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Let’s smart it out!

 

Did you know the pseudo names of the digital natives? Did you know turning into a smart campus can play a vital role in achieving the enrollment goals of a college or a university? Welcome to the world of GenZs… yes, our very own digital natives!

Students are no longer just students, they are consumers. Yes, you heard me right… consumers!! Today’s students are armed with social awareness. Their choices are based on purpose, value, and experience. For this reason, institutions should now reflect on their objectives and reshape how they move forward using advancements that other sectors have adapted to. The higher education landscape is at the junction of an amazing digital shift. A gradual yet robust shift toward being a Smart Campus.

Enter the smart campus

What, precisely, is a smart campus? Smart Campus links devices, applications, people, and technology to enable novel experiences or services and further develop operational efficiency. Some innovative experiences include wayfinding, smart parking, transit, wait times for cafeteria, finding lost belongings, and more. A Smart Campus starts with universal, dependable wired and wireless connectivity – indoors as well as outdoors.

How can educational institutions turn smart 

Our 21st-century world is being restructured by rapid technological change. But no change can happen overnight. It takes planning, strategizing, a common understanding, and a holistic vision. A study by Deloitte (https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/strategy/the-next-generation-connected-campus-deloitte.pdfsays, the vision of a smart campus relies on a diverse stack of technology capabilities that should have the following layers: presentation/channels, analytics and automation, data platform, integration, enterprise applications, infrastructure, security and risk. Having said that, once the IT infrastructure is in place, the next step is to form intuitive platforms to make interactions effortless and persona centric. For example, voice technology could be used to enhance lectures by professors. A “smart” way to keep your campus sustainable is ensuring your entire system is flexible enough to adapt to the dynamic world of technology and integration. Traditionally, campuses are local in their reach and scale. A smart campus, however, should allow for global scalability that leverages digital tools and technologies to provide data-driven experiences.

Enabling contextual, personalised and interactive campuses

In the competitive landscape, universities must adopt smart campus technologies to remain ahead in the race. The design of a smart campus is paramount to the success of the implementation. Institutes need to envision and create a synergy leveraging user experience, mobility, digitalisation, safety, artificial intelligence, and embracing cloud benefits. Investments made today towards smart campus initiatives will catapult such institutes to the next orbit of growth.

IILM University continuously works to build on innovative practices, leveraging emerging technologies to enhance the student experience. We understand that campus is the epicentre of all activity and therefore we leverage technology and strategies in a way that improves the experience of the students. To learn more about us visit www.iilm.edu.in

Do leave your comment on what you think of the smart campus impact on future learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storytelling Communication Matters

Hi, I’m Prof. Pamposh Gulati and I teach Journalism, Media, and Communication at IILM University.

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Do you know? The stories we tell create the world we live in.

To be able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills because it facilitates passing information to others and helps us understand what is said to us. The ability to communicate information precisely, lucidly and as intended, is a fundamental life skill and something that should not be ignored.

Storytelling is a two-way interaction, between someone telling a story and one or more listeners. It is a well-known and powerful means of communicating messages and engaging audiences. For eras, storytelling to communicate has been used very effectively. From the original cavemen to our ancestors and now to businesses and marketers, storytelling is a valued tool. It is an art form with a purpose to educate, stimulate and communicate thoughts, expressions and ideas. Storytelling typically follows a structure that defines the cause-and-effect relationships between events that take place over a particular period and that impact a range of individuals.

Storytelling is likely to generate a shared understanding among people about a situation, a topic or a problem. The more a story is engaging, the more it has the potential to attract and sustain the interest of the audience perpetuating meaningful connections. One thing is clear that people connect with a story, and a story takes people on a journey. Whether it’s a journey to your childhood home or a journey to a life-changing truth, it’s a story that will eventually take you there.”

Human beings are wired for stories. With the evolvement of technology and communication, its become imperative to communicate succinctly through all channels. However, this isn’t always so easy. Although one might think that with so much new technology, communication has become easier, but actually, all it’s done is to reinforce the need to perfect the classic communication methods. One being, storytelling. Engaging communication through storytelling has several perks. But why you should use it? To express your vision.

