Recently an interesting webinar was conducted by Whistling Woods International in collaboration with the Edutainment Show. Having always been intrigued by the media industry, a chance to explore something new apart from my daily world of business and finance was something I couldn’t miss. Mr. Rahul Puri, Head of Academics of Whistling Woods International in conversation with leading industry experts gave insights on Careers in media and entertainment.
The conversation opened with the panelists talking about their current role in various organizations. Mr. Akshay Gurnani, CEO and Co-founder of Schbang (Marketing Solution Agency) narrated his story of realizing his passion in the field of digital marketing. He talks about how it is an exciting time for storytellers to create content when digital is booming. Anupama Chopra, VP, Corporate Communications, TATA Teleservices Ltd has spent 27 years in the Public Relations Industry. She handles both internal and external communication of the company and enjoys working on crisis management the most. Next on the panel was Samar Khan, COO- Juggernaut Productions. He started as an RJ in1987 and has created content his entire career. A prominent RJ, Keisha Lobo works with FM Rainbow Creator and has a wellness channel on YouTube. She has worked with various fields in the industry, online radio, community radio and has been an anchor on shows with CNBC.
The panel discussed various routine activities that they work on every day. They spoke about how important it is to create content that consumers want, keeping in mind wants which keep evolving and changing every day. To keep themselves updated about the changing trends and preferences, the panelists spend a lot of time educating themselves about current events. They use various tools such as social media, webinars, and talks, and spend a lot of time conversing with others for new information. They believe that the best part of their profession is that they get an opportunity to learn something new every day. Another important aspect of their work is communication. Consistent communication is key in the media and entertainment industry. They need to constantly communicate with the team, different departments and most importantly, the consumers and the audience.
An unprecedented crisis such as Covid-19 requires innovation and evolving yourself to best handle the situation. Despite having different tools and policies for crisis management and communication ready, innovation and empathy help in finding a creative solution to the problems of all stakeholders. On touching upon the topic of opportunities post-COVID-19, the panel mentioned how OTT has evolved as a new habit among consumers and is a new avenue for storytellers and content creators. At a time when everyone has a screen and the appetite for content has increased, the market is huge for content creators. They also talk about how cinema houses will not be defunct, but the revenue generated from it would be much less as compared to online streaming platforms.
A typical day for these experts involves a lot of learning. They spend a lot of time educating themselves about various happenings across different platforms, engage with customers and audience and learn from their responses as well. They work with different departments as well and spend a lot of their time ensuring a smooth flow of communications. Content creators like Samar and Keisha also spend time watching content for ideas and inspiration. Another important aspect of their role is people management. Managing creative people, working and coordinating with them also requires smooth and constant communication.
The panelists also had some great advice for students where they shed light on the wide gulf between school education and reality. With copious amounts of knowledge shared across various platforms, students need to be proactive to learn and educate themselves. They need to keep themselves abreast of everything happening around the globe and incorporate the same into their work. They also suggest spending time with people from diverse walks of life, people who know more than you, people smarter than you. Learn through various tools, read books on different topics, watch videos, listen to podcasts. The idea of experimenting and making mistakes until you find your calling needs to embraced now more than ever. They also talk about grabbing every opportunity coming across your way, no matter how big or small. Each opportunity provides something to take back as learning.
The panel concluded with imparting key skillsets required in the media and entertainment industry. Creativity needs flexibility and hence understanding that there are multiple ways to do one thing. The ability to take failure and rejection was stressed upon along with educating themselves on various happenings around the globe. Good verbal and written communication skills, good listening skills, and being a team player are other key assets for profiles in the media and entertainment industry. Since, the job requires a lot of emotional investment, working on developing a healthy mind and body are equally important. One of the panelists also mentioned the 4 I’s as a mantra: being Inquisitive, In the balance of things, be Interesting and meet Interesting people and lastly, be In Conversation with diverse people and learn from them.
Above all perseverance, grit and determination and constant improvement on yourself are the prominent factors that will shape your future. Take time to find your calling, it is only after you explore and experiment that you will find what you are truly passionate about.