Kolkatta born and settled in Pune, Koyel Duttagupta is a communication and social media professional releasing her first book ‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’. An alumnus of the prestigious Loreto, the author has graduated in communications and worked as a professional with big brands such as AXA, Resilinc and Deutsche Bank as a content provider spanning across vast areas such as private medical insurance, technical, notifications on supply chain-related events, audio/video snippets from YouTube, SoundCloud to drafting legal contracts pertaining to finance transition. In this interview, this media professional discusses what led her to come up with the on Mindful Communication during the lockdown last year after discussion with her husband, the Ws of reading it, the relevance of branding in today’s digital times, and the thriving L&D market on how to choose effectively and reliable online communication coach, cutting above the rest. Koyel has a message in her book for young graduates and communication experts.
1. Corporate and Self-Help book, if I may say so, ‘Mindful Communication’ belongs to a niche genre. How does your book reach out to a wider crowd, beyond the targeted audience in today’s age of digital media?
‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ is my brainchild and as you mentioned correctly, the book belongs to a specific genre. I didn’t want to follow the cliché marketing mantra for my first book and have put across the e-book details on my various social media pages such as Facebook page, LinkedIn and Insta following the traditional ‘word of mouth’ technique. I believe that it is critical for a first venture to have word-of-mouth publicity helping the author/writer become a household name and connect with readers.
2. The virus and lockdown have forced many to sit and contemplate reinvention. I guess it’s no different for you looking at the fact that you embraced social media as a career. How the attitudinal shift in perspective has helped you to come up with this book and what ‘Mindful Communication Within You for a Better You’ is all about?
The global pandemic in 2020 definitely is an eye-opener for me. The ‘work from home’ setup was taking a toll on my health and I was not enjoying my regular job at all. I felt this urge to do something on my own and work on my passion for ‘writing’ in a broader context and communicating with the wider mass. I trusted my instinct and took a step ahead to change my career path after a lengthy discussion with my husband. This decision was not an easy one as I was diving into insecurity but I wanted to listen to my heart this time and not my brain.
‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ is all about effective communication with yourselves. We hardly get time to connect with our inner souls or minds and always doing the running around after our jobs/chores on a regular basis. Our minds get fully ignored in this process and we don’t give ourselves enough time. On top of that, with virtual setup coming into the picture, we have lost the human connect. This detachment was a concern for me, and I started with my research on the same coupled with personal experiences and suggestions in stitching my book which took shape in a month’s time. The end product is on Kindle for everyone to read!
3. You are a product of the prestigious Loreto in Kolkata and communication grads which brings you close to what you are doing as a professional in your field of work. How your education has defined your career and influenced the book’s making and to what extent you want it to impact the lives of aspiring young communication graduates or digital experts, and professionals in a field where we speak about 360-degree solutions?
Being a Mass Communication student, I felt my forte has been ‘expression’. In my 12 years of corporate experience, I have been mostly into content writing and content management. I derive immense satisfaction when I can express my thoughts in my own words and it reaches the right audience.
Communication is everywhere. We need it and we need to imbibe it skillfully so that we succeed in today’s e-world. Having said that, I would recommend to all the young graduates and digital experts, not to ignore this concept and the mechanism of Communication. You can be highly knowledgeable and an expert in your processes but if you cannot express or articulate effectively and put forward the right point at the right time, you will be nowhere.
To add on, just wanted to let all your readers know that I am coming up with my online communication training program shortly. I will cover both personal and professional aspects of communication in my program in a detailed manner to help people understand the nitty-gritty of the communication process as a whole.
4. Coming back to your career, an impressive CV dabbling into content and being part of leading brands such as AXA, Resilinc, and Deutsche bank writing with exposure to events and snippets on YouTube and Sound Cloud. How do you see the growth of such channels leapfrogging to make communications an important aspect of our lives be it corporate and personal, particularly in today’s times?
Communication is evergreen and vast subject which keeps evolving. It’s true that we are living in a digital world, hence the need to use social media to reach wider masses. FB, Insta, YouTube, WhatsApp, Telegram, and LinkedIn, to name a few are here to stay. We can reach out to many simply by ‘going live’ and just by sharing content here. Moreover, these applications are coming up with unique and distinct features suiting different types and content duration. Hence, as a student, teacher, corporate leader, or employee we all need to be tech-savvy and utilise social media to its fullest extent and potential to enhance visibility.
5. How do you see branding in communications from the trainer’s perspective evolving during the years and the challenges we will face in a world severely impacted by the corona pandemic?
To be honest, today’s virtual world is replete with online trainers, coaches and speakers. There are multiple domains and a bevy of experts to follow. Obviously, how do you know who is genuine and whom to follow! In this context, branding plays an important role to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Your knowledge in the field of Communication needs to be associated with a specific niche and it should be clear enough to attract the right audience who in the long run can associate with you.
Branding is ever evolving but the knowledge you want to share needs to have strong footage into it. It has to be personalized and for that reason only, one needs to make it unique. If there is one positive role the COVID-19 outbreak played is that it led to the L&D market booming in the current times. This market needs knowledge givers armed with the true intention and without their personal brands, it makes it difficult to sustain.
6. One thing which interests me and to the benefit of readers is how your book addresses the underlying issues and opportunities in communications, need to reinvent and embrace the vastly complex world of digital?
My e-book ‘Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ speaks about mindful presence or self-awareness before we actually speak or read or write. Our mind is mostly functioning with a ‘what if syndrome’ which builds and breeds in too much negativity in and around us. So, it’s important to be fully aware of ourselves, understand the feelings, emotions and thoughts that create the Communication process, how to effectively communicate with ourselves and others in any environment.
7. How do you see the market demand for ‘reliable’ online communication coaches and what it takes to be a cut above the rest in terms of training and education, offering a tailor-made approach to the needs of a young crowd, as distinct from handful coaches mushrooming daily? Do you see aspire to take this role sometime soon in creating value addition?
As I mentioned earlier, the L&D market is growing enormously in the current times where the market demand for ‘reliable’ online communication coaches is definitely quite high. You can make a mark for yourself if you know who is your target audience, offer tailor-made courses based on the participants’ or clients’ needs and also carry a strong personal branding essence with you. Something which you offer has to be genuine and not covered by anyone before – that gives the edge to you above all others.
I have mentioned earlier in one of your questions, that Yes, I am coming up with my online communication courses soon and I am sure it will add a lot of value to the learners who pick it up.
8. Your book has opened to positive reviews in such a short span of time. Are there plans to come up with a longer version in future or a new book tapping into the complexity of communications and how you would describe the USP of ‘Mindful Communications…’?
Yes, I am planning to come up with a new book, hopefully tapping into areas of ‘Communication and Leadership’. The USP of Mindful Communication – Within You for a Better You’ is simple, written in free-flowing English language explaining complex concepts or ideas. It is a short read of 18 pages and the tips prescribed are easy to follow but gives extraordinary value in return.