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The Long Road to Sustainable Development
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – In the 1970s, there was a lot of never-ending debate between supporters of economic development against those who wanted environmental preservation. Finally, the debate was pursed into one of the resolutions taken at the United Nations General Assembly on December 19, 1983. The United Nations inaugurated the formation of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) with Gro Harlem Brundtland who was former Norwegian Prime Minister, as the Chairperson and Mansour Khalid from Sudan as the Vice-Chairperson. There were 21 other commission members, including Dr. Emil Salim from Indonesia. The official name of this commission was rarely used, people know it better as the "Brundtland Commission", in accordance with the name of the Norwegian woman who became its chairperson. Nearly four years after it was formed, the commission completed its work in the form of a report entitled "Our Common Future" also known as the Brundtland Report. The point was advocating a new approach to balance economic development with environmental protection through a concept called Sustainable Development. The formulation of Sustainable Development in the Brundtland Report which has become the global reference until today is the "Development that meets the needs of the present without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs". The Brundtland report was followed up in 1992 with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Again, this official name was rarely used and this conference was better known as the Earth Summit or the Rio Conference. The follow-up meetings were also known informally as "Rio + 10" in 2002 in Johannesburg and "Rio + 20" in 2012 which were again held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Triple Bottom Line In 1994, a businessman who was also an intellectual and environmental activist in the United Kingdom named John Elkington translated sustainable development into a triple bottom line. The bottom line is an informal term in accounting that refers to the last number on the income statement that can be plus (profit) or minus (loss). So, the bottom line might be translated as a positive performance in Indonesian. This term is also known as economic or financial bottom line (financial or economic results). John Elkington argued that not only must companies produce economically positive results, but also socially and environmentally. Because of that, he called it the triple bottom line. Then, some made the slogan from the triple bottom line to 3P: People, Planet, Profit which is now better known than the original term triple bottom line. So, the essence of sustainability is a balance between economic, social, and environmental performance. If there is one element that dominates, then there is no balance anymore which results in the sustainability of a threatened business. For example, the company is very concerned about environmental and social issues, but it is not run economically so that the loss is prolonged so the business is not sustainable. Likewise, companies that merely pursue positive economic performance but forget environmental and social sustainability, this business is also not sustainable. By considering the things above and interesting to the Indonesian context, the emphasis on the "CSR Funds" which are often found by definition alone violates the principle of sustainability, because it emphasizes just one element, while there should be a balance between the three elements already explained above. Sustainability as a principle is rather difficult to describe operationally if there are no standard guidelines. There are two global efforts that have become guidelines for businesses who want to support sustainable development by running socially responsible businesses. First, the United Nations Global Compact was inaugurated by Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1999/2000 which covered four major areas, namely Human Rights, Labor Standards, the Environment, and Anti-Corruption. Companies or organizations that agree to implement it must make a written commitment, and in many countries including Indonesia, there is a network of supporting companies called the United Nations Global Compact Network. Martha Tilaar is one of around 60 entrepreneurs from all over the world who began their commitment to the Global Compact. Furthermore, there is an international standard called ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility that has been adopted and ratified by most countries in the world. In Indonesia, the National Standardization Agency (BSN) has included it in the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) with the ISO 26000: 2013 SNI code. Specifically, for public companies (Tbk) and SOEs, this standard must be a reference in developing CSR programs aimed at achieving sustainable development. ISO 26000 covers six areas, namely Human Rights, Labor Practices, Environment, Fair Operating Practices, Consumer Issues, and Community Development towards the goal of Sustainable Development. Deep understanding Performance measurement based on the triple bottom line principle is made possible by using reporting standards issued by the Global Reporting Initiative, which has also become a reference for public companies in Indonesia in preparing their annual reports, which not only include financial reports but also include performance reports in the field of the living environment and social environment. Thus, it is clear that the momentum created by the Brundtland Report in decades has been successfully operationalized. In addition to individual organizational or company commitments to support the achievement of sustainable development through CSR programs, there are also commitments by countries initiated by the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) which since 2015 have been replaced by SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Both in ISO 26000 and GRI reporting standards, the emphasis is on stakeholder engagement, namely interactions with stakeholders, because they are the ones most affected by and impacting on sustainable development efforts by each company. It is often found that in sustainability reports, companies mention efforts in supporting the achievement of SDGs of a certain number among the 17 targets agreed upon by all UN member states. Studies on sustainable development and the efforts of individual companies through CSR programs and then in relation to community activities, all includes in the area of public affairs. Thus, consulting companies engaged in public affairs must have a deep understanding of the whole complex, including stakeholder engagement and communicating commitments about CSR. 
