Geopolitics is the study of foreign policy to understand, explain and predict international political behavior through geographical variables such as – climate, topography, demography.
As a publisher, geopolitics is an important consideration while generating content or building market strategies for your publication.
News events of significance occur frequently. For instance, ‘state-elections’ is an important event that publishers cover. During such times, users are hungry for information and analysis that they can trust. Apart from live updates, users look for in-depth analysis with the hope of finding possible impact and repercussions of the results, in their lives. A publisher must recognize this requirement of the user, and cater to it.
The recently held U.S. elections were covered comprehensively by many online publishers. The telegraph.co.uk provided an in-depth analysis into Donald Trump’s win. Telegraph used videos on their website effectively to depict swing states, vote share percentage, electoral maps and candidate popularity.
The content was created using videos, charts, and graphics for a more engaging experience.
Back home, the recently concluded 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections were covered by various publishers.
Publishers such as thehindu.com had a live update feed on the website, discussing 2016 West Bengal Election Results: As It Happened. The website provided analysis based on the total number of electors,constituencies and the live election results. The content was a mix of geographic visualizations, live updates,chart, and videos. Such coverage helps provide the user an immersive, in-depth coverage of the elections.
How Publishers Can Cover Such Events:
Events of nationals and international importance must be covered across platforms. For an effective communication, publishers must ensure they use a mix of multimedia (pictures, videos, graphs etc) and text.
Following is a list of tools publishers can use to cover such events better:
Podcasts are digital audio files available for the user to download from the internet. The Economist stories over a podcast, read by professional broadcasters. It uses podcasts to air interviews with important personalities, news and opinions. Recently, the website posted an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The interview covered the country’s political scenario, the President, and the country’s path going forward.
Given that Podcasts use only audio, publishers can use them to disseminate expert views and opinions on a subject.
Ndtv.com airs exit polls on its website, to represent the seats won and lost by parties, and live updates to election results. Exit polls help provide a life, although the rough estimate of an electoral candidate’s performance, before the actual results, are announced.
Many a time, graphs and pictures help communicate information more effectively and with less time, than written text.
Figure 1: Shows the phase-wise elections that were scheduled for West Bengal.
Figure2: Shows the WB election results and seat distribution between parties.
Opinion Polls / Surveys
In times when more and more people are over social media, publishers cannot afford to ignore public opinion. Users should be involved in content creation. Online publications such an Economic Times conducts polls every day. Although representative, this data can be used asses public opinion. Such polls help engage the publisher’s audience with the content.
Figure 2: Sample of an online poll conducted by Economic Times
Events such as elections, draw a lot of user attention. Users often look for a single source that can provide them comprehensive coverage and analysis.
Publishers on their part must strive to provide such complex information, in a simple, user-friendly manner. Often, a good mix of multimedia and text helps make complex information easily understandable. Publishers should ensure they present information through graphics, videos, and audio to enable a better user involvement and interaction.