Wednesday, November 17, 2010

News Channels

As I switched channels between NDTV and CNN-IBN a few days back, I couldn't help laughing. Both the channels were claiming that they were the ones who broke the story of the Adarsh Society scandal. But that was not what amused me. With hundreds of  channels, this has become a common affair. What was really ludicrous was both these channels were showing exactly same clipping of a politician praising the channel for 'exclusively' breaking the story. The politician, coming out of parliament was in all probability praising the media on a whole.
The way the news channels have marketed themselves has become quite common now. They are on the same lines:

We are the first ones to break this story.

We had the highest TRPs. (the real story lies in the fine print)

Our story had such and such impact.

It has been the same along with some marketable faces of the channels.

Most of the times these self-congratulatory claims make me cringe, specially considering that all the 'impactful' stories surround only 'popular' people.

Can news channels have some different message which they can communicate in their marketing?

Aaj Tak's Sabse Tez was one such message which had made it stand apart at that time. It focussed on the value of getting close to the news the fastest. Of course the competition then was not like what it is today but it did create a mind space and still has a good recall value. An example from the print business is the magazine - Open. It has been able to differentiate itself from the traditional weekly current affairs magazines like India Today, Outlook etc with their positioning as a weekly for the young mind.  Of course it has a strong product to back its claim up.

May be it is time that news channels do something different to stand out. Presently they are all focussed on themselves, loudly and unnecessarily beating their chests.
Going forward, they can offer something that is of some significant value to the customer or at least has that perception.

1 comment:

Ankit Jain said...

What can be their Focus !