Alumna-Interaction- Literature, Media & the Digital Space by Rajashree Poddar


26 October 2020

The sixth Alumna-Interaction was organized virtually by the Department of English of the IIS (Deemed to be) University on “Literature, Media and the Digital Space” on 26 October 2020. Ms. Rajashree Poddar from the class of 2010 and presently Branded Content Lead (iDiva and MensXP) at Times Internet Ltd., was invited to deliver the same. Dr. Rimika Singhvi, Head of the Department, delivered a warm welcome.


Ms. Poddar began the virtual session by stressing on the significance of thinking beyond the prescribed university curriculum and charting one’s own path in order to foray into the culturally hungry digital world. She outlined that all the literary works that she studied and the assignments and papers that she wrote contributed to a better articulation of the vast universe of thought and to the spectrum of storytelling. 


She elaborated on her interest in translating stories into a visual form which led her to pursuing a Masters in Mass Communication with a specialization in Film-Making and Video Production. Her penchant for storytelling attracted companies who started approaching her to strategize content through her SEO-based writing which was palatable to the company’s ethos.  


Ms. Poddar highlighted that she spent 2-3 years as a freelancer and was thrilled to discover the gift of selling an idea through story-telling, the joy of writing what interested her and the bliss of its enthusiastic reception by the masses. Her experience with English literature equipped her with the ability to articulate the same thing in numerous ways and to isolate the choice of the message from its medium of transmission. 


She then referred to her time spent at ScoopWhoop where she wrote simple opinion pieces, employing a relatable perspective in her writing. She described in length the stark difference between watching an advertisement on television vis-à-vis writing branded content. The latter employs a more subliminal approach, adding a personal perspective under the guise of someone relatable so as to avoid coming across as an advertisement. 


Ms. Poddar did not refrain from mentioning the difficulty of meeting deadlines and dealing with cut-throat competition to get maximum engagement from the digital audience. She expounded on avoiding a proliferation of heavy words in writing, having the cognizance of telling a story in its most basic form and dressing it up without overdoing it. 


With such vibrant thoughts, the rich lecture came to an end with  an interactive Q/A session. The discussion revolved around how to prepare oneself for a creative career, how to meet challenging deadlines as a content writer, whether age plays a role in the digital industry and the difficulties of getting into publishing. 


Dr. Rimika Singhvi closed the highly informative session with a vote of thanks.