My internship experience at The Pioneer

Thanks to our beloved teachers here at WLCI, I got a golden opportunity to pursue an internship in print media, that too in one of the most media house – the Pioneer group. There I not only got substantial exposure but also a chance to meet many renowned celebrities. I got a chance to cover various events ranging from education to lifestyle, which helped me learn from the professionals within the industry.

One such competition was held recently in the Delhi at Paparazzi. Sponsored by the whisky brand Monkey Shoulder, it brought ‘The Ultimate Bartender Championship’ to India. This competition journeyed from Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore and Gurugram to Delhi, with over 250 contestants participating and being tested for their unique techniques, insights, speed, and skills behind the bar.

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Novices got the chance to showcase bartending skills, industry knowledge, hospitality, pouring, noising and stocktaking. The event was hosted by Joe Petch, Monkey Shoulders’ global brand ambassador. The competition brought together India’s best bartenders, to showcase their extraordinary skills.

The Grand Finale started by announcing the top five contestants Paramveer Singh, Chirag Pal, Jitender Singh Rana, Vinod Dhara and Ashitosh Narayan. The task was to make eight cocktails as soon as possible, without compromising on quality.

Paramveer Singh emerged the winner as he not only made the cocktails in the least amount of time, but also made the best ones.

Asked how bartending has changed over the years, Paramveer said: “Two or three years back, there was not much scope for bartenders. The profession has picked up recently as more and more bartending competitions is coming up and people’s view towards bartenders has changed. A couple of years down the line, bartending will have its personal course in hospitality because to be a bartender is not easy as one needs to have good insight, speed and skills”.

When asked what one of world’s most famous bartenders was doing in India, competition host Joe Petch said: “I always wanted to come to India as it is one of those countries that consume a large volume of alcohol and bartending has picked up quickly here.”

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This is one of the most memorable events that have been covered by me during my time at Pioneer, as I got to taste many different beverages coming from the best bartenders of the industry. Moreover it helped me break the monotony given to me in lifestyle events. However I would like say all this wouldn’t have been possible if our teachers wouldn’t have offered us with such a wonderful opportunity.

Here is the link to my blog – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/mix-it-like-bartenders.html

Social Media Analytics – Points to remember

With the rise of social media, and its adoption by brands for marketing, emerges the discipline of social media analytics. The likes on a Facebook page can help us gauge its popularity. But, does it stop there? No! We discover a behavioral pattern which gives us an insight into the perception of the people. In order to understand the metrics of social media, we need to comprehend certain elements.

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  • Digital Footprint: Every action on social media leaves an impact on people. It allows people the room to explore ideas and follow them as per their choices. In the beginning, there is an idea or a thought or an action. There is an urge to make the idea publicly known. And then follows the series of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’. The pattern of likes and comments reflects the interests and choices of people.
  • Defining goals: Different goals require different kind of analysis. It is very important to understand your goals and then define them to attract the right readership. For instance, if you want to write about food, you need to describe the core elements augmented with pictures to fascinate the audience.
  • Target audience: Social media analytics helps you identify your target audience. If you are flowing with the currents of time, the youth would be better able to connect with your concepts. The older generation might show interest in the contemporary politics. The younger generation might be intrigued by history.
  • Sentiment analysis: Sentiment analysis is an inexact science. There is no uniformity in how the people speak and behave. One can go for opinion mining as useful trend indicator but that isn’t a gospel.
  • Identifying patterns: This is at the core of social media analytics. It would help social media professionals to make better decisions in their social media strategies.

Awareness, consideration, intent and decision create the foundation of social media analytics. Enhance the process of tracking your content to determine the overall impact your content is delivering to your business. It is also important to find out what types of content resonate most with your audience at each point in the customer journey.

What relevance does social media analytics hold today? With the growth of social media as a marketing strategy, arrives the need of analysis. There is a collection, aggregation and standardization of social media data to discover and communicate meaningful patterns. Data is simplified from dozens of networks, millions of people and a variety of activities.

