Thursday, June 23, 2016, Centre For Public Relations ASEAN Studies (CAPRS) conduct presentation results of public relations research within the scope of Indonesia and ASEAN. The exposure activity of this research is one of the tasks of CAPRS so that the thoughts and ideas on the development of Public Relations can be accessed by the public at large. Therefore, CAPRS LSPR Jakarta organized the event “ASEAN Public Relations Research Dissemination” on Thursday, June 22, 2016, from 14.00 – 17.00 pm, at the Research Centre Prof. Margono, Floor 2, Campus C-LSPR Jakarta. Jl. KH Mas Mansyur Kav 35, Tanah Abang. This event was closed by breakfasting together.
One of the research presented was a Professional Building of Strong Public Relations Practitioners in the ASEAN Region by Dr. Rino F Boer, who is the Director of Postgraduate Program LSPR Jakarta and one of the Board of Experts of APRN. This study suggests that it is inevitable that the Public Relations profession has become a profession that is important as the economic growth is relatively increased in countries in Asia. This data represents a reasonable prediction which estimates that in 2025, companies that will be on the list of the Fortune 500 in Asia, will be increased by 45% (Duhring and Zerfass, 2015). The Growth in Asia will also lure many companies outside Asia to move their corporate communications division to Asian countries including ASEAN. This indicates the growing need to understand that ASEAN market is the main target due to the weakening of local markets in those countries.
The shift of the company to the ASEAN region will bring new color to the role of Public Relations within the region. Currently, the function of PR is mostly practiced in government offices and state agencies that compete with traditional channels of PR demands that were previously dominated by companies. This change marked by the election of public officials in the ASEAN countries at various levels, ranging from the lower level up to an official at the president or head of state. The expansion of the public relations function in the government sector comes in the mid of huge growth of internet users in the region. There are countries in ASEAN with a fairly high Internet penetration such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia so it is common when there were questions about whether the PR and social media can be interconnected to explain the developments that are happening today.
On the other hand, Wright & Hinson (2014) shows that there are only few PR practitioners who work with social media. However, PR itself is considered a unit of the company that is responsible for the existence of social media in the companies due to the fact that social media has now become one of the main tools used by companies to connect with the public.