Digital Lifeline

With Covid 19 pandemic spread we all are now grappling with a new way of life, being confined to our homes and the digital media being our lifeline. The pandemic is changing our lifestyle and also our media consumption pattern. According to a report released by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India and Nielsen on the impact of COVID-19 on television and digital media behaviour across India, users are spending 1.4 hours a day more on their smartphone devices with the biggest jump coming from users in the 35-44-year age group.

Today it’s the time from scarcity to abundance: From data to knowledge. With the extraordinary amount of information available on the tap comes a new set of challenges for content creators vying for attention.

Thanks to the inexpensive data in the ‘always-on’ world everybody is always scrolling on their phones; with (all sorts of) information virtually provided by Google or Alexa.

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Image Courtesy : The Print

Due to the level of uncertainty around what is happening, cause of Covid-19, and the disruption in circulation of newspapers people increased their time online on chatting (+23%) and social networking (+25%) apps. This led to the dynamic news media industry of India, to be one of the worst hit. With the media landscape drastically changing almost all social networking apps – Whatsapp, ShareChat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…. – have seen significant increase in usage. Now social media isn’t just changing the way we consume news, but it’s also changing the way we create news.

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WhatsApp & ShareChat have become the biggest media channels to make or break stories. Local news are getting transformed by the power of digital technology and key platforms of Messenger services. Sharechat with its focus on more than 15 regional languages, has grown from a chatbot to now one of the largest local language social app catching on trends and promoting them in local communities with hyper-local content.

Image Courtesy: Social Samosa

In the coming days organisations will need to create “meaningful” content to attract the attention of consumers and also retain. The objective will shift away from telling people your stories, to empowering the customers to tell their story for the brand. For today’s social & mobile powered world, brands are once again, who the people say they are. No matter how creative the communication campaign, or how loud it is told – in the coming days the voice of the people will have the potential to be louder.

All image courtesy: Google Image Search

Anup Sharma (@TweetsAnup)
The author is a StoryTeller with two decades of experience in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. He is also the Senior Director at Public Relations Consultants Association of India.

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