Storytelling techniques are common for individuals, groups, companies, and large organisations. Let’s discuss briefly some important techniques:

  1. Make your stories friendly: Friendly stories are great as they get the listeners into a state of mind, which is full of positivity and hope; leaving a great impact on their minds.
  2. Emotional: A story that garners strong emotion is one that will last the longest in the minds of the listeners.
  3. Bring your characters to life: Characters are the heart of any story. Their affluence and hardships are what makes people want to laugh, cry or rejoice. To do this, you must provide enough detail to bring the character to life in the minds of your audience.
  4. Inclusive: A story which allows the listener to feel as though they’re in the story themselves is the kind of story which is the most effective. Imagining ourselves as the protagonist always feels good na..
  5. Relevant: Relevancy is key when communicating with your audience. A witty story can make people feel good, however, it may not relate to the central message you want to convey. This is why when you use storytelling to communicate, the message has to bring into line with the story, dovetail, or at least circle back.

At IILM University, storytelling is an integral subject of journalism, media and communication. Digital storytelling is different from traditional print journalism. As mobile and i-pads become the default device and visuals overtake text, journalism has definitely come of age. Navigation is based on tap and swipe, video commands attention, graphics and quotes communicate better than a copy. Storytelling is both an art and a science. Some pieces are inherently in you — copywriting and creativity — that can be fostered and sharpened. The undergraduate course in Journalism, Media, and Communication at IILM University is the preferred destination for students looking to immerse themselves in this dynamic and exciting industry. We understand that the performative and very practical nature of journalism suggests that journalism skills development is most effective when approached through a learning-centred approach to curriculum. Therefore, our pedagogy is all about experiential learning. Our curriculum is based on the concept of “Doing it for Real”; therefore, we teach in a designing experiential journalism and media curriculum that prepare students for the new and uncertain world.

If you like what you’ve heard on this podcast, I invite you to leave us a comment or review. 

Is print media losing its sheen as digital media leapfrogs ?

“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses” ~ Malcolm X.

Media has been ruling since time immemorial. Mass media refers to various platforms, which can be used to communicate and interact with a large number of audiences in different languages. The frontrunners being print and digital. 

Early print and digital

Print media is known from the days of Julius Cesar when Acta Diurna, came into being.It has been dominating the media and communication industry with newspapers, magazines, booklets and brochures, house magazines, periodicals or newsletters, direct mailers, handbills or flyers, billboards, press releases, and books. However, change is the only constant and with digital slowly building up a solid userbase over the years a question mark on the sustainability of print arose.

We all know that digital media is created, modified and distributed on digital electronic devices. For many of us, it may be difficult to believe, but in 1986, only 34 years back, we had as little as 1 percent of total media storage capacity in digital form.  This number rose to 94 percent in 2007, which best illustrates the speed at which digitalization came about. In a relatively short period, the Internet has had a remarkable influence on almost every facet of our lives. This evolution of media and communication has not just evolved more with each passing day but has also revolutionized the way individuals and businesses operate.

 

The debate and trends

The biggest advantage that print has over digital is its credibility. Print media is more trustworthy because once the news is published, it cannot be deleted or even modified. For most of us, the day begins and ends with screens. The print is a soft breeze that comes by to give us a digital detox time. When we read newspapers, there are no distractions from numerous clickable advertisements and pop-ups, that makes the consumption and comprehension of the news more deep-down.

In a country like ours, many areas have limited or no access to the internet. For them, print media is a blessing in disguise. However, when the debate continues to the statistics of literacy rate, digital scores a point, since radio and television do not require literacy and readability skills.

Current trends show that most newspapers and magazines are turning to their digital version and several online news websites are bringing their print versions. This is quite a mix bag of ways to reach more consumers and to establish credibility. However, in this fast-paced world and extreme paucity of time a  two-way communication that digital media offers make news and information interactive, engaging, and interesting. With a faster turnaround time and instant updates digital keeps us more streamlined.  This makes it easy to spread important news among the public.

However, as anyone can easily generate content for digital media, fake news is on the rise. As a result, unless they are famous and have a good name, digital media platforms are not being trusted by the public. In this regard, print media win hands down.

 

Who stays longer?

Yes! News is now being consumed in little digital packets. While digital boasts of a solid userbase today, print media has also witnessed healthy growth in terms of readership. Both have their pros and cons and will see robust growth in the coming years with their respective consumers. In fact, with increasing literacy rates, print is acquiring more users. The print is not losing its sheen, but it will have to diversify, experiment and explore more opportunities to remain in the rat race. So, we can say that print and digital media are co-existing quite happily for now. It’s for undercurrents to decide who sustains in the long run.