What is and what is not working? This is answered by social media analytics. Social media is competitive and on fire constantly. Test and track your results so that, you can identify the most effective strategies for your content.

Analysis is the key word. Analyze your followers, analyze the reach and results of your posts, compare platforms and save your precious time! It is with the help of social media analytical tools that you will become a maven in social media world.

The advent of Global Design – ethics and challenges

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Global Design is a recent phenomenon. Often deemed an unknown concept in the design industry, global design harbours an expansive and varied scope naturally. However, interestingly what sets apart this new concept is its unique inter-dimensional nature, especially its extraordinary equation with culture. In the age of technology impacting every aspect of our lives global design has immense potential. Global design goes one step further in the realm of ‘change’ in globalization and brings together the tri-factor of culture, enterprise and industry.

While decoding the term “global design”, a question of ‘ethicality’ revolves around its very notion. Thinking globally comes with an ethical component. Global design at its wake has a cultural aspect. There is a relationship between design and culture, its cultural value translated into products. Global design entails the responsibility of respecting the cultural specificities associated with the idea of design taking in the differences across space and time. Thus it has the responsibility to treat people in this line of business as subjects and not objects.

Designers and experts are aware of the challenges that govern the concept. Global design caters to various cultures, and traces the most important challenge of how it is exhibited and consumed by them. Here the idea of ethics comes to influence. In other words, how can graphic designers globalize graphic design by keeping intact its authenticity, without threatening the cultural diversity?

Global designs are well known, accepted and available in different cultures. Global designs such as international airports, luggage on wheels, containers, jeans, phones, credits cards to name a few, have been popular off late. However, the real challenge here is the act of visually communicating information not only in a global scale but also to a multicultural audience. In the recent survey on Global Design, US continues to lead and as is seen the very formats of global designs have an American origin. Then ‘what makes a design global’? Design in its process of preserving the global status goes on to take into context anthropological and historical understandings. To maintain its ethics, global design ought to take responsibility for the wholesale process from raw materials to production, and even recycling.

Interestingly a study in the area of global design goes on to address a variety of areas from cultural studies to anthropology, politics, marketing and philosophy. Global Design still is much an unknown topic in the design world but its scope is unbound and promising. Universities and Design schools all across the world are now offering Bachelors and Masters Degrees in the subject. WLCI in collaboration with the College De Paris have an integrated five year program, where students are given a detailed experience of methodologies, skill development, implementation and acquisition as well as space for experimentation. All these while keeping in the cultural aspect. If you have an interest in the interesting dynamics of global design and a niche for design itself, then you are in for quite an unravelling experience!

 

Digital Media 2020 – what the future holds

We live in the age of digital revolution. Everything under the sun is being aligned with digital compatibility. The revolution has brought in an era of enhanced understanding and perceptibility. Everything you ask for or can possibly imagine is outsourced through digital media. We are going global and digital now!

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The idea is to establish a connection which is at the same time real and authentic. Digital media has not only given wings to imagination but has also widened the platform through which interesting and engaging content can be made available.

Journalism as a career is witnessing a rise along with digital media. The facts and figures are being augmented by relevant audio and visual content. Social media is effectively being used for propagation of news and content. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have diversified the resource base of news. The idea is not only to promote content but also to create a strong readership. People’s interests are rejuvenated when facts and figures are supported with dynamic visuals. Undoubtedly, technology is reshaping the contours of journalism.

Today, anyone can be a journalist. All you need is an eye for observation. Various platforms like Whatsapp, Snapchat and Instagram are being employed to create and circulate valuable content. One needs to be alert to one’s surroundings. But among all this, the element of responsibility and ethics needs to be paid attention to as well. Traditional mass communication courses in India should incorporate such changes in study material and pedagogy.

WLCI, one of the top journalism courses in India, revamped its traditional media training to suit the demands of the digital era and converted the Media School into a School of Digital Media & Communications.

