Power of storytelling, the key to consumer engagement says former Al Jazeera head: Entries for The Drum Online Media Awards 2018 now open

2018 is the year of the perpetual ‘big thing’ according to Al Jazeera senior editor

News brands of the future will draw upon audiences with a compelling narrative, according to former Al Jazeera head of digital video.

Looking towards 2018, Yasir Khan, expressed that he chooses not to be a "next big thing" person, but rather a "perpetual big thing" person.

He said: “For me, the two biggest perpetual things are storytelling and audience. No matter the trend, getting to know your audience and telling them good stories are always going to be crucial. Get a handle those, and you've got a handle on everything else.”

The Drum Online Awards identify the cleverest, boldest and most original purveyors of news and views from around the world. The nominations will be announced in March and the ceremony will take place on May 16 next year.

Khan added: “Online media, to my utter surprise and, dare I say, horror, still gets a raw deal from traditional media outlets who know they need digital to grow their audiences, but are at a loss when it comes to giving digital equal footing in terms of budgets, priority, and space in the boardroom. Recognizing and awarding excellent online media builds our credibility and earns us that place of influence and authority in boardrooms and newsrooms.”

Chairman of the 2017 judging panel, Ashely Highfield, chief executive officer of Johnston Press expressed that: “These awards put a spotlight on the boldest and most innovative digital pioneers the media industry has to offer. With nominations from all corners of the industry, the awards offer a huge opportunity to media owners, both large and small, to showcase their originality in an ever-evolving, highly competitive space.”

If you are planning on entering these awards, from his experience, Khan explained: “Lots of people see the sheer volume of content out there and get intimidated, thinking how anyone's going to notice them in the crowd. The good news is you only need to do one thing to stand out - make good content that informs, inspires and entertains your audience. Do this and you will transcend algorithms, and you will stand out.”

Deadline extensions are now available for the awards. For more information, please click here.

What categories will you enter? There is a wide variety of online media areas you can choose, including: national news site of the year, content creator of the year, editorial innovation of the year, specialist/local news site of the year, technology leader of the year and many more.

Partners of the Online Media awards is Parse.ly. and the Press Assosiation.

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