The London School of Public Relations (LSPR) -Jakarta and LITE FM radio launched a special program last September 11, 2014 which was also the National Radio Day. The program explores the world of public relations called PR Corner which is the name of radio program about public relations (PR) in Indonesia which began airing from September 15, 2014. The talk show was delivered in a relaxed yet informative way, together with the speakers from Indonesia who are leaders in PR and it is the result of cooperation between London School of Public Relations – Jakarta (LSPR) and Radio 105.8 Lite FM. PR Corner airs every Monday from 8pm – 9pm. This event was hosted by Host Prita Kemal Gani – Founder & Director of LSPR – Jakarta, Chairman of the Public Relations Association of Indonesia (PERHUMAS) from 2011 to 2014 and President of the ASEAN Public Relations Network with Kevin Onyx – Station Manager Lite FM which act as co-hosts.
In each session, PR Corner discusses hot topics, fundamental things about PR, tips and tricks in the industry that will be presented by guest speakers and PR practitioners who are competent in their respective fields. Throughout the sessions, this talk show is expected to be one of the means of sharing experiences and knowledge for the human PR. Through PR Corner, it is also expected that the society and industry understands more about the profession of public relations.
PR Corner is also presented live every month at LSPR Auditorium & Performance Hall – and a few speakers are invited.PR Corner can also be tuned in at 105.8 Lite FM Lite.
The theme of PR Corner Live From LSPR – Jakarta January 19, 2015 edition was “What the CEO Wants From PR” which is also the title of a book by Agung Laksamana, Director, Country Corporate Affairs and Chairman of Citibank Indonesia Perhumas 2014 – 2017. Apart from Agung Laksamana, a public relations practitioner, there was another speaker Arif Wibowo who was recently trusted to become the CEO of PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk , began working in 2015 as well as in Mardi Wu (CEO PT Nutrifood Indonesia) who have successfully made Nutrifood as a “second home “for its employees.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently “- Warren Buffet
CEO and public relations in an enterprise is an important part of the management of the company and must go hand in hand to achieve the goals of the company. According to Agung Laksamana, there are levels in public relations and is believed to become strategists in the company. PR should not only be considered as a “firefighter” in the sense that when there is a problem with reputation, then PR is involved.
Starting from a job as a PR Technician performing technical tasks such as writing press releases, media monitoring and clipping, implement corporate event and some other PR activities. Furthermore, PR Manager has a greater responsibility for supervising the technical work of PR, to develop strategies and is responsible for the success or failure of the implementation of strategies that have been made.
When the PR is trusted in the company, it creates PR Strategist. According to Arif Wibowo, at this stage, PR has become the trusted advisor of the top management and can help CEOs make decisions for the better of the company. Arif Wibowo also added that the PR must know the leadership style of the CEO, to be able to understand the content of the messages to be conveyed to the public through a channel that was built. CEOs should also put greater trust in PR strategies for PR was the one that knows and absorbs what is happening in public, PR is a public company as well as a bridge.
Social media can serve as an effective viral platform, but keep in mind that positive news spreads as fast as negative news; hence it is necessary to give a quick response to slow down the speed of spreading of negative news. Good relationship with the media is very important because the company is able to gain publicity through the media while social media is also the “direct voice” of the company. Mardi Wu said that many CEOs are scared and burdened to have a personal social media, but on the other hand, the CEO of PT Nutrifood Indonesia believes that it is the duty of the CEO to communicate directly with the public, of course, accompanied by PR. One major challenge of PR in handling the social media is how to be able to create engagement with followers and change “likes” into real customers.
There are times when the CEO and PR do not go hand in hand and the friction between them, the need for openness of communication to determine the best decision. The friction can be avoided if the CEO and PR sit together since the beginning and agree on a commitment to the interests of the company. Commitments made over time will produce chemistry between the CEO and PR. Agung Laksamana himself in Citibank communicates with its CEO once every 3 months to ask if the division he leads is in line with company’s objectives.
Relations between CEO and PR also tested when the company experiences a crisis. A concrete example would be the case of Air Asia QZ8501. According to Agung Laksamana, there is no magic wand that can improve a company’s reputation in an instant when a crisis occurs. Especially in the Air Asia case involving not only the companies and families of the victims, but also the government, and even other countries. Agung Laksamana states that the strategy carried out by Air Asia as well as the appearance of CEO Tony Fernandes who communicates directly with the public, the case has been handled quite well in the perspective of PR.
Each airline companies such as Garuda Indonesia, has the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) which is a step that must be taken when a crisis occurs. CEO directly leads all teams in ERP and even the Family Assistance Team (FAP). Every year, the simulation is held on how to communicate with the media and speak with the victim’s family. In the context of the spokesman, the CEO is a last resort and that it conveys to be the most correct, although there are times when PR is the only one that appears as a spokesman for the company. Especially for airline crisis, ERP and communication will focus on empathy for the victims and families.
In the enterprise, public relations activities directed both to internal and external public and both internal and external PR are both equally important. Internal PR will have to coordinate with HR to motivate the employees and also maintain the smooth flow of information internally. In Nutrifood, internal PR activity handled by HRD. For multinational companies, it takes PR in international, regional, national and local scales.
The end result of the work of PR is reputation that has to be maintained constantly and it is intangible. The speakers who are present in PR Corner admit that PR jobs are difficult to measure with quantitative data in a short time, because reputation is the result of a long-term strategy.
Just like reputation, to become a PR Strategist, PR needs to be built through a process. For anyone who is a beginner in PR, should always be willing to learn, do a lot of reading, do case studies & research, and be active in PR organizations such as PERHUMAS in order to be trained. Remember that PR already has many working hours and senior PR who are elder also have to do the same so they are not left behind.
Like a colorful ice cream on the cover of the book ‘What the CEO Wants from PR “, expectations of the CEO of PR is very diverse, for PR also needs to see beyond the aspect of communication in order to become a trusted advisor in the company.