In this era of digital revolution, great emphasis needs to be laid upon the precision of the news content. It should be taken into consideration that journalism has a higher purpose attached to it. It must educate and inform people without diluting its impetus. Before circulating any content, people must confirm about its veracity. Nothing should be propagated without the needful research. The main concern is to destroy false beliefs and establish the truth. Not sensationalism but sensitivity should be the driving force behind meaningful journalism.

The roles and responsibilities of publishers are being redefined in the present times. Social media platforms are acquiring this new role. The reach of the content has increased massively and the response of the people is also tremendous. Everyone seems to be participating in this digital revolution.

We’ve now entered the age of “Internet of Things”. It is not only about technology but to a great extent, about people. It is the human aspect of the revolution that provides space and structure to the technological advances. Today, the essence and speed of communication is magnificent.

Such strong connection was never established before. The world seems to have shrunk and the possibilities have enlarged .This is technology at its best and getting better with each passing moment.

This revolution also brings certain questions to the forefront. Is it creating a new digital divide between “the haves” and “the have nots”? Is it accessible to all? Are we ready for the revolution? There are challenges but they can certainly be addressed through a better understanding of this new and fast evolving process.

Why digital media and advertising go hand in hand

One of the biggest shifts is underway in marketing, as we know it. The emergence of digital media is no less than a revolution for marketers to be and media students alike.

Facebook recently revealed that more than 2 billion people used its services per month on an average, between April and June. That’s more than one-fourth of the world’s population! Combine this humongous reach with new techniques and features to target customers, and you have more efficient advertising to make use of.

Digital advertising, in particular social media advertising, helps a business find new customers on the basis of information provided by users themselves. It helps to proactively target relevant users even before they begin their search. Let’s look at 3 reasons why the future of advertising and digital media is interconnected.

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Advanced targeting options

Since digital media gathers such a large amount of data, it easier to target audiences beyond the general demographic and geographic parameters. Advertising targeting can now be done even on the basis of interest, behavioural and connection based methods. This allows a level of personalization which is not available on other platforms.

Here are 2 such targeting options –

  • Interest Specific users can be reached by targeting particular interests, activities they have liked, etc. These interests can be as specific as “cars”.
  • Custom targeting Users can be reached by uploading their phone numbers, email IDs, etc. Different social media platforms call this with different names, but they all help in remarketing.

 Improved conversion tracking

Whether its online marketing or offline, justifying spends and budgets is crucial. Digital media platforms like social media can provide website conversion tracking, which can help judge the performance of the ad.

Social media ads that drive the audience to your website and take some action, like buying a product or registering for an event, can show how effective they were in getting those conversions. With a snippet of code and proper configuration, campaign reports can make conversion tracking easy.

It helps any business be wiser about digital ad spends and strategy. For example, if the ad is getting a lot of clicks but no conversions, a shift in the strategy may be required.

 Smartphone reach

It’s no secret that reaching users on smartphones is the next big step in marketing. It is forecast that about two-thirds of social media advertising spend will go towards mobile ads. Also, more than half of mobile users worldwide will have smartphones by 2018.

Mobile users check platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram multiple times a day, so delivering campaigns on such platforms makes marketing sense. It is a huge growth market in the next few years.

Tips to succeed as a business journalist

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Business is one of the most important beats for any media person, because every political or social change in the society has impact on businesses which ultimately affects the economy. A business journalist should be able to comprehend facts and figures, while communicating the same in a language that a layman can understand. Things that business journalist should watch out for:

Get on to numbers

Make sure the data or numbers related to the story are presented in a way that is easily comprehensible by a common man. Most of the times information or data that the company releases is cumbersome and difficult for a reader to interpret*. So it becomes the task of a reporter to get on to those figures, break it down in a language that is easily understood. For instance in a personal finance story, not many readers could understand the returns of a financial product written in company’s brochure. A journalist can analyse those projected returns from such a product, and give the positives and negative, which can further help the reader to take an informed decision.

Back up your story

Economic or business stories have to be substantiated with statistics because it helps to establish the story and intent. You have to research for numbers, facts and include the same to ensure the authenticity of the article. If it’s an opinion piece then you can explain your views better if it’s supported up with numbers and figures. For that you can dig into company’s report, government websites such as RBI, insurance companies’ data and more depending on focus of the story.

