WijayaLaksana, Pupuk Indonesia: Building Relations with Understanding
PRINDONESIA.CO | Wednesday, March 27, 2019
WijayaLaksana, Pupuk Indonesia: Building Relations with Understanding
“To be able to establish and manage a relation well, we must have the ability to understand and face stakeholders from various backgrounds and character,” said Jay.

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO - RatnaKartika and Mellisa Indah Purnamasari from PR INDONESIA met Jay, WijayaLaksamana’s nickname, at the PupukKaltim Office in Jakarta, Monday (22/10/2018), he told about the joy and sorrow with his team in building relationships, reputation, and corporate branding. This is his story.

What is the background of your career?

Previously, I had a long career with PupukKaltim, precisely since 2003. My last position was as the Head of the PupukKaltim Office in Jakarta. During my time at PupukKaltim, I was more in charge of the public relations department. I was also placed in the Research and Development department. I have been asked to join Pupuk Indonesia since 2015 as a public relations manager, until today I appoint as the head of Corporate Communication (Corcomm).

When you were asked to join, did the company already consider that the PR function was important?

The reasons behind the directors’ need of a better public relations organization, one of which is because of the many misperceptions about the fertilizer industry in the community, especially the media.

What was the first thing to do at that time?

Our top priority was to approach the stakeholders. Introducing them that there is a company called PIHC.So farthe public knows more about our subsidiaries than the PIHC itself. This is understandable, because PIHC itself has just officially become an investment and strategic holding under the name PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero), otherwise known as PIHC, as of April 3, 2012, after more than five decades known as PT PupukSriwidjaya or Pusri.

For media at the national level, what approach do you and your team take?

We approach the forum or media community. We named it, Rengginang Diplomacy, he-he.

What does it mean?

Many public relations conduct media gathering programs in order to build relationships or closeness with the media. We think we need different approach from others. Until on a trip from Bandung to Jakarta, we stopped by a souvenir shop that sells rengginang(Indonesian sticky rice cracker). We bought in large quantities to then be taken to the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises’ press room. In our minds, reporters definitely need a snack in the midst of writing news.

With the increasingly strategic presence of public relations, what is the development of Corcomm's current organizational structure?

We were originally only consisted of three people. Now the total team at Corcomm, including me, is eleven people. The development of organizational structures began with the stakeholder mapping approach. Currently the Corcomm Division consists of External Communication and Media, and Internal Communication and Support. External media communication includes the relations with the government to the media. So, in addition to the media, we also open networks and build closeness with the Ministry of SOEs, Industry, and so on. While internal communication includes internal employees and its supporters, such as social media.

Besides building relations with the stakeholders, what else is your concern?

Activate and prepare social media accounts both at PIHC and its subsidiaries. When I joined, the company already had an official account on social media, but it had not been worked on and managed seriously. I saw that there was a factor that made them reluctant. They were still allergic to netizens’ negative comments, because they could be harassed just for a little typo.

Actually digital and social media are only one of the places to channel information. My reason for the company to activate its social media more is because my main target when accepting this position is to familiarize fertilizer issues to the public so that the company gets public support when facing a problem.

It must not be easy to change culture. What wasyour strategy?

It is hard, indeed. At first, we were known as industrialists who were very proud of the condition of the factory which had a large production capacity and was all high-tech. Changes in the era made us learn to slowly shift the way we communicate to not merely highlight the greatness of the factory, but rather the benefits that we can give to the community.

Then, how did you and the team build relationships in internal circles?

To be honest, after seeing a shift of interests and ways of reading society today, we are still considering producing internal magazines. For now, we still using social media, cooperating with the IT team to bring up company messages on laptops or computer screens that are used by all PIHC employees, and holding town hall meetings at least twice a year.

When a crisis occurs, what do you do?

One thing for sure, when we are faced with a crisis, the first thing to do is be open to the media. Open in the sense, when they want to ask, they know who to contact, we can be easily contacted and respond quickly. Based on the experience of our subsidiaries, there are factors that most help us when overcoming the crisis. Namely, a good relationship between us and all stakeholders.Besides, of course, with the existence of mitigation and SOP. This is where PR is interesting. To be able to establish and manage relationships well, we must have the ability to explore and deal with stakeholders from various backgrounds and characters.

In your opinion, what competencies should PR have at this time?

First, writing skill. Even if they can’t write, the important thing is that they know how to direct others who have the ability to write to be able to produce the writing according to the message we want to convey. Second, technology/digital savvy.Third, team work. For me, teamwork is the slogan for public relations. Teamwork in the narrows sense means working together. In a broad sense, it means hand in hand with the stakeholders to solve the issue.

What is your hobby?

I love basketball, playing guitar, and listening to music. I like listening to British pop music like Oasis.

What is your dream that hasn't been reached?

Being a lecturer. I want to teach, share knowledge, and share experiences while running a career as a PR.

Has PR been your passion for a long time?

Not really. But, I feel without realizing that my life journey has led to it. I like to draw from elementary school so I have enough sensitivity to design. During my time as a board of student council member, I always got the task of managing the school’s wall magazine. My writing skills were increasingly improved when I became a broadcaster and reporter, and lastly as a news director at a radio station. When I was in college, I was accepted at the Department of Communication Sciences, Padjadjaran University. (rtn)

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