COLUMN || 08 June 2020
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Future PR: Marketing Becomes More PR?
By: Nurlaela Arief, Director of Communication and Alumni Relations of SBM ITB JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – The 2018 World Public Relations Forum (WPRF) was held on April 22-24 in Oslo, Norway. Four representatives from PERHUMAS as the largest public relations organization in Indonesia, as well as a member of the Global Alliance, also attended the forum. The PERHUMAS representative also met Todung Mulya Lubis, the Indonesian Ambassador for Norwegia, at the Indonesian Embassy in Oslo. If we look back at the history of the event, initially WPRF was held in Rome (2001), London (2008), Stockholm (2010), Melbourne (2012), Madrid (2014), Toronto (2016), then Oslo became the city chosen in 2018 with by the organizer, the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management in collaboration with the Norwegian PR Communication Association (NCA) organization. The three main topics that were discussed, namely "Truth, Profit & Intelligence" received special attention and became a reflection for PR practitioners, academics, and PR agencies from various countries. The three big topics were revealed into several sub-topics presented by various world experts. I will share some sub-topics that are quite crucial. Truth, Profit, Intelligence It is interesting to examine what issues are being faced in each participant's country during the networking session. If in Indonesia we are attacked with hoaxes, as well as in South Africa, Brazil, India, and Argentina. When we are familiar with hoaxes, PR practitioners from Europe, America, and other developed countries, use another phrase that is false news or fake information. Truth was much discussed about its various theories and practices, such as truth, post-truth, and other facts in facing the onslaught of false news, especially in the practice of political communication. Meanwhile, the Profit topic was delivered by Prof. Mervyn King from South Africa. He explained how to change from the profit paradigm to value creation. In this context, companies are encouraged not merely to target profits, but rather to create many policies with a business model and output profit, people, and planet approach with dimensions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Values like these are more attractive to investors in the long run. This includes how companies will shift to focus more on sustainability issues. In it related to integrated reporting, the preparation of sustainability reports based on global reporting initiatives is part of a strategy focused on CSR communication for a long-term reputation. Meanwhile, in the discussion of Intelligence, the discussion was about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sarab Kochhar, PR Research Director said during the presentation that he was burdened to bring and prepare the material. Humorously, the Indian man said: "Fortunately, I'm smart enough to talk about AI." In essence, I caught the message of how AI tools after digital civilization and Big Data, in the future, will be able to create acceleration in every aspect of the organization. Any sector, any level of position, will inevitably come into contact with AI. For PR practitioners, AI is able to increase work productivity and various routine PR tasks such as PR writing competence, analyzing sentiments in the media, as well as measuring tools for the effectiveness of digital PR. Some experts, professors from various universities, practitioners, and PR agencies turned out to have compiled a panel, how the impact of AI on the PR profession. Shared by Alastair, McCapra, CEO of the British CIPR. Here are some conclusions from his research. First, the role of PR at the basic or entry-level level will probably be the first to completely disappear and replaced with AI. This is a challenge and will cause big problems for fresh graduates who have just joined the PR industry. Second, PR professionals need to find new ways to provide value to their clients or stakeholders, by utilizing new platforms and tools and developing value chains. Third, the basic skills of PR are considered the most related and the first to be automated. Whereas more general capabilities and attributes that provide quality and integrity will be more difficult to automate with AI. What is encouraging is that it is not true that managerial or creative work will be threatened by AI. In fact, AI can support and facilitate PR practitioners with several functions and automated PR work. Some rigid tasks can be done with the help of AI. For example, in a dashboard press release and spread on media groups, or the media can pull releases from the dashboard that we prepared. This is one of the great impacts of AI technology for PR practitioners.  