Meet Tatjana Vandenplas from VRT

This week, we had the opportunity to interview Tatjana Vandenplas, Innovation Development Manager at the Belgian public broadcaster VRT.

Hi Tatjana, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

I have been working in media for 20 years now. I started my career at TMF (The Music Factory); a Dutch and Flemish challenger for MTV and successful local alternative for years. Interaction with the young target group was already important at that time and was mostly done via website and even yellow postcards. I have always been intrigued and excited about new ways to reach your audience, and the media evolution that technology made possible. As Innovation Development manager at VRT, I want to establish a link between technology, end users and the business. This means that I will always look for ideas and concepts that we can make tangible and that we think will have a noticeable impact within the next 2 years.  

As Innovation Development manager at VRT, I want to establish a link between technology, end users and the business.
— Tatjana Vandenplas

Radio makers and listeners were all equally important for Marconi. Could you explain a bit more how their feedback was gathered?

We believe in involving the end user at a very early stage. For MARCONI, we have two main end users: the radio makers and the interactive listeners. We've already had some experience with a basic interaction tool from a former innovation project. So we used these insights and concrete input from radio makers for writing the proposal. For the kick-off of MARCONI, we organised 4 co-design workshops with radio makers and listeners at NPO, SFilter and VRT. This workshop included a multidisciplinary team of digital production and innovation people and radio makers from all our radio channels. A separate workshop was hosted with listeners. We normally use design thinking to develop concepts and user stories. With different methodologies depending on what we want to achieve at the end of a workshop.  Our first goal was to really understand the need of the users, get to the essence of the different use cases and already think about a link with an existing programme, channel or event.  

What were the main takeaways from these extensive consultations with stakeholders?

We categorized the results from all the workshops after group analysis by the consortium in 5 categories, i.e.:

  • Facilitating relevant feedback
  • Co-creating content
  • Allowing personal services
  • Providing content on-demand for listeners and radio makers
  • Feeling part of a community