I enjoyed the engaging address by Dhimant Parekh – Founder, The Better India who shared stories of his journey in ‘Driving Positive Change Through Social Change’.
Took away many useful tips on what it means to build a sustainable social engagement campaign and how stories can transform the lives of our stakeholders. I gathered that telling a story is only part of the work done. Making sure the story (content) reaches the right audience and in the right medium (content distribution) is the most crucial element. Knowing that it has made a positive impact and deriving the lessons from your storytelling experiences matters the most. How often have we followed up on our stories to find the impact it has made?
The social change space seems to be getting crowded and Dhimant received a question on differentiating his organization vs others doing similar work – the Ugly Indian and The Logical Indian. Loved his response on staying true to their core purpose of sharing ‘positive’ news.
The other session promised a lot but left a lot unanswered. The topic ‘The Art of Creating Great Digital Videos’ moderated ‘selflessly’ by three entrepreneurs who have large followings online had discussions ranging from brand ethos to multichannel networks! It seemed like they showed up with little preparation based on how they began and conducted themselves on stage.
Like the earlier sessions I attended, many led with their ‘gut feel’ and their aspiration to create the next ‘pop culture’. Multichannel networks happened to be the hot topic. Finally, when they boiled down the three most important elements of a making a video it read like – reaction, relevance and shock value. Hmm.
Not surprisingly, the questions asked were fundamental – how does one get started with a digital channel, what makes a video memorable and what does it cost to go digital. It felt like those millions of hits gathered by the Gangnam Style video excited most brand managers rather than the relevance and messages that needed to be conveyed.
My take-aways were:
- Digital professionals are yet to gauge what works best for the millennials – one panelist said they seem to ‘trip’ on something every other day. Not very insightful.
- There is ambiguity about what defines digital or what can qualify as digital. The group spoke of the client’s mindset of seeking ‘viral videos’ and hoping that digital ideas will be killer ideas!
- There is a feeling that digital is cheap in terms of time and effort, which the panelists kind of agreed
- Content is gaining currency among those who manage brands – it felt like a copywriter’s prerogative to come up with lines that were memorable. Not something I agree with.
- It is still about ‘how much can you spare to run a campaign’ rather than understanding what works for the brand. Everyone is ready to ‘cut the suit according to the cloth’ available!
- The focus is still all about getting eyeballs and ensuring visitors take action with a click. What happens after that again led brands counting their ‘likes’ and ‘views’. Quite archaic.
- Connecting to the audience through personalized content seems to be gaining momentum.
What do you think?