Jakarta: The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for Indonesian public relations to handle the crisis with its strategic role.
“Humas (Public Relations) is required to adapt with the very fast technological advances,” said Indonesian Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko at the opening of the 2021 National Public Relations Convention (KNH).
Held virtually on December 15, 2021, this year’s KNH raised the theme of Spirit of Resilience and Optimism for a Growing Indonesia.
Participating in highlighting the current situation, Chairman of PERHUMAS Agung Laksamana, said that public relations in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be an agent of change which is able to provide education that has a positive impact on the community. Public relations must be able to adapt quickly, and understand the strategic functions of public relations.
“Public Relations practitioners can contribute by sharing suggestions so that there will be an increase in the collective awareness of the community, therefore, they have the same steps in taking good action to break the chain of transmission, spread optimism and improve Indonesia’s image and reputation” said Agung.
On the same occasion, the Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology Nadiem Makarim stated the importance of the spirit of resilience and optimism in the community.
“Humas in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be an agent of change which is able to provide education that has a positive impact on the community,” said Nadiem.
The activity, which was also attended by the Minister of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, emphasized how the creativity of public relations needs to take advantage of technological advances.
“Indonesian PR must take full advantage of digital transformation, be innovative, and collaborate with stakeholders” said Sandiaga Uno.
The importance of the role of public relations in spreading the spirit of resilience and optimism was also highlighted by the Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs, Teten Masduki.
“All challenges can be solved by PR practitioners with the spirit of collaboration, adaptation, and transformation as well as the spirit of optimism that we can get up and grow soon. Indonesian Public Relations has produced a variety of creative and innovative ideas in transforming the active role of Public Relations as the spearhead of communication in conveying positive messages to the public” said Teten.
KNH2021 raised topics that were in the spotlight during the pandemic, namely PR Digital Transformation; PR Innovation & Creative Solutions; Umbrella Law, Ethics & the Future of PR; PR diplomacy; Cyber Security in the PR sector.
Attended by PR practitioners from government, private sector, and academia, it aimed to encourage participants to become agents of change in adapting to new habits, adopting changes that occur to build expertise in dealing with current and future pandemic situations.
In this year’s Strategic Recommendations, PERHUMAS highlighted the challenges faced by Public Relations during the pandemic, namely communication programs about the importance of:
- Vaccination must be continuously encouraged by all parties (government, private sector, community) in order to achieve the target. The potential for dynamic economic growth, in accordance with the declining prevalence of pandemic cases.
- Strengthening the private sector to carry out sustainability communications to support the government in reducing emissions according to national and international regulations.
- The importance of the leadership role in formulating strategies, communicating to the public, and interacting with internal and stakeholders by applying ethics.
- The legal aspect does not answer the dilemma in communication issues, and ethics must be the key in decision making by PR practitioners.
- PR practitioners need to understand data security and data privacy, as well as cyber security aspects.