Strategy and transformation in the shadows of a pandemic
Updated: Oct 12
September 24th framed an extremely rich panel discussion, hosted by FIBEP, with speakers of the likes of Carlos Díaz (CD) General Manager and board member at GlobalNews Argentina, Lila Glazova (LG) Chief Executive Officer at PR News Russia and, Fady El-Murr (FE) co-founder and board member at pressrelations Germany; who had participated earlier this year of FIBEP’s interview series “Reshaping in COVID-19 times” and “COVID-19: Strategies for a post lockdown world”.
Within this panel, the hottest topics form our interview series were picked for our panelists to share their takes on, online business etiquette, trust in media, data consumption and business ethics.
Online business etiquette
One of the big challenges of the lockdown experienced during the first half of 2020 was to keep the team spirit and the moral high.
Q: Considering that we are likely to experience a second lockdown. What practices should be applied, amid for instance, business culture and structure, digital sovereignty, meetings, and events?
FE: “…The most important thing for us at this point is (…) being as a company really transparent on what is going on right now. We established a format every two weeks, were we see all our staff members, all hands we call it (…) There we are really transparent with the figures of the company at this point, we are transparent with the strategy (..) also with the information from other countries, from other media monitoring companies, so that everybody understands were we are and what we do, and what is going to be for the next four to eight weeks (…) This has become a really powerful instrument for us to communicate with everybody”
CD: “…We cannot speak about lockdown in the past, we’ve been on a six-month long lockdown (…) We really need to try to understand how our collaborators are actually (…) feeling. (…). Some people feel like we are invading into their home, and we had very mixed feedback about them, so we are much more focused on having the managers (…) be much more into the one to one, hearing the problems their employees have (…) We told our employees, don’t worry we’ll be working from home until the end of the year, at the very least, we all know this at least in Argentina (…) It had much more to do with understanding what their needs were and trying to accommodate everyone’s pandemic based needs… (…)
LG: “… It was more important (…) to tell people about balanced life (…) you need just to stop to look at the screen (…) In Russia we are waiting for the second wave (…) big companies, most of them made the decision that it will be home office until the end of the year (…) For the company it was very important to (…) be transparent, but also to show responsibility. (…) Now is growing a new culture of business meetings, we call it a new culture of online business ethics. How you communicate on zoom? (…) 5 minutes late on zoom it’s a crash, and offline we would be just drinking coffee (…) it was important also to educate our own people…”
Trust in media
When it comes to the topic of trust in media, PR News has a Q&A methodology for specific customers (Such as governmental organizations), GlobalNews is in turn working together with publishers and fact checkers for the media to regain its role as “beacon of trust”, and pressrelations cooperates with partners to give the end users, the consumers of data, media competency.
Q: How should the media intelligence industry evolve amid trust in media? is there a need for an industry shared framework or should there be something else?
CD: “…As an industry we should be much more involved in creating, at least, a set of frameworks that define how we can help the media. How we can work with them, for them or even them for us, in order to enhance trust, demonstrate what is trustworthy, and actually pick or find what is truly trustworthy in the market (…) As an industry we do have an opportunity, but there is a lot of work to be done (…) I hope that you are (…) working towards at least, some kind of guidance for (…) FIBEP members, to be able to help the media and to be able to assist trust and enhance trust. I think in those two areas we do have both opportunities and I would even say a democratic mandate of what we do…”
FE: “… We as media monitoring companies have a special role within this situation (…) Since CORONA I think everybody understands that infodemic, fake news, disinformation, misinformation it’s a huge thing. So, we see ourselves, in our role, not specially as someone who wants to help publishers. If we define disinformation, then I think fake news is a sub feature of disinformation (…) publishers can give disinformation because of many reasons, one reason might be because (…) they have to cut costs (…) there might be many reasons (…) We want to give the users, not the publishers, but the users, systems so that they can make their own decision on which message, which news I want to believe in…”
LG: ”…We had maybe some different experience about fake news and disinformation in Russia (…) more than one year ago we had a legislation were the media has to pay if fake news was published on its website or newspaper and so on (…) That motivated the media market to solve the problem (…) I see the partnership between media monitoring market and publishers in this (…) I see that we can help publishers, from a technical point of view. I would say they don’t know, at least in our market, they don’t know how to solve the problem (…) they don’t have the resources to solve the problem (…) There is a problem of terminology itself I would say; because, do we all know what disinformation is?…”
Data consumption and business ethics
During the first half of 2020, there was a boom on media consumption, reflected in all age groups. This phenomenon was mostly set on digital consumption of media, radio and tv; furthermore, a few new comers gain relevance, such as podcasts and messengers. A clear contrast to the consumption of offline print media, which decreased drastically.
Q: If the market is consuming more digital media now, does this mean that there are new areas for the media intelligence industry to develop?
LG: “…Most of the people do not recognize were they read the story (…) so if you ask yourself, what was the resource were I read it?, probably you wouldn’t remember it, and there is only one group of people, more business active (…) who really remember where they read something (…) If we go back to media consumption (…) as media monitoring companies (…) there are two issues to solve, first is monitoring of messengers. So it is of course easy to monitor Telegram, because they have open API (…) in my case I look at the traffic, mobile traffic, on WhatsApp and it is , for a lot of people it is 50% of their usage of mobile phone (…) our audience is there. (…) It will be a challenge for all of us, how to monitor this wonderful podcast…”
CD: “… We can perhaps, try to make a panel of users (…) for whom whenever they click a WhatsApp link, we can record that link and uses that willingly are part of that, and are even payed for that. That’s the only legal way I think any of us, could even think about (…) With WhatsApp, the one to one, the in person communication, I don’t think we can monitor that (…) Telegram is private, or is more secretive, has a perception of being much more discrete, It’s not, nothing is truly, but it has a perception much more than WhatsApp (…) We use WhatsApp as a mean to communicate with our clients (… ) As for changes in the media consumption landscape (…) print went down very heavily (…) but radio and tv skyrocketed (…) I don’t think the tendency will sustain in full (…) I do think, that the pandemic is also helping the news reinvent itself…”
FE: “… This could be one main source, the emms, the chats and LinkedIn as bases for information. (…) I recognize as well that TikTok became more popular, since TikTok offered advertisement (…) and podcast has been popular since last year in Germany, so we have also an offer for that. But, coming back to monitoring WhatsApp, I think, even if it is technically possible to monitor WhatsApp, I ‘m not sure that I’m willing to do this, I wouldn’t monitor on an ethical perspective, I wouldn’t monitor this sort of chat tools…”
This thrilling panel discussion moderated by Romina Gersuni, FIBEP’s VP and pressrelations Global Strategy Manager, was the wrap-up delivery on FIBEP’s live series “Post Lockdown Strategies - A success story?”.
🕵️ Find the full recording of FIBEP’s panel discussions here 🔗 https://www.fibep.info/library
By Romina Gersuni, FIBEP VP, pressrelations Global Strategy Manager