ROUND UP: The Importance of Crisis Guidelines
11 December 2019
ROUND UP: The Importance of Crisis Guidelines
80 percent of crisis is caused by public opinion, while 69 percent of crisis came from small things that were not handled until they accumulate into large ones.

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – This condition is reflected from the lack of enthusiasm of participants who are participating in the competition for the category of Crisis Management Guidelines at the 2019 PR INDONESIA Awards (PRIA).

According to Maria Wongsonagoro, a judge for the category, one of the reasons could be because the participants who had participated before did not have anything new that was prominent and could be shown to the judges.

Maria who is also PR Consultant and President Director of IPM Public Relations said that crisis guidelines must be updated every year, even activated by holding training and simulations. “If it isn’t like that, how do we know we’ve battle-ready?” She asked.

She was also concerned because she still found a crisis guideline which content is less detailed and systematic. “If it’s difficult to a crisis guideline, it is better to accompanied by a mentor,” she said.

In line with Maria, Nico Wattimena who was a judge of 2019 PRIA for the same category believed that crisis guidelines must include lesson learned. Therefore, revealed the issue, the crises, and the way to handle it clearly.


Marianne Admardatine, CEO of Wunderman Thompson, takes this condition seriously. Especially that the era of disruption has created a new category of crisis. “If in the past we only knew seven categories, now there are four new categories, hoax, radicalism, religious exclusion, and mislead social behavior,” she said while speaking at the parallel workshop session of the PR INDONESIA Jamboree (JAMPIRO) in Bali last October. Therefore, are we still delaying having a crisis guideline?

According to research presented by Marianne, 80 percent of crisis was caused by the public opinion, while 69 percent of crisis came from small things that were not handled until they were accumulated into large ones. From this data, it can be concluded that there are always signals of a crisis.

The question is, when it happens, are we ready to activate the 4R system (readiness, radar, response, and recovery)? “Crisis communication guidelines need to be arranged in order. If it’s possible, create a crisis management application,” she said.

According to Firsan Nova, Managing Director of Nexus Risk Mitigation and Strategic Communication, it is better not to wait until the crisis occurs. Especially when everything is online, a new formula applies. Good news travels fast, bad news travel faster. When a crisis occurs, it will impact three things at once: Image, reputation, and financial stability.

Firsan stated that there are two things that must be done by PR in relation to the crisis. First, curative efforts (identifying, isolating, and handling crises). Second, preventive efforts (fostering trust, fostering good relations with government officials, building a stronghold from the bottom line, and preparing a crisis management program).

When the crisis has occurred, do an in-depth look at the data and facts. “Create opinion leader map analysis, conduct media analysis, handle the issue in accordance with the business character,” he said. Then prepare information package, issue limitation, and its impacts, position the company’s image, the crisis center team, and appoint an unofficial spokesperson.

Learn from Experience

PT Pertamina EP Jatibarang Field is a company that has reaped the benefits of having a crisis guideline. Such as when the subsidiary of PT Pertamina (Persero) handled a crisis during a swamp gas burst around the BDA-02 (Bangdua) well of Pagedangan Village, Indramayu Regency, in 2018. With the existence of crisis guidelines, the company did not only succeed in compiling a correct analysis so that they could take appropriate action, but were also quick to help, and communicate so that the crisis was handled fast.

Another agency that also has a crisis guideline is the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry, which now becomes the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf), believes that the existence of the crisis manual is important in order to maintain the sustainability of a conducive tourism ecosystem that has the capacity and resilience to crisis threats and risks.

The ministry which is currently led by Wishnutama formed the Tourism Crisis Management, a section that specifically handles tourism crisis management within the framework of tourism public relations and operational response. This section is permanent and works regularly under the Public Communication Bureau. Meanwhile, on a more complex crisis, Kemenparekraf has an ad hoc institutional platform called the Tourism Crisis Center (TCC).

As a province with the largest population that reaches 18.3 percent of the total population of Indonesia, West Java has a lot of potential as well as issues and crises. Having a crisis guideline is a must. In managing and dealing with issues/crises, the West Java Provincial Government prioritizes RAC (Responsive, Adaptive, and Cohesive). Responsive means being sensitive to potential issues and responsive to solving problems. Adaptive means easy to adjust to conditions when needed, while cohesive means have one voice, command, and united.

The Surabaya City Government has six steps of issue mitigation which are always applied consistently by the Surabaya City Government Public Relations team. The first step starts with an inventory of issues every day from the printed media. The executive summary must be reported to the leadership – in this case, the Head of Public Relations – to be subsequently forwarded to each Regional Work Unit. According to Febriadhitya Prajatara, Head of Public Relations Division of Surabaya City Government, an executive summary is needed to control issues that are circulating in the mass media.

Meanwhile, for Danone Indonesia, crisis guidelines must include trace and detail elements. They also emphasized the importance of a team during a crisis. In fact, the teams should be permanent and its existence is strengthened by a Decree.

According to Arif Mujahidin, Communication Director of Danone Indonesia, crisis resolution will be faster if supported by clear discipline and guidance. The core members of the crisis management team understand their duties and roles when dealing with a crisis. It would be more perfect to regularly conduct training simulations and audits. “The more often we hold simulations and training, the more we are ready to face the crisis. The potential of crises are quickly detected and easier to suppress,” Arif said. (Ratna Kartika)

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