Digital platforms an ideal augmentation for traditional media outlets amid COVID-19

Published April 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by Jonnah Lynne Pante

As the world moves to identify and explore what the digital world can further bring to modify the way people live, among the industries that digitization struck an imperative difference in terms of operations are media organizations, especially those who are under the traditional curve.

For a significant time, there seems to be an unending debate whether the dawn of digital media will eventually lead to the depletion of print. A number of media organizations famous for their print platforms have also embraced digitization and have finally put their pages to rest to either cut costs or to meet the modern preference of their readers.

The current situation also adds to the conversation on whether keeping print alive is still reasonable. Due to the enhanced community quarantine which put cities and provinces in lockdown, logistics are restricted, making the delivery of newspapers a challenging task while the world battles a contagious disease. Local and international media companies have been using their digital presence more to bring instant and snackable news and updates for the benefit of the public.

But for media organizations like the Manila Bulletin who have established strong presence and credibility through tangible stories for 120 years, it’s all about keeping a healthy mix.

Adapting to digital while maintaining its roots as the longest-running newspaper in the Philippines, the shift brought the creation of MBrand — a name which depicts how Manila Bulletin utilizes its digital channels to augment its print platform not just to bring accurate and timely news stories but to also get the message of different brands to the audience.

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The MBrand team is composed of professionals in digital strategy, content production, client service, events management, and visual design.

Combining print and digital also stirs creativity which helped Manila Bulletin steer away from the usual placement advertisements. In integrating both platforms, the publication has released creative executions such as false covers with QR codes that will bring readers to a mirrored article published online.

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The branded content group of Manila Bulletin, led by its department head Irish Santos Lorenzo, advocates utilization of both print and digital assets of Manila Bulletin to achieve maximum benefits of both media.

“Our aim is to provide assistance to brands in their aim of telling their story or messages to the target audience. We ensure that it will be done in a manner that would resonate and be understood effectively. It is also a must for us to do it in a way that we always adhere to MB’s legacy of delivering accurate and unbiased information,” said Irish May Santos-Lorenzo, MBrand’s Department Head.

Another useful facet is social media. Amid COVID-19, the Manila Bulletin, in partnership with various brands, has rolled out campaigns in the form of Facebook albums and videos to portray important messaging including combating fake news, with a print counterpart through a comprehensive article which related tips on how not to be purveyors of false information.

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MBrand also actively participates in expos and events to enable its services to reach a wider market.

“Utilizing both print and digital platforms is something that we always try to advocate to our brand partners.  The tangible credibility of the print medium and the widespread access through digital media is a win-win combination for efficient and effective delivery of information,” Lorenzo added.

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Among the projects the MBrand department has implemented in partnership with various brands are live event coverages aired on Manila Bulletin’s Facebook page.

For the Manila Bulletin and its in-house creative agency, MBrand, print is far from being just a museum artifact. As long as there is a need for important stories to be heard, print will continue to exist along with the Manila Bulletin’s digital platforms.

For more information about MBrand, send email to [email protected]. Visit www.mb.com.ph for a daily dose of news stories and updates.

 
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