Corporates and media came together to debate ways to make the press release more relevant for today’s influencers
- Legacy media has started realizing the potential of digital and is transforming to keep pace
- Consumption of news is fast changing with the emergence of digital media
- Customization of news is important to get targeted audience; content with a local mix will hugely increase reach
- News with analysis and insights will garner more viewership
- Creativity and flexibility is important in digital, and scores over traditional media
- Bloggers are the new influencers in the digital space
- Traditional plus digital is the approach companies must take for brand targeting
- Content from Newswires is helpful in preventing distribution of fake news
The first chapter of the Wire Impact Series by Business Wire India, the global platform for news distribution, was held on February 16, 2018 at Business Wire India’s Gurgaon office. The event saw representation from corporates, media, and communication experts, brought together to discuss the timely theme ‘Targeted news distribution as key to building a strong brand’.
Participants included Arneeta Vasudeva, Vice President, Ogilvy; M Rajendran, media expert; Rajnish Wahi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, Snapdeal; Saurabh Shukla, Founder and Editor in Chief, News Mobile and Partner, Republic TV; Sudeshna Das, Executive Director, ComConnect; Akhilesh Shukla, Chief Editor, UC News India; Nidhi Mehra, Account Director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies India; and Taru Agarwal, Managing Director, Business Wire India. Atreyee Ganguly, General Manager, Business Wire India, was the session moderator.
The discussion covered digital media and how news gathering and consumption of news has transformed enormously. With digital platforms offering huge potential for widespread news distribution and consumption, and the fact that almost one third of the online population in India consumes news whilst ‘second-screening’*, customizing news content with the right mix has never been more important. Incorporating videos and other multimedia elements, a local-focus, and segment-wise content targeting, all came out as important elements in making news relevant and engaging.
Soundbites from the roundtable:
Rajnish Wahi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, Snapdeal said, “Increasingly more readers are consuming news online and they prefer news capsules to long press releases.”
On content, he said not enough analysis was happening while disseminating the news. “We need to understand how news should be projected so that audience identifies with the same in the context of their own need for information and consumption,” he said.
M Rajendran, spoke on the transformations taking place in legacy media. “Earlier, a reporter’s responsibility ended with writing a report or a story. Now they have to decide how it is going to be seen on mobile, laptop, social media platforms, etc. With digital era, the whole system of news gathering has changed,” he said, adding that customization is missing in the print media. “Give it a local mix, both in print and digital, then it will make a huge difference,” he said.
Akhilesh Shukla, Chief Editor, UC News India, said the boundary between news and content is blurring. “Quality of content will have to be increased. If a press release is not interesting, then it won’t be consumed,” he said, adding that digital and print are completely different platforms.
Saurabh Shukla, Founder and Editor in Chief, News Mobile and Partner, Republic TV, said with digital era, news is being consumed through smartphones and web portals, and not by looking at newspapers. “The way people consume content has changed completely, especially young people. They need a quick story, visual story, even videos make a big impact. Having just a quote here and there will not make a difference. Digital media is about democratization of news,” he said. “Creativity and flexibility are important in digital, and score over traditional media,” he added.
Sudeshna Das, Executive Director, ComConnect, said, “It is important to check authenticity of a news item prior to reporting it. In addition, it is also useful to glean out the insights rather than merely presenting facts.”
Taru Agarwal, Managing Director, Business Wire India, pointed out that PR and wire services are preventing fake news from spreading. “News distributed through a wire platform is authentic and genuine,” she said. “Checks and balances are there for fake news. Also with a validated database of journalists, we are ensuring that last mile delivery is happening.”
Nidhi Mehra, Account Director, H+K India, spoke on the emergence of bloggers as a new community in the digital platform. “Now the ask is how to get into the digital space besides the traditional media. Corporates want to see this new community of bloggers to be evangelized regularly so that their brand is visible across platforms,” she said.
The next chapter of the Business Wire India Wire Impact Series will take place in Bangalore. To find out more, contact Sushant Lahori.