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It's important to strategise the way forward with new media: Irfan Khan

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It's important to strategise the way forward with new media: Irfan Khan

New media is the next big thing on the block and is much more than just a medium for interaction, according to Irfan Khan, a veteran with 50 years of experience in journalism and communications. “Right from board meetings of companies through video conferencing to IPL scams becoming a rage – all of these are happening on the new media avatar, which was not there earlier.”

Emphasising on the need to make better use of the medium, Deepak Jolly, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia said, “The West has moved very fast in terms of adapting to social media, but it is not the case with India. When we do media planning, most of our advertising budgets go to the electronic media.”

At the same time, media houses are gradually changing their modes and are reaching out to a wider audience by becoming more active online, Jolly noted.

Sharing a similar view and citing an example of the media in the US, Khan said, “In the US, New York Times is running in loss and other newspapers are also not reaping in profits. This could be the scenario in India too, giving rise to higher demand for new media.”

Khan further said that no newspaper can claim the 6 billion readership that the internet has. Even India’s political system is not unaffected by new media and several politicians are becoming aware about its power and are quite active on Twitter and blogs.

Citing the findings of a survey, Khan said that it has been revealed that the number of house journals of corporate houses in India have reduced from 1,500 to 750 by 2013. “Even Hindustan Unilever has given up its in-house journal, ‘Humara’,” he added.

According to Jolly, new media has a lot of advantages as compared to other forms of media. Talking about the 60 million fans of Coke, Jolly said that the company has been very aggressive with its journey on Twitter and Facebook. The company has recently released its film on YouTube promoting peace between India and Pakistan and takes forward the ‘Open Happiness’ proposition of the brand. It has been a big hit with 1.3 billion views, claimed Jolly.

Irfan Khan was speaking during his valedictory address at the India PR & Corporate Communications Conference 2013. The address was followed by an interactive session between Khan and Deepak Jolly.

Khan was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the India PR & Corporate Communications Award.

The conference was held in Delhi on May 31.

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