7 Wonders of Digital Media
Living in this era of instant connectivity feels like riding the digital wave that has transformed how we connect, communicate, conduct, and share our work. It's not just about scrolling through social media or binge-listening to podcasts anymore. Digital platforms have become an essential pilar of how businesses, organizations, and, in my case, the Foundation, operate.
As the Digital Media Specialist at the Foundation, my world revolves around navigating the dynamic landscape of digital media to champion our policy research and diverse initiatives. From showcasing our latest publications to sharing exciting open calls for artists and scholars, our digital media channels are more than likes and comments. Here are seven ways these platforms have become our trusted allies in this ever-changing journey:
- Accessibility and Dissemination:
Remember when groundbreaking research findings were hidden away in academic journals or government reports? Well, not anymore. Our digital platforms have torn down those walls, making our research accessible to anyone with an internet connection. From elderly care policies to animal welfare reports, we're ensuring that our findings reach a global audience. Besides a wider reach, it’s important to mention that all of the Foundation’s research is open access, which means that it’s available to readers worldwide at no cost!
- Real-time Updates:
The world is moving fast, and so are we. Our digital platforms let us share our latest findings, respond to current issues, and cover live events in real time. It's not just about staying relevant; it's about being adaptable to the ever-evolving landscape of policy concerns. Through stories, tweets, and live streams, we have been able to share live updates of our events, relevant news, and talks with special guests. From livestreaming an opening speech at Ras Al Khaimah Art to live tweets featuring a conference’s presenters, these tools let us share these moments with audiences that couldn’t join us physically.
- Enhanced Engagement:
Engagement is no longer a one-way street. Thanks to our social media, blogs, and podcasts, we have dynamic conversations with stakeholders and the community. It's all about fostering a culture of agility and openness where research and policy walk hand in hand. We constantly receive comments and messages from members of our community, sharing their interest in our initiatives or finding new opportunities through our open calls. Our social media channels have opened an additional door for the community and our collaborators to reach us openly and easily, optimizing our communications. Additionally, some of our audiences have become part of our communication efforts through user-generated content!
- Targeted Audiences:
One size doesn't fit all, especially in the digital realm. We can tailor our messages to specific audiences through social media and email campaigns. Whether it's promoting educational courses and unique workshops or spreading the word about the Ras Al Khaimah Art Festival, reaching the right people has never been easier. Thanks to targeting features from Meta, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter, we’re able to deliver the right information to the right people. For instance, we make sure to push art open calls to artists and avoid bombarding busy researchers with these. Similarly, we wouldn’t want to promote our Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) articles with our network of artists overseas.
- Supporting Collaborations and Networking:
Digital platforms are like matchmakers for collaborations. Our campaigns gain momentum through social media sharing, bringing together researchers, policymakers, artists, and community members. It's not just about sharing ideas; it's about creating networks that lead to more robust collaborations. Through digital campaigns that promote our initiatives, like the Ras Al Khaimah Teachers Network, Ras Al Khaimah Art, GCES, Al Jazeera Al Hamra Heritage Village, and our Scholarships Office, we’ve been able to foster connections and create platforms for people with similar interests to meet and, many times, work together! In addition, features like collaborative posts and tags allow us to collectively share these experiences with our collaborators.
- Democratizing Knowledge:
Knowledge isn't meant to be confined by any means. Our website, open-access repositories, webinars, and podcasts are breaking down those barriers, making our research accessible to all. Whether you're a fresh student or a renowned scholar, our digital presence ensures you're part of the conversation. Today, anyone can visit our website, read our latest blogs and policy papers, or download our Annual Reports to learn more about our work.
- Tracking Impact and Influence:
We're not just shouting into the digital void. Sometimes, analytical tools on digital platforms help us measure the reach and impact of our initiatives. It's not just about the numbers; it's about listening to our community's feedback, refining our strategies, and demonstrating the real-world influence of our work. Constantly checking our insights and analytics on Meta and Google, for instance, has helped us determine the specifics of each of our initiative’s audiences; we know that most of the Foundation’s followers are female and that most of Ras Al Khaimah Art’s followers are younger than forty, for instance. This is particularly helpful as we try to attract a wider audience for each of our accounts, showing us the kind of people we need to target and how to tailor our content for specific campaigns. To share another example, we recently asked Ras Al Khaimah Art’s audience their thoughts about our last exhibition through social media polls. We received useful and productive feedback that is helping us tailor an incredible exhibition for the next edition of the festival.
At the Foundation, our commitment to supporting our community guides our content creation and digital media strategies. Utilizing these resources to support our policy research, community, and cultural efforts has not only made our work accessible on a global scale. Still, it has also enabled increased awareness and connectivity between our community, helping us bridge the gap between academia, arts and culture, and current affairs. In a world where the digital landscape is ever-evolving, our role at the Foundation is to empower Ras Al Khaimah’s community with knowledge and opportunities in hopes of creating meaningful connections and a better emirate, providing platforms to engage and make an impact on policy outcomes.