Build on sources

It’s very important to build relationship with government officials or employees in business organisations, who can become your source of information. You have to gain trust and loyalty of that individual, but it can happen over a period of time. You need to ensure the secrecy of the source, and give him the assurance of not disclosing the identity. Such a source can become your key to breaking stories.

Double check figures

There is a separate branch of business journalism called data journalism, where journalists interpret numbers and data to build stories. But it is crucial for journalist to ensure the authenticity of the data used in the copy. If your copy is number heavy, then make sure to cross check all the data used in the copy so that you don’t miss out on any crucial information or end up including wrong figures. Such a mistake will reflect badly upon the company you are writing for.

How to research for sports journalism stories

The success of any story depends on the content, and the information you have been able to cull out from various sources. A well-researched and articulated story never fails to attract eye balls, so researching is one of the most important skills that a writer must possess. Sports journalism is a niche industry, and certain additional things have to be kept in mind while researching for it.

Follow these steps to research for sport stories.

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Targeted research

It means that you should be able to research for the exact information you are looking to write the story, rather than surfing through information not required. Make sure that you enter the right keywords related to the story such as name of players, name of the sport, history of the sport etc. Some of the keywords taken from the gist of the story could help you fetch the right information. As a sports journalist, you should know the rules of the game and the associated jargons so that you can break down the information in the story.

Research from multiple sources

You should research from multiple sources or websites before you start writing. Since Google can easily track down the source of any article, it’s crucial that the information you are using has different sources. If you don’t follow this and end up writing from one website then the story could be trashed as a rewrite. If your story doesn’t have multiple sources, the quality of the article instantly goes down and it will not even rank well in SEO ranking. Taking cue from multiple websites helps you to know if the information is genuine or not. Follow some of the best sports websites to research stories such as espn.com, sportskeeda.com, livemysport.com and more. The key is to ensure that you check the first 2-3 stories that appear with the search, and not to ignore them.

Check out popular views

Nowadays, social media is one of the best platforms to look out for fans’ reactions across the world. Make use of the social media platforms such a Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to research for trend, and reactions of fans about a particular sport. If you quote fans’ reactions from social media it will make your story engaging and interesting.

If you are doing live reporting, make sure to capture the audiences’ reactions.

Look up to experts’ opinion

It’s important to incorporate expert views in the story wherever possible. You can research for quotes or comments of eminent sport personalities that must have appeared in social media forums or from their blogs, because adding expert opinions can lift your story. You can follow the famous players from the sports industry, and stay informed on their opinions about that sport.

How to craft stronger sentences?

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Confused how sentences can help your content do wonders and attract customers? It’s all about creativity and creating magic to convert a flaky sentence into an effective one!

Good content is about good sentences

Sentences are the engine of creativity. Sentence contains facts, but with a scoop of emotions, logic and assurance it enhances the result. Your sentences don’t have to say much, they just have to say things the right way.

To get someone glued to your blog, social media posts, or any other type of content, you must know what an ideal customer need. The most important aspect for writing a good sentence is to know your audience and then decide how to proceed with your writing. This helps in inserting emotion in your sentences. Every writer has his own outlook and his own imagination to write the sentences, but the trick is to understand what will connect with the customer. So basically it’s about for whom you are writing the sentences.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that readers don’t want to work hard to understand your writing especially at the beginning. Start off your introduction with a bite sized sentence or two.

You probably have come across advices like “create a hook” and “grab the reader’s attention” but what kind of stuff actually grabs someone’s attention? Don’t be afraid of experimenting, that will make your content stronger than others. Another important thing while framing sentences is using strong words that have the power to sway reader’s opinions. One should include such words that have an emotional impact on people, including:

  • Marvellous
  • Fearless
  • Hope
  • Courage
  • Sinful

Lastly you need to know about transitions. If your content seems choppy, lacking in flow or generally unorganised, these are all signs that your paper is lacking transition. Effective transitions are what enable the main idea and important points in an essay to flow together. Without them, an essay seems to be lacking in unity.

