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