From Media Management to Personal Branding-My journey

(Interview on Diginews regional TV channel at their Indore studio. The interview focused on my journey from media management to personal branding and also my views on media in India)

Excerpts from the interview

Q-How did news become infotainment?
Ans-In 1991 when the era of LPG (Liberalisation, Privatization and Globalization) began, it impacted every sphere of our life and business. Even TV news was impacted. Many years ago when I used to watch news on Doordarshan (public broadcaster), there used to be no ad breaks, no ‘headlines sponsored by’ and such commercialization. News used to be a holy cow, something which should not be commercialized. 
Slowly as private sector entered, the format of news began to change. Private sector runs anything like a business and has financial pressures also. Government can subsidize things but private sector has to ensure financial viability. Private sector slowly started commercializing and looked at things from TRP and advertising perspective. To some extent private sector has its compulsions. My book, "From News to Infotainment to Tamsaha (with Foreword by Vartika Nanda describes the journey)

Q- Do you think tamasha (melodrama) will become news again?
Ans-It is going to take time. TV news is a mirror of society and if there has been a decline in values in society, it is going to be reflected in TV news. In every sphere of life there is a decline, we want everything fast, fast food, fast life, fast success and so on. TV news is only reflecting what is happening in our society.

Q- What is the future of local news?
Ans- Local news has a very bright future.  During my PhD research I spoke to nearly 500 people and found that many people preferred local news for different reasons. Females tend to worry about the husband and children and want to watch local news to ensure that family members are safe. Shopkeepers want to know local events which can impact their business. IAS and other bureaucrats, people interested in local politics and politicians want to watch local news as local events have a direct relationship with their profession. Though these categories have a higher interest in local news but even an average person has some impact of local events which make him watch local news.

Q- Every news is local. Local is global and global is local. Even Ayodhya dispute was a local event which caught international attention.
Ans-In management there is a new term called 'glocal' which is a combination of global plus local. Even big companies say, “Think Global, Act Local”. Both organizations and individuals must understand the local perspectives of an issue.

Q- Many newspapers are bringing out city based editions. Why is it so?
Ans-It is again a reflection of the increase in demand for local news. A person living in Jaipur wants to know more about his city Jaipur for example and hence Jaipur edition.

Q- How did you become personal branding expert from media expert? What is personal branding?
Ans- Personal branding has a close relationship with media. Personal branding has two components viz online branding and offline branding. Online branding has a relationship with social/online media while offline branding is related with books and mass media like TV,, newspapers and magazines etc. If one wants to become a brand at national or international levels, or famous or an expert, one can take the help of both online and offline tools. 

Q-How is personal branding different from image building?
Ans-Personal branding gives lot of emphasis on personal growth which is not there in image building. In fact personal branding focuses on becoming a balanced human being first and then portraying that image to society.

Q- What is the current status of personal branding industry in India and what is its future?
Ans-India has played a critical role internationally in computer technology relating to software, BPO etc. So an average (urban) Indian is already well versed with online media. In fact you can find that every youngster is on Facebook these days.

Though Personal Branding is a new industry in India but since online media has made branding easy, it has a bright future in India and more people will go for it in times to come.

Related story, "A Brand Called Me"


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