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PERSPECTIVES ON CURRENT ISSUES › NEWS




Bernama - More Than Just News


By Anis Amira Zamani

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 (Bernama) -- Fifty years on since its establishment, the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) continues to play a vital role for non-media clients to market their products and services.

Bernama National Sales Division acting senior manager Norena Wati Yaacob noted that the news agency's 50th anniversary this month served as an avenue for the division to cast its net wider in terms of attracting potential clients.

And the signs are good as many have come on board to sponsor Bernama's Golden Jubilee bash that will culminate in a special dinner to mark the occasion on May 22.

"We have top companies such as Mah Sing Group and DRB-Hicom signing up with us as event sponsors," she told Bernama, noting that the Golden Jubilee celebration appeared to have boosted the news agency's client base.

Recalling the establishment of the division in 2009, Norena Wati said NSD's objective was to present the sales and marketing aspect of Bernama products in an integrated manner to potential clients in a bid to increase Bernama's revenue.

"It entails that we make proposals to our clients by presenting our products in its totality, including services rendered by units such as the Media Relations and Event Management (MREM), Bernama Library and Infolink Service (BLIS), Bernama News Channel (BNC ) and Bernama Radio and others," she said.

BLIS is a convenient research portal that provides news and information on Malaysia. Through its dedicated portal, subscribers can easily view, among others, Bernama's general and economic news from 1968 onwards, foreign news from approximately 40 news agencies around the world, as well as a data bank on more than 50 topics of special interest in chronological order.

Clients, meanwhile, can count on MREM to deliver a professional service in press release distribution to local and foreign-based media houses in Malaysia through Bernama Wires.

It also offers international press release distribution service through AsiaNet, along with media relations and event management services.

Bernama Wires consists of the general newswire covering wide-ranging subjects such as politics, sports, crime, courts, parliament, defence, education, health and lifestyle as well as the business newswire that reports on economy and corporate matters, stock market prices, currencies and commodity prices. Another component, the foreign newswire, delivers news on regional and global events.

Bernama Radio, the first news-based radio station in the country, broadcasts domestic, regional and world news. The station goes on air in the Klang Valley on FM 93.9, FM 107.5 in Johor, FM 100.9 in Kuching, Sarawak and FM 107.9 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The newly-revamped BNC is broadcast on Astro channel 502, Hypp TV channel 410, MyTV channel 121, webtv.bernama.com and the Bernama website.

The television channel airs news bulletins as well as programmes on domestic and international affairs as well as developments in the business world both local and international. Lifestyle and entertainment news are also incorporated in its line-up to spice things up .

BNC recently introduced two new talk shows - Biz Talk and Nine-11 - to keep viewers abreast of what keeps the country ticking.

With some three million visitors per month, the Bernama website, www.bernama.com, provides news updates on current developments both locally and abroad.

It is available in five languages, namely English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Arabic and Spanish.

Like other media outlets, Bernama also counts on social media platforms to reach wider audiences. Its Facebook and Twitter accounts attract close to one million followers combined.

Another selling point of the news agency is the Bernama Images service offering photo coverage of local and international events. With over two million photos in its archives, the images have been used worldwide by media and non-media clients.

"What distinguishes Bernama's NSD from others is our approach. When we present our proposals to potential clients, we present the totality of Bernama products and they (potential clients) can see what we offer is worthwhile and represents value for money," said Norena Wati.

She also explained that the return on investment offered by the NSD was high and had benefited existing customers as well as repeat clients such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Indah Water Konsortium (IWK).

As of March this year, Bernama's National Sales Division has provided services to 94 clients and is targeting a revenue of RM4.5 million by end-2017.

"From January to March this year, we made RM2.56 million, or 57 per cent of the target income in just three months," she said.

-- BERNAMA