Future PR, Relationship and Content Daniel Tiesch in his material entitled "The Elevation of PR in the Age of Fake News, 7 Mega Trends News & PR" made many participants stunned. I also pay more attention when Daniel spoke, regardless of his intelligence and good-looking aura, also because of his easy-to-understand manner and very interesting topic. He stated, " Why does PR need to own content in marketing? Why does content marketing mean for the PR Industry? PR must form to be more organization listening." We all are required to listen more and talk less. When we listen a lot, a relationship of trust will be created, the risk will be smaller, while the opportunity will be even greater. Collaboration is very important and PR people must have the capability to take charge of various roles and functions both internal and external relations. Related to big data and artificial intelligence, public relations can take a greater role with useful information and support decision making. With abundant data, we should be more powerful and have stronger insights. Meanwhile, the results of the research from the 2017 Global Communication Report, which says how the views of marketing that become like PR, 61 percent of marketing professionals believe that PR will be closer and align with marketing. While public relations practitioners view that public relations will get closer and align with marketing by as much as 45 percent. PR is the New Marketing, but Marketing Should not Lead PR Regardless of agree or disagree, in the last few months I also felt how close and align between PR activities with Marketing. Today, the challenges of the industry are getting tougher, corporations must be more agile, more efficient, bring in more profits, and create content on social media. For example, which was originally dedicated to education, outreach, building reputation, little by little must be balanced this with promotional content for company products and services. Like it or not, this is the reality. Companies certainly still need PR, because the basis of PR is communication, and communication builds empathy, understanding, respect, and trust. Professional ethics and standards are also important amid the onslaught of hoax, fake news, and false information. How to anticipate, balance false information, the answer is PR that has professional ethics! In the future, PR will be more strategic, more analytical, and less technical.
COLUMN || 17 February 2020
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The Recipe of Building Internal Influencers
By Ilham Akbar, PR practitioner, alumni of Communication Studies es at Serang Jaya University. JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – In the past, public relations (PR) practitioners only knew about the mainstream media as stakeholders. In addition, today’s PR cannot rely on old-fashioned patterns such as holding media gatherings or media visits to build engagement. PR is now required to innovate to produce various strategies in building relationships. Not only with the mainstream media but also bloggers, vloggers, influencers. Moreover, today's society tends to trust and listen more to information from influencers or key opinion leaders (KOL). Other important things to know, the routine approach that is taken by public relations does not necessarily make reporting related to the organization to go smoothly as expected. Do not rule out the possibility that there are still media that preach about the negative image of the institution/corporation where we work. Therefore, it is better for public relations to be able to maximize the existence of internal influencers as corporate ambassadors. As conducted by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo) which encourages the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) in their environment to become influencers. With notes, they must have a minimum number of 500 followers, each on three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). So, what should be considered by PR in creating internal influencers? First, filter the young talents who are active in social media as corporate ambassadors. Second, provide training and mentoring to ensure that those involved are uploading content that contains positive knowledge/information related to the organization, uses storytelling style, and follows the development of circulating issues. Last but not least, be consistent.
COLUMN || 30 January 2020
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Start Writing, Now!
