Bill Bledsoe

Senior Product Manager at Best Buy

Bill Bledsoe, BJ '90

Degree(s): BJ '90 (Broadcast News)

Whereabouts: United States, Everett, Washington

What do you do?
I’m a senior product manager for Best Buy’s Media Network. I’m responsible for building systems that help Best Buy monetize their digital surfaces; think Web, APP and digital experiences in-store. Retail advertising is actually the fastest-growing part of digital marketing and I’m lucky enough to be right in the middle of that growth.

How did you get your job?
I’ve been in and out of digital marketing and e-commerce for a long time. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great people at companies like Microsoft, AT&T, Caleres and more. I’ve been on both the “buy” and “sell” sides of media and e-commerce so that unique perspective helps me build great experiences for our advertisers. As Best Buy was looking to expand their retail media business, I was fortunate enough to join the team.

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
I think the J-School is where I first learned to be a professional. The Missouri Method really emphasizes the professional experiences within the different disciplines. To succeed, professionalism is a must. An equally-important lesson was learning to communicate efficiently and effectively.

What advice do you have for current students?
The context in which people consume digital experiences shapes the message/story you are trying to deliver. In order to understand that context, you not only have to have a mastery of how people consume the message/story, but also need to be conversant in the technology used to deliver your message/story. Gone are the days where a journalist can avoid technology in their life; it is forever intertwined. Embrace it. Master it!

What is your favorite J-School memory?
Times at the KBIA news desk were great. Also, Charlie Warner’s Media Management Seminar was one of the best classes I’ve ever had. I learned more about business in that semester than in any other class or professional experience since. It has been great to follow/keep up with friends I met during that time, from Jim Spencer to Todd Spessard or Bryan Eckert. Keeping connected to Jim Flink and Mike McKean at the School over the years has been awesome too. The Missouri Mafia stays with you for a lifetime.

Any additional comments?
It has been awesome to watch how the J-School has evolved over the years to meet the new challenges of the instant digital age. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in a few different efforts over the years and always have enjoyed it. The efforts make me proud to say I’m a Missouri Journalism graduate to this day. If you’re ever in the Puget Sound region, I’m always open for a coffee with a J-School grad. M-I-Z!

Updated: November 2, 2011