PR INDONESIA Survey Review: Communication and Coordination are the Biggest Obstacles
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – This is reflected in a survey conducted by PR INDONESIA to 103 PR practitioner, at the end of April 2020. As many as 24 percent of respondents admitted that the biggest obstacle during the pandemic was the obstruction of communication and coordination. Followed by challenges such as budget constraints (16%), demands to always be creative in creating online activities (13%), signals (12%), unfamiliarity with adaptation, and limited space for movement due to the appeal to maintain physical and social distance (9%), many events postponed/canceled, but the key performance index (KPI) remains (7%), others (6%), and the focus of reporting is still about Covid-19 (4%). Not being able to communicate and coordinate without meeting physically was the biggest issue that Eva Chairunisa, Head of PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) Operational Region (Daop) 1 Jakarta Public Relations, felt at the start of the pandemic. The reason was that KAI as a public service was one of the industries that were most affected during the pandemic. Many government policies were later lowered to company policies and must be disseminated to the public. For example, ticket cancellation. At that time, KAI encouraged customers who wanted to cancel their trips not to come to the station. They could simply cancel the ticket through the KAI Access application. Eva and her team must also produce their own socialization materials before they are distributed to the media. Agustini Rahayu, Head of Communication Bureau of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy agreed. "The challenge of public relations during this pandemic is to calm the public by presenting balanced information," she said. According to Buceu Gartina, Head of Public Relations and Protocol of the Tangerang City Government, the toughest challenge for government public relations at this time is to convey information, socialization, education, to change people's behavior such as worshiping at home and not going to their hometown amidst many limitations. "We do not just socialize the rules, but it must be accompanied by the socialization of law enforcement or sanctions," she added. Meanwhile, vaccine producers such as PT Bio Farma (Persero) were receiving a lot of attention during the pandemic. Being active in conveying the latest developments and opening up access as wide as possible is the key so that the public can obtain correct, accurate, and accountable information. On the one hand, the public attention that is centralized to the news about Covid-19 has become a dilemma for PR when delivering information related to company achievements or information outside of Covid-19. "The solution is to return to the basic principles of the company. Our company conducts business based on the 5C principles: community, country, company, climate, and customer,” said Anita Bernardus, Deputy Director Corporate Communications of APRIL Group. Meanwhile, Jojo S. Nugroho, Managing Director of IMOGEN PR, admitted that he felt uncomfortable when communicating with clients virtually. Especially if he has to exchange ideas in order to find out the client's needs for a long period of time via Zoom and its challenges. For example, bad signal, delay when speaking or presenting. "It’s like there is a lack of chemistry. It's better to meet directly and have coffee together, ha-ha! " said the man who still felt uncomfortable making a contract agreement via telephone or video conference. Budget cuts are also the second biggest obstacle experienced by PR practitioners. Jojo and his team, for example, were forced to renegotiate services. There were even projects that were discontinued because the client company's operations were stopped during the pandemic. "What is important for us now is to get assurance from clients. We also prioritize cash payments which process is quicker and the payment is guaranteed to be paid so that cash flow is maintained," he added. Adaptation Budget cuts and the large number of people who carry out activities from home, including work, have made PR practitioners choose to move activities that were off-line to on-line. This is where PR creativity comes in. According to Agung Laksamana, the Chairman of the BPP of the Indonesian Public Relations Association (PERHUMAS), there are three important mantras for PR in facing the new normal era. First, adapt. Adapt to the new normal. Second, adopt. Adopt changes related to time, budget, content, and explore new channels. Third, adept. After going through these two processes, PR has become increasingly proficient. Moreover, KPIs continued to run during the pandemic. "In terms of digital KPIs, the frequency is actually increasing," said Boy Kelana Soebroto and the team, Head of Corporate Communications of PT Astra International Tbk. "We are forced to continue to be creative because the show must go on," said the Deputy General Chairperson of BPP PERHUMAS III. Jojo added, “Don't wait for Covid to end first in order for us to act. It could be that when the pandemic is over, we will also end (close)," he said. According to him, just start first, don't be afraid to take risks. "The process is indeed not easy, uncomfortable, and requires hassle. If you can't move on your own, then collaborate,” said the man who is the Chairperson of APPRI. Collaboration Yes, collaboration is an equally important keyword after adaptation in this pandemic. Just like IMOGEN PR collaboration with an agency that has expertise in multimedia/video mapping when a client wants to make a webinar via Zoom as attractive as watching television. "Maybe what we offer is a 'dime' project for those who are experts in multimedia and used to working on big projects. But this is the momentum for us to have ample space to learn from each other," said Jojo wisely.     