Expanding BusinessWorld’s presence in the virtual world

By Chelsey Keith P. Ignacio, Special Features Writer

THE VIRTUAL WORLD has vast capacities. As more people explore such space for information, especially at the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns, BusinessWorld maximizes several of those digital platforms to reach more audiences, partner with more advertisers, and connect the business community.

The changes brought by the pandemic have motivated the media company to find new or enhance different ways to deliver stories and engagement. “Under the changed scenario, this has inspired us to make our content even more accessible and creating new avenues of content for the business community to discover and deep dive,” said Lucien C. Dy Tioco, executive vice-president of BusinessWorld.

“Our shift to digital did not require us great lengths to adjust because it made perfect sense for us to quickly adapt to how the business community has been dealing with the crisis,” he added.

Among the platforms that BusinessWorld began to tap on at the start of the pandemic is BusinessWorld Insights. This online forum series provides a medium for local and international experts from various sectors to have insightful discussions on dealing with and recovering from the crisis.

One year since its first session, BusinessWorld Insights has evidently gathered more audience, as BusinessWorld’s Facebook followers have propelled by 513%.

Yet, aside from social media users, BusinessWorld Insights has also attracted and worked with various brands to produce special sessions.

Such partnership with brands, for Brand Marketing Supervisor Sharlitte Iza M. Cordero, has affirmed how the program dominated the online forum world.

“The successes of BusinessWorld Insights sessions are products of collective efforts — from ideation to activation,” Ms. Cordero said.

“Looking back on our first series, mounting a webinar was an untraversed path. None of us knew how things must be done, and I can still vividly remember how I used to stress over putting together one webinar,” she added.

“Fast-forward to more than a year now, it gives me pride and joy to take part in making these BusinessWorld Insights discussions happen. It’s my pleasure to be part of something that is of value for the Philippine business scene.”

Aside from this series, BusinessWorld also held the One-on-One Interview Series and the Virtual Economic Forum as venues for intelligent discussion with top executives.

Earlier this year, the One-on-One has interviewed leaders such as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno and Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada, among others.

Meanwhile, the Special Edition of the Virtual Economic Forum, held last May, gathered several executives such as Ayala Corporation’s President and CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala and Google Philippines Country Director Bernadette Nacario to envision and discuss the emerging digital economy of the Philippines.

Discourses on significant and relevant matters do not stop at online forums as BusinessWorld has also ventured into podcasting.

Through the BusinessWorld B-Side podcast, the paper’s reporters get to have in-depth conversations with various sources, as well as to discuss their stories beyond what’s on print and even on the paper’s website.

“B-Side allows you to hear the voices behind the printed bylines and names. It gives reporters an additional platform to speak with sources who can illuminate the issues of the day or share offbeat stories that they think we should know about,” BusinessWorld Multimedia Editor Sam L. Marcelo, who is among the podcast’s producers, said.

One of the recent episodes of B-Side invited Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn F. Diaz, who shared to BusinessWorld about going for gold and training amid the pandemic.

Launched back in February 2020, B-Side is still a work in progress, Ms. Marcelo noted.

“We didn’t know anything about audio when we started, but we knew that we had to meet BusinessWorld readers where they were online — the podcast space being one of them,” she shared.

“When we need a morale boost, I tell the team to compare our early episodes to the ones we’re working on now — you can hear the improvement.”

Aside from reaching audiences through virtual talks, BusinessWorld also provided information online in written format apart from its website. In partnership with global digital news stand Magzter, the company has launched BusinessWorld In-Depth, a specialized digital magazine.

With the help of the Editorial and Special Features teams of BusinessWorld, In-Depth gives readers a deeper look at various topics, industry reports, and the Top 200 Corporations, among others.

While BusinessWorld leverages new digital platforms to provide the audience with stories told in multiple ways, its website remains to be a strong platform for readers to access news on the stock market, the economy, the nation, and more.

The website also has a SparkUp section that publishes news and knowledge for the startup community, including younger generations or aspiring entrepreneurs.

Aside from news, BusinessWorld’s website also offers a space for advertisers through Spotlight, a venue for them to share about their products, services, events, or initiatives.

Accompanying BusinessWorld Online are the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of BusinessWorld, which serve as channels for social media users to access reports from the website and through other digital formats such as art cards, videos, and even tweets. From the previous year, BusinessWorld has grown its social media community by over 254%.

To further use communication platforms to inform and engage the business community, the BW Lounge was also released on Viber earlier this year.

With over 400 members as of press time, BW Lounge currently shares some news similarly circulated on social media. But soon, BusinessWorld would open it as well for its growing community. 

“BW Lounge is created to establish a new channel to promote events and programs but other than that, the team is positioning BW Lounge as an open platform where business people, investors, brands, startups can interact and meet each other,” said Mark Julian P. Cunanan, BusinessWorld Group Sales Lead for Digital.

Programs to be launched on the BW Lounge like Story Time would allow the audience to share stories about particular topics. The Viber community will also hold a free-flowing discussion through the program Open Room. BW Lounge’s Meet-Up program, meanwhile, will give startups a way to connect with investors and pitch their ideas.

“The goal is to establish a new community of digital users for BusinessWorld outside of the usual social media and website,” Mr. Cunanan said.