afaqs!

ET to take common man's views to FM

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 24, 2010
ET, with its tie up with Facebook, is gearing up to engage more customers for the Budget Day

With the Budget Day just around the corner, news channel are finding different ways to keep the audience hooked to their channels. Where most channels are talking about taking the budget to the common man, ET is taking the views of the common man to the finance minister. ET Now has taken a leap by tying up with leading social networking website, Facebook.

"The idea behind the tie up was to democratise the budget process by providing real time feedback from consumers from different walks of life to the FM. It is democratising the whole process of budget," says Sanjay Sindhwani, business head, new initiative, Economictimes.com.

& #BANNER1 & #

ET Now, the newly launched business news channel and Economictimes.com have launched a new initiative called ET-Facebook: Talk to FM. This initiative is to actively engage customers in the discussions and enable them to express their views to the FM on the Budget Day by logging on to the site, www.economictimes.com.

ET has launched the Talk to FM blog, which integrates with Facebook Connect in the comments section. When users write in the comment box, the comment is displayed on the users' Facebook page. These questions will then be summarised and presented to the FM on the same day.

Users from different walks of life will be able to reach out to the FM and express their views on what he could do for various sections of the society, including salaried individuals, households, businesses and for the development of infrastructure.

"We are pioneering popular participation in the preparation of the Budget, while providing real time feedback to the finance minister from the vox populi," says Rishi Khiani, chief executive officer, Times Internet, in an official statement.

The company chose Facebook because of its wide presence. "Facebook is one of the fastest growing social networking sites and we have found that the level of interaction on Facebook is very meaningful. The community element is much stronger on Facebook compared to Twitter or any other website. The idea was to spread the message through a larger community and create an impact," Sindhwani tells afaqs!.

Through this initiative, ET expects to reach about 20-25 million people and almost 95 per cent of the audience in the age group of 25+.

Last year, Times Audience Network tied up with Facebook for the live streaming of the Budget.

The Union Budget will be presented on February 26.