKOL when I was 7 – maybe it would be a prominent brand today if I had put it forward) so it grew from there.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)? I went into the industry straight after finishing school and then headed off in a completely different direction (working at a landfill site!) for a while, before coming back to stay. I got my first job at Jeff Wayne Music (the division that selected music for adverts) doing work experience when I was 16 and stayed on for all my college holidays. It was a great grounding; I believe that gaining real work experience in the field you want to go into is essential.

What was good and bad about your first job? The responsibility I was given straight away was great. I love the fact that opinions are valid and welcome from anyone be it a work experience intern or the MD. Bad – it was a very small office with no air conditioning and we all smoked. It was quite foul!

List your jobs to date:
Waitress
Holiday assistant – Jeff Wayne Music
Landfill site administrator
Credit controller
Sales and marketing executive in Wine Accessories
Sales assistant – Ginger Online
Senior sales – Virgin Radio
New Media Head of sponsorship – Virgin Radio

What were the best and worst, and why? The best would have to be my current role. I obviously love this company as I’ve been here for 7 years but it is the best place to work if you love getting your teeth into things, working and playing within a close team. The worst would have to have been the waitress at a Pizza restaurant. It was owned by a man who was very nice, but not very business savvy. I really enjoyed most of the job, but the manageress was ripping the owner off and he refused to believe it. She took so much that he had to close down.

Who has been your biggest inspiration? My sister – she has one of the best work ethics, totally avoids office politics, doesn’t rise to back-stabbing and is totally committed to whatever she is doing. She’s now a great mum and seems to land on her feet with opportunities. She currently combines the hectic schedule of looking after my two nieces with teaching singing, designing jewellery and singing in a band – nice! I only say all this because I know she won’t read it. I wouldn’t want her knowing how much I respect her, it might ruin everything!

Who in the industry do you most admire? Fru Hazlitt for being able to swear as much as she does and get away with it. Plus she does it with such a fantastic posh accent!

What is your biggest achievement to date? Putting together a fantastic sponsorship team that is very dedicated. Ensuring we deliver what we promise plus more is a matter of personal pride for all of us – it’s all about the team.

On what do you base your success so far? Hard work, enjoying what I do, working with great people and avoiding bullshitting/ers.

What are your ambitions? To always enjoy what I do and be happy. To achieve a good work-life balance. To find a sudden interest in being fit and healthy.

Change one thing about your job: I wouldn’t mind working remotely from the Caribbean.

Change one thing about your industry: People who like the sound of their own voice but don’t actually have much worth saying. 

Change one thing about the world: In a tree-hugging hippie way, people or religious interpretations that create hate. 

What is your favourite brand? Bovril, the best thing on toast or Kronenbourg 1664 – my drink of choice. 

What is the next big brand in your view? The outdoor furniture company that is going to clean up when smoking is banned in pubs. Perhaps by creating outdoor smoking meccas?

List your ‘media diet’: Virgin Radio on air and online, news websites (BBC & Sky), The Independent on Sunday, The News of the World, Marketing Week, Marketing and Media Week, Grazia, the Hollyoaks omnibus on a Sunday and many others.

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