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Interview: Rohit Kumar, DVP- Marketing, Zee News

We will be happy if this campaign motivates other news channels to work as a responsible media channel, says Rohit Kumar.

For the sake of News: Rohit Kumar, DVP- Marketing, Zee News

Zee News launched the year long campaign “For the sake of News” last month with the objective of providing corporate world a peep into the realm of Hindi news genre. The campaign was started with an online discussion forum, through which Zee News reached out to the Media fraternity and invited feedback on the dilution of TV news content and the possible solutions. With the time, the campaign is getting bigger and has reached on-ground from online. digs in to find more on the campaign with its creator and Marketing Head of Zee News Rohit Kumar. Read the full excerpts:

Q) Now that ‘For The Sake Of News’ has created the much needed noise within the five weeks of its launch, where do you see this campaign in near future?

‘For the sake of news’ is a year long campaign. A discussion on the issue of seriousness of news and the necessity of newsworthy content on news channels today was pending and Zee News has initiated that through this campaign. It has garnered a lot of participation and acknowledgement in the media fraternity and we would like to continue with it fulfill its role of a responsible news channel and of the watchdog of the society.

Q) Any apprehension that this campaign may force the other channels to rethink and come back on track? If so, how will you take it because it will bring a fair competition then? In this case too, do you agree that you would always be in a comfortable position because you did not deviate at all and you are habituated of fair journalism?

Zee News believes in the ethos of journalism and pure news. We will be happy if this campaign motivates other news channels to work as a responsible media channel.

Q) The fight for TRP is intense and due to that the content on Hindi news channels is getting poor. How difficult is it to maintain the credibility?

For a news channel, the only way to gain popularity and viewership is to do best in delivering newsworthy content. With the variety of channels available to the viewers today, they will come to a news channel to watch only news. To watch entertainment, comedy, reality shows, they have a plethora of options. If other news channels can acknowledge this basic fact, they too can become credible news channels. We do not believe in a shortcut mechanism. We believe in news and it works. In the last few newsworthy incidents, there was gain in news genre GRP and other genre GRP declined.

Q) If we look from advertisers' perspective then what matters the most is Audience loyalty getting that is really difficult. How are you retaining viewers on your channel?

Today, the best way to determine the way forward for any brand is to understand and acknowledge what a consumer wants out of the brand. As we are aware that in this era where information is the key to survival and success, viewers would not want to waste time on a news channel which does not respect the viewers thought and does not provide news that would update and empower them. They would not switch on a news channel to watch entertainment/ reality shows/ comedy etc. Zee News respects the intelligence of its viewers and delivers news that is relevant to them. It acts as the watch dog of the society.

Q) How much role does Marketing team play in driving the direction of the channel’s content?

Marketing plays a vital role in providing research inputs and suggestions which gives a larger picture of News genre and helps in a better understanding of the news industry. Marketing works towards improving the Brand imagery and ratings of the channel simultaneously.

Q) Is there any plan to revamp the look and feel of the channel also? What is the roadmap ahead?

We would like it to be surprise. So please wait and watch.

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