Day two of the third Annual Corporate Communications meet saw Anurag Batra, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media.com, discussing the new media landscape and reputation management in the era of Web 2.0. Batra also talked about the usage of Internet, its tools, and the impact they have on several businesses.
Talking about the strength of this new medium, Batra explained that with the advent of blogs and social networking sites, marketing on this new space was dead. “If the customer feels that she is being marketed, then she will never come back to you,” he said. He further explained that blogs and social network sites were popular simply because there weren’t sales pitches anymore.
“There is nothing on this medium that you can’t do. Companies are now looking at video resumes, while users can upload their audio-visual content on websites like YouTube,” he said, while explaining the scope of Internet and Web 2.0. He further said that Web 2.0 and the user-generated content on websites had led to the democratisation of content where the users have become editors.
Explaining the threats of the medium, Batra recalled an incident when a video of a Dell computer catching fire was uploaded on a website, and how the company used the same medium to salvage the situation. Commenting further on the probable threat, he said, “Internet has become the biggest influence on the purchase decisions of consumers. One single blog or a video can ruin the image of a company, its products and its credibility in the market.”
Batra also gave some important facts on the usage of Internet in India. “Thirty million users are currently ruling the space, which shows that the Internet is still a baby in India,” he said. He went on to provide statistics like, the usage rate was growing by 28 per cent every year, and that 37 per cent of the usage came from 10 cities. About the social networking sites, he cited that 14 per cent of all Indian Internet users were on Orkut, while Facebook was also very popular.
Giving his views on the issue of corporate blogging, Batra said that there were not many CEOs in the country who blogged regularly, but that the time was changing and that there would be a lot of business and corporate blogs in the near future. Talking on the corporate communication front, he advised not to shoot PR releases on most occasions, but make personal conversations on one-on-one basis.
Concluding his presentation, Batra gave important tips for entrepreneurs and business heads from the online world on how to make their business more profitable. “Think as blogs at a global level and have it in multiple languages,” he said, and further explained the importance of creating links with co-websites and other popular blogs.