By Emmy Kuswandari, PR Practitioner, Global Communications of Asia Pulp & Paper Sinar Mas. JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – Writing is sometimes scary for many people, especially with minimal skills of writing. Even for PR practitioners, this could be a disaster. Although writing is one of the basic skills that we must have. Why writing seems to be scary? The fear probably comes from a lack of reading. There’s no good writing without reading. Then, what about if there’s no idea or writer’s block? Reading is still the solution. Trust yourself. Do not be afraid. First, make it a habit to make an outline for even simple writing. This outline will be our guide. From this outline, we will see what our writing will look like. Then, start writing with honesty. Honest writing will help us to create a flowing story. Lies, hiding data or fact are a trap for ourselves. If our writing is not satisfying, then read and read. Add more references. Imitating the style of diction choices of your favorite writer is not a sin. Eventually, our own style will emerge. The shorter we write, for example, releases, usually the more difficult it is, especially for information on social media. But this is the challenge. What is beautiful is simplicity. We must also obey the other stages, namely editing. Be a good editor for yourself. This process will be a little bit sickening, especially when we’ve been struggling for a long time with our writing. But go through it. Have the heart to edit our own writing. Position ourselves as a reader. A good editor will make perfect even simple writing. The key, write as interesting as possible. Bad or confusing writing only shows our way of thinking that is not straightforward in breaking down the themes to become simple. Our writing is our signature. Make it as fun as possible for our readers to enjoy it. Get Rid of Nightmare Still, think you can’t write? Get rid of that nightmare. This is a mandatory skill for PR practitioners like us. Because we are storytellers. And, writing is one of the ways to do it. How to make good writing? Move your fingers to press on the keyboard. Start from one word and let the next word follow. We cannot judge whether the writing is good or bad if we never start writing our ideas.
COLUMN || 24 January 2020
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What kind of Animal is Public Affairs?
By: Noke Kiroyan, Chairman & Chief Consultant of KIROYAN PARTNERS JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – In the first article in the Public Affairs column in PR INDONESIA Magazine published in January 2018, I explained about the background of the birth of Public Affairs. The main reference was “The Father of Modern Public Relations,” James E. Grunig. His theoretical framework after conducting a dozen years of study is “Excellent Public Relations”. Until today, it has become a guideline for best practices even though nearly four decades have passed. Grunig also has divided the variety of Public Relations (PR) activities into four categories, namely: press agentry/publicity, public information, two-way asymmetry, and two-way symmetry. The latter is the ideal according to Grunig. There is a symmetrical relationship and there’s no party that dominates, both the corporation and public. I will review press agentry and public information. These two forms according to Grunig, caused CEO in the United States to look for something “serious” so that public affairs was born in the 1970s. In a form of press agentry, public relations has a function as the company’s ”agent” for the press. Sharing news to propagate by creating a good publications about the company. Sometimes the reporting is not comprehensive. It is polished or only partially true. In this press agentry model, the positive news is the most important thing. The second model is public information. This model aims to convey information about the company appropriately to the public. Public relation officer in this model essentially carries out the function of a journalist within the company. Reporting news as-is, with no intention of propaganda or influencing opinion. Inhouse media is an example of the public information function. Specialization In this article, I need to repeat the ideas of Gruning above because there are still many who ask about what is public affairs? What’s the difference between public relations? Is public affairs a part of public relations? Is public affairs is typical to lobbying? Isn’t public affairs another term for government relations? Those questions are common. Given that public affairs is a relatively new specialization in corporate communication. Over the past several decades, there has been a change of meaning as well as many notions that are not part of or derived from an exact science. Moreover, all of the questions above are not wrong because, in its development, public affairs has covered the things that are asked. Even now the understanding has shifted to the direction that I reviewed in the first article mentioned above. Everyone has their own opinion about various things that have no standard or definite formula like public affairs. However, to give an objective and appropriate answer to the questions above, we surely need a reliable reference. My main reference, as said above, is James E. Grunig. Specifically, I refer to the book called Managing Public Relations which he co-wrote with Todd Hunt and published in 1984. Back to the similarities and differences between public relations and public affairs, I can conclude from the experience at Kiroyan Partners that around 50 percent of the activities are the same. However, there are several things that are typically done in public affairs companies, namely regarding public policy and the legal framework related to certain economic sectors. So, an understanding of the system and political dynamics in macro is needed to make the analysis. My two previous writings, namely “Mobilizing Public Support for Infrastructure Development” (October 2019 Edition), and “Public Debate About Energy in the German Public Affairs” (November 