Journalism, media and communication programme at IILMU

We at IILM University understand the current trends, we know this is one of the most dynamic and imposing industry and therefore, the 3-year bachelor’s degree in journalism, media and communication offers the most intensive and innovative curriculum blended with a progressive pedagogy. From a range of core and electives, the student learns all about various media and communication platforms such a print, digital, broadcast, advertising, public relations, corporate communication, photography and many more. We teach journalism, media, communication not only as an industry but as part of society as well.

 

 

 

 

Harnessing Brand Communication to Reignite Momentum & Restart Commerce

Brand communication is voice. It humanizes any brand to be able to create real and relevant conversations with people. In times of crisis like today, brands play a significant role in shaping the choices people make. These choices are not just about the product or service, but also message and purpose-driven.

IILM conducted an engaging and interactive webinar on “Brand Communication in Times of Crisis ” by Karen Wilson – Publisher & Business Head Lifestyle Division – India Today Group. The webinar was scheduled for 15 May and was streamed live on YouTube. The participants were a mix of students, faculty, and guests who joined through registration.

YouTube video

 

Karen initiated the webinar by talking about how in these unprecedented times, people look to leaders and institutions for guidance, reassurance, and information. We further deliberated that customers today are more aware and exposed to the realities of business. And that’s why it becomes imperative for any business to stick to implicit messaging.

The webinar took an interesting turn when Karen highlighted how increasingly, businesses require to reignite momentum and restart commerce. How they should perceive this moment of crisis not as a danger but also as an opportunity but not at the cost of sounding an opportunist. She added that this is the time for brands to take a moment and reassess past business practices and the road ahead. Karen showed some eye-opening advertisements from the past and from the present that exhibited what brands must do in times of crisis and how in the process maintain their reputation as well.

The latter part of the webinar was open to the audience and some interesting questions on how businesses should strategize their brand policy when sales begin to nosedive, consumers set stricter priorities and reduce their spending, and most businesses postpone new investments. To this Karen focused principally on the right brand messaging and its importance. She explicitly pointed out how brands must appeal to consumers’ emotions. All messaging must elicit a high emotional response to the said product. The underlined sentiments of this new normal must be reinforced in all communication. To a very interesting question on how businesses dealing in non-consumable services must do their branding? Karen was quick to answer that businesses must leverage testimonials and focus on the USP of their service for the end-user.

The webinar was a grand success in terms of the relevance of the content, the structuring of the presentation, the flurry of questions from the audience, and the huge participation.  The crux that as humans, we’re programmed to stay connected. While social distancing measures offer protection and security, they come with a significant impact on the emotional and mental well-being of individuals, communities, and the world at large. It is at times like this that brands must continue to connect and reassure their customers that this too shall pass, and we are in this together, therefore resulting in them remaining top of mind.

Check out this post I wrote on “The Anatomy of Online business- Brand Storytelling the new normal, it’s packed with amazing tips.

Brand Storytelling the New Normal

The world dynamics has changed. Personal to professional anatomy of living and doing business has gone through massive disruptions. Today’s COVID 19 world has become overly automated and digitally driven. Humanity is becoming the new premium. The web incessantly rewards us with expediency and instant gratification, making the human touch increasingly scarcer and more coveted. And this is when  brand storytelling smiles and walks in (drums roll please!!)

Irrespective of the industry, sector, or vertical, businesses should survive and survive well…they have to connect even more intensely with their customers and pull at their heartstrings and engage with them on a much deeper level than before. Brand storytelling is the cohesive narrative that entwines together facts and emotions that a brand induces. It’s not enough to present quality products and services to your customers or a price that they can’t refuse, but it’s now imperative for businesses to begin sharing the story behind their brand’s existence and what really matters to them consistently across all communication channels and platforms. Businesses need to touch on that emotional chord that the customers will evoke every time they interact with your brand. To place long matters short “In a sea of semblance, be unforgettable”.