Writing great sentences takes work. At first it may feel mechanical and wooden. That’s okay. The goal is to get to a point where you unconsciously blend these elements so they feel natural in the sentence and can’t be pulled apart. You can gather more such knowledge at WLCI, which is considered as one of the best institutes for pursuing a Journalism course in India and is known for producing great brand managers all over the world. WLCI also offers short term Journalism course apart from the full time Journalism course. Join WLCI today and become a stalwart in the industry.

Steps to develop a brand’s voice on Social Media

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Ever wondered why people follow a particular brand on social media, and even engage with them? The answer lies in finding the appropriate brand voice. A brand needs to be heard, and to do that trick it needs a strong voice.

Why does a brand need a voice? – It’s important to make your brand sound more human so as to connect with large number of people. It’s not only about giving your brand a voice , It’s about being consistent with the voice you are creating – positioning yourself as an easily recognized and a trustworthy source in your industry. But there is a difference between tone and voice, which people often confuse.

Voice: With voice, the brand personality is described. For instance, it can be lively, positive, cynical or proficient.

Tone: Tone is specific to the messaging, and therefore a part of the voice. The role of tone is to add flavours based on factors like audience, position and channel.

In essence, there is one voice for you brand, but there can be many tones that help in refining that voice.

The Three C’s of brand voice

Culture:  Where does your company stand among others who have the same target audience? Your distinctive qualities make your culture special and these should be the pillar of developing your voice.

Community: Listening to your community reveals a lot about them which in turn helps you to communicate easily with them. You can use their language and connect with them better.

Conversation: Individuality and authenticity are the keys here. Think about what you can add to conversation? As you think about what you can put forward, you will start to see a better picture of where your voice might fit.

How to create magic with SM brand voice

Developing the right voice for your social media marketing can lead to a better experience for your customers as well as for you. A voice helps you connect with your audience in an appealing way. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Be Authentic and Consistent.

Once you find a right voice and tone for your brand, ensure:

    Your tone is authentic, and does not feel forced.

    Avoid inconsistencies. When the voice is inconsistent, it can lead to audience losing trust in you.

Try Adopting a Personal Touch

When introducing your brand try focusing on what you want to be known for, what you excel in, etc. This requires a deep understanding of the brand on your part, knowing your motivations and identifying your message that you want to put forward. Adding your personal touch helps in appealing to the audience’s emotions.

Life at WLCI – stepping stone for success

Studying in WLCI has been most valuable experience. One of the most interesting stages in life that gives you an opportunity to explore is the college phase. Life at WLCI is the time during which I have experienced the things which I wanted from the very first day of my college in Kashmir. I have done my graduation in Arts and Masters in Linguistics but I was always inclined towards fashion designing. So after completing my Masters I joined WLCI Delhi, which was the best decision of my life. This golden period has better equipped me against all the challenges I’ll face in life and has created a strong foundation of knowledge in Fashion.

My experience at WLCI has taught me one fundamental thing – Life is unpredictable. It might be good, it might be bad, it might be weird, and it might not interest you, but expect anything to happen. I particularly realised this when I got an opportunity to see Lakmé Fashion Week and Femina Miss India.

I was already doing an online clothing business, that’s why I came to WLCI – I always felt something was missing in my work and that was different silhouettes and designs. But with the guidance of teachers in WLCI today I can create new designs and I feel the change in me.
I was afraid of doing a job because of its uncertainties involved – you might have a wonderful job this moment, and be fired the very next moment. College life prepared me for all of this. It is a perfect blend of joy and hardships. You meet different people, you interact with them, and you learn about their cultures and grow as a person. You will understand how to talk to different people, how to judge their behaviour, thus helping you inculcate important life skills. Teachers of our college treat students like family. They are very skilled and experienced in their fields. I learned so many things in WLCI; it was the best learning experience of my life. The most important teaching that I’ll remember is that the learning process never ends.

Iqra Ahmed 

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