2019 Edition) are activities that are commonly carried out by public affairs companies. In its implementation, it could include activities that are normally done by Public Relations companies, such as media relations and event organizing. The activities that often carry out by Kiroyan Partners are creating stakeholder mapping and then the strategy for stakeholder management to determine company policies and also to help foreign companies understand the ins and outs of running a business in Indonesia. Including the legal framework for implementing activities in the related industrial sector. So, in this case, what is done are activities that include investment advisory. The following is an excerpt from the article made in Reputation Today magazine on April 23, 2019, by an Indian woman who leads the Public Affairs, Communications & Engagements functions in a multinational company, Mahathi Parashuram. This position oversees the functions of Policy Advocacy, Internal and External Communication, Relationships with the Media and Social Media and Corporate Social Responsibility. Closely Related She said, to carry out the Public Affairs, Communications & Engagement position, besides good communication skills, a good understanding of politics, issues relating to public policy and current affairs, organizational skill, and crisis management are also needed. Mahathi stated that public affairs is a communication between one organization with all its stakeholders. The focus is on the contact between politics, business, and the public. The function is to build long-term trust between the organizations represented and the stakeholders. Related to the matters above, it is interesting that there is a writing in the book Political Public Relations (Routledge 2011) that said in public affairs, the term stakeholder is used more often than public. Furthermore, is public affairs a part of public relations? Some argue that public affairs and public relations is a part of a greater understanding, namely Corporate Communications. James Grunig in 1984 even made it clear that public affairs was a special branch of public relations. For me, at the moment, it does not matter what is a part of who. But as I said before, around 50 percent of public affairs activities are typical to public relations. So, there is a close relationship between the two, even though these two notions are not the same and congruent. Therefore, I will discuss this more in-depth in a book that is planned to be published with PR INDONESIA in 2020.    
COLUMN || 22 January 2020
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Move or Die
By: Erwinsyah, Head of Customer Complaints Service Unit and Information Manager for Bank of North Sumatera. JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – One of them is about how we must have the ability to adapt to rapid changes. The digitalization of information technology has brought great changes to the model of public communication and consumption patterns of information media. The changes now affect social behavior, economy, politic, culture, and so on. It seems that there are no more aspects in life that are not in contact with digital instruments, even from toddlers to adults. As a public relations (PR) practitioner, I try to see from the perspective of Corporate PR and Marketing PR in the midst of disruption. Some companies have been running fast to adapt to changes and threats of the disruption era. Relying on media relations skills is no longer enough for PR. Current conventional activities are not enough, such as technical work like media monitoring, public speaking, negotiation skill, friendliness, good speaking skill, stylish appearance, writing a press release, publishing advertorial or press kit, newsletter, and etc. Now, digitalization has taken over most of PR work, starting from the activity of building relations with the consumers and other stakeholders through social media engagement that is winning campaigns and measured. Doing media tracking and searching for news with artificial intelligence tools, doing brand activation, and impactful relationships. A strong reputation building by optimizing various social media platforms or by collaborative strategies with startups to achieve high traffic. PR Spirit Digital PR also requires PR practitioners to have basic skills in social media storytelling, copywriting, and creative content. A PR practitioner in the digital era must be trained in optimizing every digital campaign tool, such as operating the homepage and optimizing the landing page. Either by publishing organically through feeds on the timeline and through social media advertising such as Facebook ads, IG ads, Google AdWords such as Google Search Network and Google Display Network, and the like. A PR manager or marketing manager is required to have the ability to think strategically. Able to read the audience insights to do the right and relevant targeting, managing custom audiences for targeting, planning social media campaigns, organizing social media team, evaluating the work of social media, and mitigating reputation risks by crisis management approach. The question is, has your Corporate PR or Marketing PR team moved quickly towards changes in building a reputation, influencing public opinion, strengthening the brand, or maintaining customers’ loyalty? Reputation is the spirit of public relations and marketing. Without the ability to maintain a reputation that has character, integrity, honesty, right and creativity, the brand will fall and the marketing will be paralyzed. Reputation is an intangible asset, it’s invisible, odorless, tasteless, and intangible. In the digital era, the role of PR as reputation management is becoming increasingly important. The public is the netizens who are critical, fussy, and very quick to spread issues, fake news, or hoaxes. On the other hand, the media platform has changed, and disruption has also occurred in the PR profession. Well, what is your conclusion about the existence of the PR profession and PR management in the digital era? Yes, move or die. It’s a warning!
