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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How to write headlines that the reader just can’t ignore?

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Over the years newspaper and magazine have used attractive headlines for grabbing our attention; likewise conjuring headlines for the online blogs is no different. But writing for the web requires lots of attention seeking – this is where writing a catchy headline comes into account. Titles are the main seller of the content. They are visible everywhere, from search engines to email as well as social media. So what to do to make your title catchy?

Know your audience

The first rule is to create the target audience. Basically you need to know what your audience expects from you. For example, if you’re aiming your content at a younger audience your tone can be more informal, more relaxed and more humorous, whereas if your subject is on the more serious side, you need to stay to the point.

One easy to trick to grab attention is to use numbers. Studies have shown that the human mind remembers and retains more when they come across odd numbers in data. For example, if your post contains information about “top courses followed this year”, consider creating a headline like “9 or 11 different courses to try”. Chances are it will attract more attention this way.

The simpler, the better

Don’t over think it. Your headline should reflect some information about your blog or article it is important to analyse your content in order to pick the most appropriate keywords to make your headline as effective as possible.

Have some fun with alliteration. The title and header in this blog post, for instance, play with alliteration: “Foolproof Formula.” It’s a device that makes something a little lovelier to read, and that can have a subtle but strong impact on your reader.

Our memory remembers better when the information is in visual form. If there is any way you can add visual aids it headlines it gives little more edge to it.

Instead of mentioning features a headline should provide information. So, instead of telling your readers about how your new product works, show them what it can do for them. Don’t just tell your readers that your new app saves them time, show them how much additional time they can spend with their families because of all the time they are saving by using your app, take a more emotional approach. Communicating the value will get article noticed.

Learn a lot more about blogging, SEO writing, and Social Media at WLCI. It is one of the best Institutes for pursuing journalism courses in India and is known for producing great media persons all over the world. WLCI offers part-time as well as full-time journalism courses. Join WLCI today, and become a master in this industry!

5 easy ways to get people to respond to email marketing

Our inboxes are burdened with mails every day which we don’t respond to, but how to ensure that yours don’t go unanswered? How to make someone involved that they open, and even reply to the mail instead of just glancing? Every business of any size requires growing and developing email marketing which helps in increasing their growth to new levels.

As a customer how many times have we ignored mails on the pretext of being un-appealing, which is disappointing for the buisness owner as well? Creating an interesting, crisp and engaging mail is both an art and a science.

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One should start with catchy descriptive subject lines. It should be clear, concise, strong and interesting that it makes a recipient want to open and answer it. It should be short and snappy and should visibly explain your reason for emailing.

Another effective way is using opening lines that quickly get to the point. Your emails should not contain any long stories about your buisness with the client; it should be short but informative and cover all important aspects. To make it effective it can follow the following format:

  • Open with greetings
  • Reason for emailing
  • Details
  • Call-to-action
  • Closing remarks

This can easily grab attention of any busy and distracted readers. Basically you have to provide content that can be easily read by them.

Be straightforward, be casual.

Don’t be too fixated on using industry slang or jargon – just rely on the basics, and use uncomplicated, clear information. When your emails are easy to understand, readers can easily grasp the content and respond in the manner you desire.

Research shows that writing numerals instead of using words attracts readers more and throwing few statistical data in between makes it look more credible. So use numbers wisely and creatively.

Be friendly with bullet points, they help in organizing your content, makes it precise and clear informative. How do they work as saviours?

  • You get to use fewer words instead of long sentences and paragraphs which get boring and the mail gets ignored.
  • You get to send across your message effectively as it helps in maintaining readers’ attention
  • It clearly outlines the steps that need to be taken which attract readers even if they are busy or engaged.
  • Provides options

Focus on ‘why’, rather than on ‘what’

It’s not an easy job to make the reader feel the importance of your emails. Studies show people comply more when they are made to realize impact of their compliance.Make it about them, make it personal, and instead of dedicating a lot of words about yourself try making it about your readers.

Now that you have packed your knowledge bag with these tricks, you can gather more knowledge with WLCI which is considered as one of the best Institutes for pursuing a mass communication course in India and is known for producing great digital media managers all over the world. WLCI offers short-term media courses in Delhi and even part time journalism courses. Join WLCI today, and become a stalwart in the industry!

Information Tsunami – A word of caution to students

Today the world is flooded with information & the sources through which one could get the information one is seeking. The trouble is how one would classify the information & the source itself.

This is peculiar as when we start researching on a subject we are (well for the lack of a better word) “lazy”, we want to find what we are looking for on the first search page & that to in the top 2 listings. Well it’s time we started using our head!

So how is all this relevant to today’s students & their parents, most students & parents have figured out that they have to think life beyond their local university for the upcoming admission, they turn to Google to search for the best fashion design colleges in Delhi, or the best graphic designing colleges in Mumbai, the challenge is that they seem to get so desperate that they would go to first 2 listings & chase these colleges to attain a seat using whatever means.

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Through my personal experience & that of people I know one cannot outsource decision making of my life’s calling to a Search Engine, I have to go personally and make an effort in experiencing the Admission process, the college, meet the faculties, & see how do I feel overall at the campus where I would be investing the net 2-3 years of my life.

Things to consider when choosing an institution:

1. The history of the institute

How long have they been in the marketplace, a minimum 15-20 years is a good solid foundation, how many storms the institute has withered, are they new kid on the block or they know what they are doing. Any institution should be judged based over 4-5 batches not just in the initial few years

2. Student Teacher ratio

The global standards today in all creative courses & specialised course is not more than 10-15, however in India we find that there are 40-50 & in some cases even more students in a batch.

It’s anybody’s guess would a learner get more from the faculty when there are 10 peers or 50.

It is noticed that post 20 learners in a batch only about 30-40 % are actively learning, & as much as 50% are actively disengaged with no fault of the faculty or the curriculum, but the basic design.

3. Awarding Qualification – Industry doesn’t care

I know in India we worship Degrees for many decades, however we must enlighten ourselves to global education standards, most global employers & academic institutions do not see much difference in a Diploma or a Degree when it comes to hiring & a lot of reputed institutions offer Diploma’s as well.  What one has to be vary of is fake institutions, however one way to find out is that if there are any students who have got jobs post qualifications or have gone for some higher studies in India / abroad, if they have then you should jump right in, however don’t be lured by the nomenclature of the program, be lured by the experience you would get or does the course, the lineage of the institution, credit transfer arrangements with international colleges etc.

So from now you must imbibe one thing that your search begins when you find the listing best mass communication college in India,

The writer is an expert in understanding learning behaviors, has been well placed in the business industry & has taken over 800 sessions for over 15000 learners across geographies.

Apoorv Chaturvedi

Campus Director

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