Indian Magazine Congress 2014: The social edge

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 27, 2014
The panel discussion focussed on how digital, especially social media, can help magazines.

At a panel discussion held during the recently concluded Indian Magazine Congress, panellists such as Rajiv Dingra, CEO and founder, WATConsult; Pratik Gupta, director, new business and innovations, FoxyMoron discussed how social media can help magazines . The session was moderated by Rohit Saran, editor-at-large, India Today Group.

Indian Magazine Congress

The 8th Indian Magazine Congress was organised by the Association of Indian Magazines in Delhi between February 24 and 25. The two-day event saw participation from major players in the print industry, media agencies and brand representatives. The theme for this year's event was 'Winning through Innovation'.

Beginning the discussion, Saran said that before going digital, brands need to understand the medium and its requirements. Every post or publish has to tell a story, it cannot be just a reference. Also, when creating content, one has to think of the mobile medium, he emphasised.

Dingra noted that though digital is small, it is still growing. He attempted to clear several myths around the medium and said that it is growing, is being used by all age groups, used in urban and rural, people are spending time on internet and mobile is used as a medium for digital, both in rural and urban areas.

"There are seven things that a magazine needs to focus on. Firstly, it should come out from the authorisation zone and consider the medium equal; secondly, it should be both curation and creation of the content; thirdly, there has to be real time responsiveness; fourthly, there is a need to build communities; fifth, the medium can be used even to influence the influencers; sixth, it can give the consumer a great experience; and finally, there is a need to monetise it," he said.

Gupta said that social media allows magazines to generate real time responsiveness and they need to exploit opportunities for advertisements and tie ups. "Brands can also look out for the opportunities to engage with people," he added.

He further noted that what was true five years ago is not true today, and ways need to be developed to stay relevant and contemporary to the consumer.

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