COLUMN || 20 January 2020
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Building Genuine Friendship with the Media
By Emmy Kuswandari, PR Practitioner, Global Communications APP of Sinar Mas JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – They are always ready whenever we need them, and vice versa, I am ready whenever they need me, including at the time when they are grieving. Just like at the time when I received sad news about a photojournalist who died while on duty covering a flood in East Jakarta. It was sad. A sense of responsibility in assignments makes us sometimes neglect our own health, and probably that was what happened. Even though we do not know when our “contract” ends in this world. At the funeral home, there were already many colleagues have arrived with a sad face. They did not heed to the heat of the sun, they worked hand in hand to relieve the burden on the family so that the funeral procession went smoothly. They also took turns shoulder to shoulder to carry the coffin to the grave. My tears ran freely. Yes, I am sensitive about such matters. On the other hand, I salute them about their high solidarity. There was one time, almost at midnight, I who did not know the way other than from my house to the office had to slowly comb the streets around Bekasi. When I arrived, there were many colleagues who had come to the funeral home first. They are the friends of a journalist who passed away after previously having been absorbed in playing futsal with his colleagues.  This sad news alone was very moving. I could not bear my tears when I saw his two-year-old son clinging affectionately on his father’s body. Maybe he thought that his father was just sleeping as usual. There was also a fellow journalist whose child died before the age of 17. He only companied of dizziness, then taken to the hospital immediately by his parents. A few days later, it was sad news that we received. We call left and right to confirm this sad news. In a position like this, I was not sure if I can be as strong as my best friend. They were so strong and sincere in accepting this trial. We also once intended to visit a reporter who was sick. We were held in front of the hospital room door for a long time because the doctor was taking action. When the doctor was out of the room, the doctor called the reporter’s family to deliver the sad news. We can only be stunned. How we do not know the amount of time God gave. For this reason, whatever the time, if it is possible, I always try to come to the funeral., even if it’s only to offer a condolence to strengthen the family or to give prayers to the deceased. I always try to build friendship not out of necessity, genuine friendship is not merely come from work. As a PR practitioner, it seems that this is what we must do to remove the stigma of making friends with journalists only when necessary. Genuine friendships will transcend the boundaries that we create ourselves. I believe, friendship like this will enrich our personality. I will always try to be there for friends who feel like my own family, whatever the time.
COLUMN || 15 January 2020
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Must Have Competencies for Impactful Communication Guidelines
By Maria Wongsonagoro, PR Consultant, President Director of IPM Public Relations JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – The first condition for effective internal/external communication is leadership. Companies/agencies need leaders and directors who understand the importance of public relations as a strategic management function, understand that communication is the essence of public relations (PR). A leader must support the system and procedure of strategic communication. If this condition is not met, then effective communication is difficult to achieve. The second condition is the governance structure. Communication governance, systems, and procedures in the form of Communication Guidelines, both for external and internal stakeholders. The third condition is competence. Companies/agencies need a competent communication team to run the communication system and procedure. I want to discuss the third condition more deeply. Several PR figures provide input about what competencies to look for if you want to recruit novice staff. Boy Kelana Soebroto, Head of Corporate Communications of Astra International said, recruiting novice staffs who have characters that are in accordance with Astra Leadership Competencies. Additionally, the minimum competency is to understand the knowledge and skills of corporate communication, as well as the interest in the field of communication. Arif Mujahidin, the Director of Communication of Danone Indonesia said, if he is looking for beginners for his team, the requirement is that they must be able to write, good in verbal communication, and fast to learn. In addition, they must be resilient because those who work in corporate communications need to work hard. If the candidate has had internships in several companies or PR consultants, this will be a plus. Ani Natalia, Head of the Directorate General of Tax’s Public Relations Sub Directorate, recruits candidates who are able to communicate verbally and nonverbally well, master the concept of stakeholder mapping, mastering digital communication, and have writing/photography/graphic design/video/public speaking skills. Dyah Rachmawati, Head of the Public Relations Division of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said