There are many lessons learned. One of them is new opportunities. The experience of holding virtual events can be a promising business opportunity in the future. "It could be that later there will be a new business or section called virtual event management," he said. Demands for digitization have flooded agencies with requests to tidy up or increase traffic on social media and official websites so that the company's reputation is maintained during the pandemic. "The opening of doors from the company to employees to take part in on-line training while working from home is also a new market that we catch and can work on," he added.                                    Agung actually assessed that the pandemic has made the engagement between PERHUMAS members throughout Indonesia even stronger. The opportunities to communicate, share knowledge, and collaborate are endless. They also realized the importance of PR in networking, doing mapping to find out each other's needs and strengths so as to create connections and collaboration. For the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the pandemic is perfecting the crisis communication contingency plan that they have so far. Even in academia. The pandemic has prompted campuses to produce increasingly relevant policies. They are increasingly adaptive to the distance learning process based on information technology. In the end, it is the pandemic that has forced us to understand what disruption really means. (ais/rtn)
MAINSTORY || 02 July 2020
PR INDONESIA Survey Review: Zoom, Favorite Meeting Application
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – The portrait can also be seen from the results of the PR INDONESIA survey, at the end of April 2020, on 103 PR practitioners throughout Indonesia. As many as 53.5 percent of ministry respondents chose to use the application created by Eric Yuan, followed by SOEs subsidiaries (42.8%), PR agencies (41.7%), SOEs (41%), ROEs (40%), local governments and institutions (37.5%), private companies (33.4%), and universities (30.4%). Their reasons are generally the same: Zoom is easy and the most widely used. "Zoom is the most mainstream application used during the pandemic. Especially for those who work from home,” said Agustini Rahayu, the Head of Communications Bureau of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf). She also uses the application to conduct weekly meetings with both the entire team and the special public relations team. Meanwhile, PR agency respondents generally use Zoom to coordinate with clients and hold virtual conferences/discussions involving large-scale audiences. And for internal coordination, they generally use Google Meet (23.6%) and Google Hangouts (12.6%). "Besides familiar, Zoom is also more user friendly," said Jojo S. Nugroho, the Chairman of APPRI.  A similar reason was also conveyed by Buceu Gartina, the Head of Public Relations and Protocol of the Tangerang City Government. “For virtual press conferences, we use Zoom. But, for internal discussions, we usually use WhatsApp's video call/conference," she said. Zoom is also popular among private corporations. Anita Bernardus, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications of APRIL Group said that they often do weekly, monthly progress and deliverables reports, monthly progress Zoom meetings with the APRIL Corporate Communications team, and RGE in Singapore. Meanwhile, to maximize coordination, they use e-mail, WhatsApp groups, phone check-in, and sometimes Google Meet. Bio Farma's Corporate Communication Team also feels comfortable in using Zoom. Yuni Miyansari, the Corporate Communication of Bio Farma, admitted that it is more effective to coordinate through applications such as Zoom. Speakers are encouraged to be able to package clear, concise, but easy-to-understand messages. Because, if they are wordy, participants become unfocused and bored. "The key lies in the core message we want to convey, and as much as possible simplify the content so that it is easy to understand," she said. Meanwhile, among university respondents, the teleconference applications used were more diverse. After Zoom, the second place is occupied by other options (21.7%), followed by Go to Webinar (17.4%). This was confirmed by Ade Kadarisman, the lecturer of the Public Relations Study Program of FIKOM UNPAD who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Association of Communication Scholars (ISKI). Several adaptations of teaching and learning activities used in addition to Zoom include Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and Spoon which is an audio-based application. For quizzes and multiple choice-based evaluations, they use Quizizz. "Whatever the application, what is certain is that the material must be presented in a visually attractive manner so that participants do not get bored quickly," he said. New experience The use of Zoom among PR agencies is also high. The only difference only lies in fulfilling client demands. During the pandemic, all PR practitioners take advantage of online teleconferencing applications to hold discussions, training, to virtual events with the same appearance, there are other expectations from clients. They want to present virtual events with a different and memorable look even though it’s conducted through the same platform. "It's not an easy matter because the only medium to create them is through the application," said Jojo S. Nugroho, the Managing Director of IMOGEN PR. Jojo shared his experiences. At that time, his client showed him a virtual event that had been conducted by a state-owned company as a benchmark. "The first time we watched it, to be honest, we were surprised," he admitted. This is because, although they both hold webinars through online teleconferencing applications and broadcasted live, the display made it felt like you’re watching the news on television. "There was a transition, bumper-in, bumper-out, each speaker was accompanied