BBC World Service gets interactive in Bihar

MUMBAI: The BBC World Service is revisiting India's heartland,Bihar, to talk to its listeners and encourage even more people to participate in its programmes.

The BBC Hindi service's interactive campaign My world, my voice is visiting 60 locations across the state of Bihar, from Sugauli to Kishanganj, asking people what they think about the BBC Hindi output and inviting them to engage with its programmes.It aims to reach thousands of residents, as it covers hundreds of kilometres in Bihar, visiting two locations across the state each day.

Local residents will be encouraged to test their knowledge of both current affairs and BBC Hindi programmes, presenters and guest speakers – and win prizes. My world, my voice has been timed to coincide with General Election's to India's Legislative Assemblies to highlight the relevance of the BBC Hindi output to those in Bihar who are interested in the global perspective of the daily news.Quizzes conducted from the BBC stand will generate more interest in the BBC Hindi output, especially its flagship morning and evening news and current affairs programmes, Aaj Ke Din and Aajkal.

BBC Hindi head ,Achala Sharma, sees the campaign as a way to connect with the BBC's core audiences in India. She says, "Listening to audiences is central to BBC Hindi programming, and to reach out for our most remote audiences and to engage with them face to face, we have had several road-shows in India over the past two years. We have covered thousands of kilometres, talking directly to thousands of listeners, discussing issues important to them, encouraging their direct participation and, most of all, listening to them."

"My world, my voice is in the same spirit as it will tour Bihar to remind our audience – those in small towns and village haats - about our vibrant programmes, and to engage them in dialogue about the programmes which are for them and about them."adds,Sharma.

For the first time, the BBC has teamed up with India's Post Office whose branches across Bihar will sell special My world, my voice meghdoots – postcards.Feedback forms addressed to the BBC will be distributed at the events, inviting residents of Bihar to share their views of the BBC Hindi programmes. Alongside main, interactive activity, the My world, my voice campaign incorporates an outdoor communications element, with hoardings and wall-paintings featuring people and images from rural India.

BBC World Service Marketing Communications & Audiences controller, Alan Booth, says, "The Bihar campaign will show the BBC Hindi service as contemporary, relevant and inspiring. Our previous campaigns in northern India have demonstrated the effectiveness of this form of interaction as they helped increase our Hindi listenership by 4.3 million. We want to keep the momentum of this success and continue to encourage active listening among potential audiences in India's 'Hindi belt'." t was not in the perview of the contract.

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