that the basic competencies sought are writing, foreign language (English), then graphic design skill, and ability to manage social media. The rest, various competencies are trained while running their tasks. Character and Attitude If the inputs above are summarized, it can be seen that mastery of knowledge and skill or basic competencies of PR and communication are necessary. But, what is more, important are character and attitude. They must have good interpersonal skills because they must be able to interact with other people, able to work in a team and resilient. In addition, analytical skill, strategic thinking, and strong reasoning. Above all, passion has to be there. Besides attitude, the basic competencies needed are verbal and nonverbal communication. PR will often speak in public. The ability of public speaking is a plus in recruitment. Furthermore, the skill of written communication or writing. PR is expected to be able to write at any time for various needs, not to mention bilingual skills, Indonesian and English are very necessary. An additional competency that is also sought nowadays is the ability to master digital communication. These competencies include understanding social media management, as well as capabilities in the fields of photography, graphic design, video production. If all of the above capabilities are mastered, then the PR candidate has a great opportunity to be recruited, because they are battle-ready. If you have not mastered all abilities, then join the public relations training program.
COLUMN || 13 January 2020
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Palm Oil and Public Affairs Dispute
By Noke Kiroyan, Chairman and Chief Consultant of Kiroyan Partners JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – Related to international trade, the issue that has drawn the attention of the public is the conflict with the European Union. The climax of the conflict occurred when the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II was passed on March 13, 2019. This regulation would have a negative impact on palm oil export from Indonesia to Europe because palm oil is classified as a product that does not meet the principle of sustainability. Starting in 2030, palm oil cannot be used as biofuel. The European Union runs a policy about biofuel as their commitment to combating climate change as stated in the Paris Agreement on December 12, 2015. At first glance, the position of Indonesia and the European Union is difficult to reconcile, because the conflict is at two different levels. Indonesia’s economic interests in palm oil are huge. On the European Union side, the commitments they undertake have a long=term aim to mitigate climate change. In addition, their steps have been through a complicated legislation process and agreed by all member countries. The obstacles on both sides have caused the negotiation of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between Indonesia and the European Union to halt until today. We can analogize the European Union as a complex of 28 buildings. That complex is surrounded by thick and high walls. On the contrary, Indonesia is outside of the complex. No matter how angry we are, it could be undetected and blocked by high walls. Occasional visits or the effort to break through the wall through high-level visits will be less effective. There needs to be a consistent effort to influence policy. Stakeholder Analysis The path that we need to take is how we can jump over the wall. Make efforts to lobby in a planned and systemic manner from within. The European Union is a complex construction and difficult to understand by ordinary people in Europe, so it requires a public affairs consultant based in the European Union. Through stakeholder analysis, we map the parties who are stakeholders as well as what underlies their attitudes. Thus, it can be seen who is an obstacle to our palm oil commodity or on another hand can be an ally in fighting for the interest of Indonesia. In addition, lobbying has become an activity that is welcomed by the European Union as an instrument for obtaining input from various parties. All activities are in the Transparency Register which records complete locations of companies, specific organizations/NGOs, to whom officials are met, and for what matters. This list can be accessed by anyone on the European Union Website. There is an assumption that the European Union is a monolithic block that aims to block palm oil production. They are considered as rivals for biofuels developed in Europe itself, especially in the east, which is a plant called rapeseed. In fact, the world’s largest producer of this commodity is China, not the European Union. So, how far this cause becomes the main consideration that needs to be reexamined. We will find out through stakeholders analysis and after that advocacy through groups that can be made allies. This is where the palm oil industry (not individual companies) plays an important role. Other than the government’s effort at the level of government to government (G2G) through multilateral diplomacy, including bringing this issue to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the palm oil industry needs to take steps to maintain its market share in this high purchasing power continent through a public affairs approach. We still have time until 2030 to bring a change of attitude in the European Union.
COLUMN || 25 November 2019

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