by their name and title, and there were even running texts," said Jojo. The problem is, they do not have the competence in that field. The solution, collaboration. Another request surprising request was that the Ramadan event which was held through Zoom lasted for 8 hours. Even though webinars are usually held for a maximum of two hours. The audience was also huge, there were up to 1,000 participants. "One of our KPIs is to keep the thousands of participants from leaving a meeting," he said. All elements, from packaging, arrangement, and performers, to an interesting plot, must be fulfilled. They also have to minimize the obstacles that may occur during the event. Ten co-hosts were involved. All co-hosts coordinated via WhatsApp Group. This is where the most fundamental difference is felt by the team behind the scenes. Coordination and command, which is usually done in one place using HT, now has to be done in each house via WAG. "Even though the event is held on-line, the implementation is like preparing for a concert. And the preparation was only three days," he said. In the end, the experience was an extraordinary lesson. "An experience that we would never have had if there was no pandemic. It turns out that when we are forced, we can overcome it," he concluded. (rvh/rtn)
MAINSTORY || 01 July 2020
PR INDONESIA Survey Review: Instagram, The Most Popular Social Media
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – As many as 40 percent of PR INDONESIA survey respondents, at the end of April 2020, who came from PR agencies, used Instagram to support their communication with the audience. Followed by local governments (37.5%), SOEs (35.3%), universities (32.1%), ministries and private companies (31.8%), institutions (31.6%), SOEs subsidiaries (30.7%), and ROEs (28.6%). Meanwhile, Facebook was in second place, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. According to Jojo S. Nugroho, the Chairperson of the Association of Indonesian Public Relations Companies (APPRI), the reason behind the high number of respondents using Instagram as a means of communication in cyberspace could be because their target audience is the millennial generation. “Whatever social media platform is used, make sure our target audience is there. Because, the purpose of using it is for us to connect with them," he said. Also, make sure the content and appearance are relevant to the characteristics of each social media. As done by PT Astra International Tbk. There were two main media they used to connect with audiences in the digital world, namely Instagram and YouTube. Instagram functions to convey short messages/information by promoting an attractive visual appearance. On the other hand, YouTube allows them to convey information in the form of videos with a longer duration. The similarity, both platforms have IG Live and YouTube Live features that allow them to interact with their audience. "In essence, the show must go on. How do we stay connected to the audience and customers with the existing technology? Be creative, don't be silent!" said Boy Kelana Soebroto, the Head of Corporate Communications of Astra International. The Public Relations and Protocol Department of the Tangerang City Government has also been active in maximizing the two channels during the pandemic. In particular, they used it to distribute interactive content. "Both of them are a place for us to conduct socialization while inviting residents to participate in fighting Covid-19 persuasively," said Buceu Gartina, the Head of Public Relations and Protocol Department of the Tangerang City Government,. For Ade Kadarisman, a lecturer of the Public Relations Department of Communications Science Faculty of the Padjadjaran University (UNPAD) who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the ISKI for Media Relations, who represented respondents from higher education institutions, Instagram helped public relations activities and supported learning and teaching activities during the pandemic. Its various features helped them in delivering creative and innovative courses/assignments. One of them was by using IGTV for a one-minute video-based course. It's different for APRIL Group. They were trying to maximize almost all social media during the pandemic so that interaction and communication with the stakeholders were maintained. “All platforms are effective for us to reach audiences. Especially in the midst of a situation where we have to maintain distance, have limited mobility, and cannot meet face to face," said Anita Bernardus, the Deputy Director of APRIL Group. Similar steps were also taken by the Communication Bureau of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf). As the ministry that manages the industries that were worst affected during the pandemic, it is important for the agency led by Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio to routinely deliver the latest messages and information. One of them is through social media. The goal is to form community resilience towards tourism human resources and raise awareness to all stakeholders. Easy to understand Meanwhile, the Corporate Communication team of PT Bio Farma (Persero) noted that regardless of the media used, the PR team must be able to translate pharmaceutical and life-science terms so that they are easily understood by the target audience. For example, packaging messages in the form of infographics or short videos to upload to Instagram. Eva Chairunisa, the Head of Public Relations of PT Kereta Api Indonesia Regional Operation 1 Jakarta, agreed. Whatever form of social media is used, the goal is the same: to provide information or statements that are clear, periodic, and reliable. Moreover, it is possible for netizens to spread information on social media, and even go viral. "So, the information conveyed on social media is not only about the matter of the packaging, but it also must not contain elements that can increase panic and confuse the public," said the woman who previously worked as VP of Corporate Communication of PT KCI. Agung Laksamana, the General Chairperson of BPP PERHUMAS, highlighted the change in the behavior of the audience who now no longer see which media the information comes from. “The public no longer sees whether the information is included in the paid, earned, shared, or owned media categories. It's blurry. For them, it's all the same,“ he said. On one hand, the 2019 Global Communications Report study towards CEOs in the United States showed that in the future communication strategy will focus on two things: social media and shared media. "The expectation gap between CEOs and PR must be addressed. This is because PR is used to being busy managing earned media. Even though the activities are not considered to be too important for the CEO," he said. (ais)