Today, whether they are existing customers or new ones; they not only require world class products and services, but they also rummage around for something additional, something worthwhile, something to get inspired. Take Apple, as an example. They sell technology, but from the commencement, their audience needed to feel that it absolutely was okay to be brave, bold, and think differently from the crowd. Tesla’s customers need to feel that it’s worthwhile to support the environment and sustainable energy. So, it’s important that when you craft your message for storytelling you think what your customers really need from you.

An effective brand storytelling has a more conversational tone asking for engagement (no strings attached), involving the customer in what you do as a business. Brand storytelling is all about turning your brand into an experience your customers can consume — that’s what will turn customers who pay for your product/services because they need to fix a problem into a rabid tribe that will support your success,  be loyal, and come back for more.

That’s how trust builds in and once you have successfully done that, they are more likely to buy from you. The least you’ll have relationships with people who will become your business advocates for years to come.

Storytelling is changing the way of doing business now, it is actually the most ancient and powerful tool for effective education. You know why?  Because humans are genetically wired to love and respond to stories. A memorable brand story is exactly the need of the hour. So, go all out and connect your customers to your business in a way that they have a lasting positive impression of who you are and what you stand for, and become loyal clients.

So, it’s time for businesses to stand out and, ultimately, turn into a legacy.

The Power of Poetry

Poetry has survived and survived really well…It is one of the finest and powerful forms of writing. In short, poetry is creativity in disguise. It teaches us to communicate in a compelling way, thereby enhance learning. Poetry is about expressing those thoughts and emotions we keep the most suppressed. An integral part of writing poetry is to be honest with ourselves about what we feel in order to write anything worth reading. It’s about connecting our hearts and our minds to ourselves and our environs. It’s about finding peace.

Poetry is one of those skills that will remain in use for your entire life no matter what you end up doing professionally. It gives us a salubrious outlet for pouring our emotions. Reading original poetry aloud can foster trust and empathy in a community, while also accentuating speaking and listening skills. There are many of us  who don’t like writing essays but may like poetry, with its dearth of fixed rules and its kinship with rap. For such people, poetry can become a doorway to other forms of writing. All forms of writing benefits from the powerful and succinct phrases found in poems.

Additionally, poetry can help us to learn how to utilize grammar in our own writing by studying how poets do—and do not—abide by conventional writing rules in their work. Poetry can teach writing and grammar rules by showing what happens when poets strip them away or distort them for effect for example; Dickinson often capitalizes common nouns and uses dashes instead of commas to show sudden shifts in focus in his poetry, similarly, Agee uses colons to create dramatic, speech-like pauses. The more we read different poets, the more we can carve out our own style. The point of reading a poem is not to try to decipher it. Still, that quantifiable process of elucidation is precisely what needs to be encouraged often in lieu of curating a powerful experience through literature.

So, don’t wait…reach for the pen, and let go of those things that have been encumbering your freedom. Read poetry with your heart and let it affect you in one of the most defining ways.

 

 

 

Reinventing Pedagogy

Reinventing  Pedagogy

Every challenge is an opportunity, they say. I cannot begin to imagine how a deadly virus could be a game-changer for the humanity at large. These are trying times for all of us, but we need to accept that what began as an alternative approach to ensure business continuity is most likely to become the new normal. COVID-19 has brought along a reality check – that education technology that delivers prodigious content and engages students and teachers has never been more vital.

Corporates have been using online video collaboration platforms to keep business going, but for an industry like Education, this is the time for upskilling in a way that we continue to provide learning opportunities and other critical services to our students. This is the time to reflect and think beyond the challenges of the next few weeks.

Today there is an application for just about anything in education. A lot of us are deploying the best in AI, VR and AR and they are demonstrating the power to serve as a teacher in cases where students need to be isolated. However, we should not need a crisis like COVID 19 to rethink how education can functionbecause students, no matter where they are and how old they are should be able to make their way through their education and work journeys with the benefit of superior technical innovations that can more seamlessly identify, respond, correct and expose them to deep learning.

Let’s hope that when COVID-19 is in our rear-view mirrors, the innovations and technology that is helping our students today, continue to offer adaptable, online formats to educate our bright young minds. We should focus on developing our online infrastructure and have everything available to us and also because it’s not complicated. We need to change the age-old structure of imparting high-quality education that requires a face-to-face format.

While we wait with a lot of uncertainty for now, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s keep moving forward with all the resources that we, fortunately, have with us. Let’s together fight and emerge more stronger and consistent, because this too shall pass…