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)