MAINSTORY || 30 June 2020
Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Communicate with Facts
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – They must remain confident of being able to provide excellent service, even though they are working from home. To get to that stage, Verlyana (Veve) Hitipeuw, CEO and Principal Consultant of Kiroyan Partners emphasized the importance of issue mitigation. "We have monitored its development after the 2020 new year holiday, long before the Covid-19 outbreak entered Indonesia," she said through a written statement to PR INDONESIA on Monday (20/4/2020).  In addition to monitoring, they also identified the impact of this pandemic on clients and companies. "We don't live in a vacuum. Every organization will be connected and affected by external factors, including this pandemic," she said. The next step is designing crisis communication. There are three stages: communication before the crisis, during the crisis and after the crisis. The earlier the crisis detection, the greater the potential to be able to minimize the impact that will be felt by the company when a crisis occurs. "This first stage is crucial. The efforts to monitor and manage issues are included in this stage," she added. One thing is certain, communicate based on facts. "During a pandemic, there is no alternative but to communicate based on facts because human lives are at stake," Veve said, quoting the statement of Noke Kiroyan, Chairman and Chief Consultant of Kiroyan Partners. More Ready In general, from Veve's observations, companies that have been monitoring the Covid-19 issue since the beginning, regularly and immediately identify potential impacts, are far more prepared to face major changes due to the pandemic. The company knows what needs to be communicated and consulted with relevant stakeholders so they can take strategic steps. For example, before there was an appeal to keep a social distance from the government, the more responsive company had implemented a special Corona prevention protocol (at that time the name was not Covid-19). Starting from changing handshakes with namaste greetings, recording employee travel history for the past two weeks, changing face-to-face meetings to online. Then provide hand wash in several strategic places, and ensure information about the potential delay in producing certain goods because raw materials imported from countries affected by Covid-19 have been well conveyed to customers. Similar steps have been taken by KP. When the Covid-19 outbreak developed in a direction that was not conducive, the management decided that employees work from home. They also issued official statements to clients and partners because this policy would affect the company's activities. They asked for client understanding to support the decision with mutual health and safety considerations. "We stick to the corporate value of the good is not good enough. Even though we work from home, we try to provide the highest standard and timely services," she said. While continuing to observe the development of Covid-19, what needs to be done is to show empathy and ensure stakeholders remain a priority. "Even so, do not hesitate to change priorities if there are priorities that can be changed as long as they do not conflict with the government and can be packaged creatively," she added. According to Veve, the challenge lies precisely at the top of the leadership. It is not easy for PR to convince the leadership of the potential impact of the crisis. As a result, leaders sometimes take different directions when making decisions that have an impact that creates a greater crisis for the organization. Therefore, it is important for communication practitioners to ensure that they are heard by their leaders. If needed, involve a third party that is considered objective. (rvh/rtn)
MAINSTORY || 08 June 2020
Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Ways for Brand to Remain Interesting
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – That is the essence of the results of a global survey conducted by Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic conducted by Daniel J. Edelman Holdings. The survey was conducted on 12 thousand respondents from 12 countries. The survey was conducted on March 23-26, 2020.  The survey showed that 33 percent of respondents chose to stop using a particular brand because the brand did not take the right action during the Covid-19 pandemic. While 71 percent of respondents would lose trust forever in the brand/company that put profit first in this difficult period. Indonesia was not included in the 12 countries surveyed. However, based on the results of previous studies, the character of Indonesian respondents has the same tendency as China and India. And do you know, from the survey, China and India have the highest percentage, 76 percent and 60 percent of respondents chose to stop using a brand if the brand did not take the right action at the time of the pandemic. Why is that? According to Tantri Kadiman Beekelaar, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs at Edelman Indonesia, the pandemic has changed the way consumers choose their brands so far. The public now tends to be more emotionally bound when choosing a brand. "Before, people prioritize the functional side, now the consideration is shifted," she told PR INDONESIA via video call on Friday (08/5/2020). It could be that the change was driven by the fact of the large expectations of the public to the company. The survey showed that 62 percent of respondents viewed that companies played an important role in helping countries overcome the pandemic. As many as 55 percents of respondents also viewed that companies were more serious in responding to this pandemic than the government.  