Kapamilya executives led by ABS-CBN Chairman-CEO Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III reminded over 700 communication students nationwide at the Pinoy Media Congress Year 6 held at the University of Santo Tomas last February 22 to 23 one constant and important insight on the industry: no matter what form of media you’re using, your audiences always come first.
Lopez, along with ABS-CBN’s division heads and other esteemed speakers, delivered industry tips, issue analysis, eye-opening presentations and inspiration to the delegates of the two-day event, organized yearly by the network and the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE).
ABS-CBN Channel 2 Head Cory Vidanes told the students and professors that ABS-CBN always keeps in mind the needs and wants of the viewers. In fact, every program addresses a specific need, she said.
“Our noontime program provides lively and uplifting fun. Our reality programs deliver the thrill and excitement. Our talk shows and news programs keep people in the loop. Our variety shows showcase Filipino talent. Our teleseryes tell you your stories, stories of empowered individuals who overcome trials while game shows demonstrate that skill matched with strategy and luck can change people’s lives,” she explained.
ABS-CBN Creative Communications Management Head Robert Labayen, meanwhile, reminded the students to be sensitive about the feelings and sensibilities of the viewing public. “Inspire people to be their best. Don’t preach, instead touch their hearts,” he said.
Labayen then played the popular “Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko” station ID and the “Bagong Simula” music video to show how communicators can take the role of a nation’s “cheering squad” in times of distress and turmoil.
ABS-CBN Customer Business Development Head Vivian Tin also disproved the notion that media has power over the masses. She advised the students not to underestimate the public. She said, based on research, the “masa” is actually very perceptive and is able to process what is given to them by media.
She concluded by saying, “We live and die based on the choices of the viewers.”
With a theme of “Engaging People and Media Participation for Change,” there were also many presentations on the power of social media and convergence in the event. In ABS-CBN, technology like the Internet and cellphones play key roles in projects such as “Boto Mo, iPatrol Mo: Ako ang Simula” and the “No to Mining in Palawan” signature campaign, and for programs such as “Imortal,” which offers its viewers an experience beyond TV by producing webisodes.
Still, amid all the opportunities made possible by new media, the leaders of ABS-CBN told the students that their most powerful instrument is oneself. Hence, it is important that they continue learning, to not forget to listen to their audience, and to uphold integrity at work.
ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Head Ging Reyes even reminded the aspiring journalists, “If this is the calling you choose, you should accept certain realities. Walang pera sa trabahong ito. It takes a strong character to say no to temptations.”
The delegates, all communication majors, were also treated with surprise appearances by Kapamilya artists Coco Martin, Maja Salvador, Andi Eigenmann of the teleserye “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin” and “Happy Yipee Yehey” hosts John Estrada, Randy Santiago, Bianca Manalo, and Toni Gonzaga. Their learning experience also didn’t end inside the College of Medicine auditorium of the University of Santo Tomas as ABS-CBN also gave them a free tour of the La Mesa Eco Park and free viewing of the movie “RPG: Metanoia” at the ABS-CBN Dolphy Theater.
Next year, ABS-CBN partners with PACE again for “Pinoy Media Congress Year 7” at the Trinity University of Asia. Communication students are encouraged to participate to learn from the industry’s best.