Provide Solution Therefore, this is the right time for a company to invest in building a brand. Show sincerity and genuine care, and be part of the solution. "Focus on providing solutions, and not selling (company’s product)," said Tantri. This is in line with the survey results which showed that 90 percent of respondents do not want to see companies/brands prioritizing profit. They just want to see the company/brand concern for employees, partners, and communities around them. Even so, in practice, 90 percent of respondents thought they did not expect the company to move on its own to be part of the solution, but rather to work with a credible government/institution. They understand that not all companies produce products related to handling a pandemic. This pandemic is also momentum for companies/brands to build trust and strengthen engagement with internal circles. Because 84 percent of respondents, in relation to employees, expect the company as an employer to be a reliable source for employees in providing information on the latest developments in handling Covid-19, not from the government. Therefore, Tantri advised PR practitioners to build communication that contains emotions, compassion, empathy, and facts. This is the time for brands to appear, take part, collaborate, maximize all resources and creativity to make a difference. Communicate all forms of business that have been done in relation to helping others. Distribute this information by utilizing the existence of mainstream media and owned media because these two channels during the pandemic tended to be more trusted than information that came from social media. Last, don't be reactive, but we must be proactive. (ais/rtn)
MAINSTORY || 03 June 2020
Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Don't "Sleep" During the Pandemic
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – Similar thing is also experienced by DMID, a branding consulting company that specializes in forming branding strategies, corporate identity, and brand engagement. "The policy of maintaining physical distance and working from home is certainly a challenge for us, including other companies in maintaining the brand," said Almira Shinantya, DMID Managing Director to PR INDONESIA on Tuesday (21/4/2020).   According to Almira, there are five things that can be done to save the brand in times of uncertainty like today. First, show the original color of our brand. "This is the right time for us to evaluate and readjust the values and positions of the brand, without having to shift away from the essence or purpose of the brand's goal," she said.  In a confusing situation like today, many people are looking for a brand that they can trust and show sincere actions without having the impression of using a difficult situation. The public will remember brands that have made a positive contribution to themselves and their surroundings. "Stay focused on finding new ways to stay relevant and add value to our brand in the daily life of the community," said Almira.   This step can be done easily if the brand already has a strong foundation. If not, this is the right time to invest in building a more strategic brand. Like the saying, life is short, brand It! That is, life is short, so build the brand as well as possible.   Innovation Second, innovating. "The changes in the midst of a crisis occur quickly, then the ideas we have and when they are realized must run at the same speed," Almira said. "The conditions we face now encourage us to accelerate each process and apply new ideas in ways that are easily practiced," she added.   Therefore, do deeper data analysis, understand what the community is doing, re-examine every relationship the brand has built over the last few years. This step will provide a firm grip for companies to think about and adjust their products or services. With notes, do not shift from the essence of the brand so far.  Third, continue to communicate and connect. "Don't fall asleep at times like this!" She said. Because this is the worst time for a brand if it just stays quiet. "The world can leave us if we don't do something," she added. So, keep communicating with consumers/audiences using a language that is simple and easy to understand.   Build communication and open conversations with the audience. Actively involved in relevant topics. "Be friends with our audience on social media until they remember our brand. Build sincere, educative, and relevant communication," she said. Fourth, provide the best experience. Conditions like today are the beginning of many new expectations from the public towards the brand. Therefore, make sure the brand is able to meet, even exceeding their expectations. If it works, not only does the brand stand out, loyalty will also build stronger. "The way is to understand the changes in audience behavior. Create innovations that can keep your audience enjoying our services, even though they have limited space,” said Almira. Fifth, look inside. "Make sure we are with an internal team that is willing to struggle with difficult times. Let go of those who make us not free to act and move to save the brand," she concluded. (ais)
MAINSTORY || 02 June 2020
Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Maintaining Communication Continuity During the Pandemic
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – The data of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) recorded the occupancy rate of hotels nationally on March 1 - 14, 2020 during the pandemic dropped drastically to just under 50 percent. This condition caused to flow and losses to the hotel industry.  It was even direr after the ministries and agencies issued the Office Note to not hold meetings and activities that gather a lot of people in line with the direction of the central government regarding maintaining physical distance and calls for more activities at home. Although, so far, the hotel occupancy rate throughout Indonesia is dominated by government market segments. The survey also mentioned the influence of the Covid-19 outbreak on the business performance of the hotel and restaurant markets is far worse than the influence of a similar pandemic that had previously occurred in the world. Namely, SARS and bird flu. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in each country is fairly long, averaging from four to six months on average. The hotel management began to discuss the worst possibilities for their employees. Starting from arranging work shifts, laying off some employees, reducing working hours, stopping daily workers, or the possibility of payment of holiday benefits (THR) that are not full. All divisions must rack their brains to find ways for hotels to continue to survive in the midst of a pandemic, including public relations (PR). Not wanting to continue to suffer, the Jakarta Intercontinental Marketing and Communication division collaborated with another division, launching the "Let Us Come to You" program. A program that provides a home delivery experience for customers who want to experience restaurant dishes. "We pack this program into a story form," said Marlene Danusutedjo, Director of Marketing & Communications Intercontinental Jakarta on Friday (1/5/2020). According to Marlene, whatever the conditions, there are always opportunities for PR practitioners by utilizing online devices. Especially, the way PR reach customers, even though they can't say hello directly from the hotel. "When we are always connected and communicating, we hope that after the pandemic ends, hotel brands will remain the top of mind," she said. Affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, it did not dampen RedDoorz's enthusiasm to help others. They provide 102 free rooms for medical personnel who handle Covid-19. In addition, through the Red Heroes initiative, a company led by Amit Saberwal as CEO and founder launched the RedDoorz hotel management and booking platform. This program is a strategic collaboration between RedDoorz and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to facilitate medical personnel to access lodging provided by RedDoorz during the pandemic. More observant The crisis is also experienced by the clothing retail industry. One of them is PT Ramayana Lestari Sentosa Tbk. They were forced to close some outlets and lay off employees. Based on research from Omnilytics, the expenses for marketing and PR activities are the first to be sacrificed when there is an urgent need. The two divisions were stuck between two choices: maintaining relationships with customers or sales. In this pandemic, public relations must smart in observing the shifting of customers in the way they shop and how they consume content. Omnilytics advised PR to carry out several communication strategies such as evaluating marketing budgets and media spending, activating social media strategies, maintaining communication sustainability, determining the right tone on-line, transparent, and actively making inroads to find methods that can support this strategy. (rvh)
MAINSTORY || 01 June 2020
Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Maintaining Communication and Caring for Customers
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – The traveling and hospitality sector like is the business line that most affected since the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19). Especially after a number of countries decided to issue a lockdown policy to quarantine a whole region. Booking of flight tickets, hotel rooms, and tours also dropped sharply. This condition was apparently predicted by "We have been mitigating the issue since the outbreak broke out in a number of countries," Metha Tri Rizka, Manager of PR, wrote to PR INDONESIA on Wednesday (15/4/2020). Various scenarios were prepared. One of them is to change the business focus of which usually encourages people to travel into customer handling. Yes, one of the effects of a pandemic is an increased demand for refunds and changes in schedule (rescheduling). "We make sure that all of our customer needs are well served. This is in line with our company's vision and mission, to be the most customer-centric online travel agent (OTA)," she said.   According to Metha, this situation not only encourages companies to be keen to see customer needs but also ensures that communication with both internal and external parties is maintained. To be sure, the communication that is built must contain positive and optimistic elements. Especially during this pandemic, the public was faced with uncertainty. They also have to adapt to new work patterns and ways of working from home. The same goes for employees. To always be connected, they hold a virtual town hall. This is the moment for all BOD to deliver the latest business developments, directions, and strategies for the future. It is also the opportunity for all employees to ask questions and contribute ideas. Therefore, there is growing optimism in every company employee that they can get through this pandemic together. This concrete step was strengthened by the opening of a voluntary program for all employees to help the Customer Care team who are currently working extra hard to complete requests for assistance from customers that increased sharply during the pandemic. "The enthusiasm is extraordinary. The enthusiasts reached more than 100 people, whereas the People (HR) team initially only opened to 60 volunteers," she said. Always Connected The company also ensures the relations and communication with customers, the government, the media, and the community to continue to run in harmony even though they are separated by a policy of maintaining a physical distance. Communication with reporters remains connected through e-press conferences. Information on how to easily self-refund and self-reschedule by utilizing the smart refund feature, smart rescheduling is routinely delivered in the form of releases and infographics. Periodic communication with the government is still well established.  According to Metha, the pandemic also changed the pattern of corporate communications that had been about promotions and discounts into invitations to follow government directives to stay at home and maintain health. This period is also momentum for to show concern. Such as together with customers conducting CSR programs “ berbagi sehat" ( shares health), the # WishesfromHeart campaign — an invitation to spread goodness, create peace and positive hope through fun ways, to encourage the Komunitas Sobat Jalan to build positive attitudes through writing. Principally, said Metha, make sure that during this pandemic the company keeps providing the latest information as needed, helps spread the government's appeal, builds a positive attitude and enthusiasm. In addition, stay maintaining communication with stakeholders, especially customers, and move quickly and agile. (rtn)
MAINSTORY || 28 May 2020
(Still) Public Communication Emergency: The Harmony of Communication is Becoming a Challenge
JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – Until finally The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, announced the two patients who were Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) positive in Indonesia on March 2, 2020. The case arose when the public did not have enough information about how to prevent the infection. Panic was inevitable. "The government at that time was not coordinated and has not conducted socialization and education to the public massively and intensively," said Emilia Bassar, CEO of the Center for Public Relations, Outreach, and Communication (CPROCOM) through a written statement to PR INDONESIA on Saturday (11/4/2020). The government seemed surprised and began to lose control of conveying information. Until there was a lot of confusion in information, mutual arguments, and accusations. According to Emilia, this condition arose because from the beginning the government had not yet implemented communication management guidelines during the crisis. In fact, before the crisis occurs, the government should prepare to start from crisis management planning, forming and training crisis management teams from various directly related Agencies/Ministries (The Ministry of Health, The National Disaster Mitigation Agency, The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and The Office of Presidential Staff), making crisis communication guidelines for stakeholders, to appointing a spokesperson and making key messages agreed by the crisis management team. She did not deny that even though the President had appointed a government spokesperson and the Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) as the Task Force for the Covid-19 Response Acceleration Task Force, the differences in views, decisions and information were still frequently encountered in the field. "Building harmonization of communication within the central government environment is indeed still a challenge in this country," she said. "The Presidential Staff Office and the Ministry of Health have issued a Public Communication Protocol. However, a communication strategy with one command, one main message (a single narrative), and the discipline of the appropriate spokesperson must still be a joint commitment to be implemented," she added. Therefore, Emilia conducted tight and intensive coordination and communication between Covid-19 handling teams in the central and regional governments to produce the same, current, and accurate data and information. And formed a quick and responsive Crisis Team at the central and in the regions that are part of the Task Force that has been formed. Consistent and Transparent The things that must be considered in developing a communication strategy during a pandemic. First, compile a situation analysis through various data or sources. Second, mapping issues, key stakeholders, and communication media that are appropriate to this pandemic situation. Third, create a strategic communication program for the next three months. Fourth, make a monitoring and evaluation design for each communication activity that will be carried out. Fifth, make content proposals per week that contain communication objectives, key messages, and daily content in a week according to the dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic issue. Emilia advised doing transparent, consistent, and informative communication, accompanied by concrete steps. Pay attention to gestures when speaking in front of the public. Show empathy and sincerity in handling a pandemic. "Avoid exposing different data. Don't show conflict in front of the public," she said. Another thing is empowering local communities up to the neighborhood units (RT)/community units (RW) level to deal with Covid-19. Handle hoaxes with data and information that are true, valid, positive, and entertaining. Don't be taboo with an influencer/public figure who cares about this issue. Give them data and information on handling Covid-19. Let them be creative according to their respective capacities. So, people have another option to receive information. (rvh)
MAINSTORY || 29 April 2020