Thursday, July 27, 2006

From Cakram to FourFourTwo

The Mavericks used to know Agung Harsya as a young journalist in Cakram business magazine. Well, apparently, Agung has moved to a literally "greener" field, since he is now a reporter in Indonesian Edition of FourFourTwo* soccer magazine!

***

If you came over to Agung's blog, A Platonic World, it is obvious that Agung is really into soccer. In his posting entitled "Sepakbolahawe", Agung told us about his long lost love: yes, soccer!

His love to this particular sport have made him once promised, that soccer will no longer act merely as a game to kill time. Not to mention that Agung cherishes this sentimental memories as a child; listening to his grandpa telling stories about soccer. Surprisingly, as time went by, Agung found out that his interest in soccer has gradually decreased. He even started to think that soccer will never become his future.

An Invisible Hand, however, has brought soccer back into Agung's life. He finally reunited with his long lost love once again, through his new job in FourFourTwo magazine. Hey, it seems like somehow you have kept your promise, Gung! :)

Good luck with your new carreer--and keep score!

*FourFourTwo is published under the Velvet Silver Group that becomes famous for publishing Playboy magazine

A Meeting with Faisal Basri

My second meeting with Faisal Basri happened last Tuesday.

I met him for the 1st time back in May 2006, when Faisal expressed his willingness to serve as a member of Anugerah Adiwarta Sampoerna’s* Board of Judges.
*For more info on Anugerah Adiwarta Sampoerna, feel free to call Maverick or send an e-mail to aas@maverick.co.id

Who is Faisal Basri, anyway?

For those of you who haven’t heard of him, Faisal Basri is an Indonesian prominent figure, mainly in economy and business. In 2000, he was elected as an Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs. Currently, he is a Commissioner of the Supervisory Commission for Business Competition of the Republic of Indonesia. Viewed as an expert in economic field, his opinions have constantly appeared in several major publications in Indonesia, such as Kompas and Koran Tempo.

During Anugerah Adiwarta Sampoerna’s Judges Meeting last Tuesday, Faisal told us his ideas and opinion about journalists and media in general. Faisal believes that it is important for media/publications to use an appropriate Indonesian language. It is true, that the language used doesn’t have to be correct according to Pusat Kajian Bahasa Indonesia, for example. Journalists and the media, however, should also bear in mind that they also have to serve the public. Therefore, continuously using jargons or filling an article with too much ‘local slang’ can be irritating.

He also mentioned that a journalist must start to think out-of-the-box to find a different approach towards an article that he/she is working on. Faisal took the book THE WORLD IS FLAT* by Tom Friedman as an example. The content of the book is not new in itself, but Tom Friedman has managed to bring the concept of ‘the world is flat’ and make it looks new.
*Last week, Maverick Book Club has chosen The World is Flat to sit in our ‘must-read’ list

Before I met him, I’ve known Faisal Basri mainly through his personal website, www.faisalbasri.com, that presents a more ‘humane’ side of this economic expert. The web contains his profile, writings, lectures, and … his poems!

Just listen to this piece of poem he wrote during a flight; entitled Aku Tak Kenali Lagi:

Aku kian bergegas
Tapi mereka seperti berlari
Tiba-tiba muncul dari arah depan
Menyeringai disertai ejekan

Aku berbelok ke selatan di persimpangan jalan
Ternyata jalan itu buntu
Aku berbalik arah menuju utara
Di sana ada keramaian
Tapi semua orang membisu
Kusapa satu-satu
Tapi tak berjawab

Well, turned out that our DKI Jakarta’s Governor candidate is a very poetic person!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"We’re empowering the government"

Those are the words of Bambang Basuki, the Executive Director of Mitra Netra Foundation (MNF) during an interview with The Star Malaysia late last week in “The 12th International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)”. That was his answer when asked about the government's support to MNF. Established in 1991, MNF is a Jakarta-based NGO dedicated to the education and development of the visually impaired through partnerships. MNF’s presence in that global convention was to discuss the attitudes and policies, inclusive educational practices, multi-disabilities with visual impairment, and equality of access to education for the visually impaired across the regions.

Bambang and Mitra Netra was profiled in The Star Malaysia for their struggle in empowering the Indonesian government to support and create inclusive educations for the visually impaired.

Maverick and MNF have also built up the partnership since 2005 in term of capacity building program in communication and public relations skills which very much relevant to our expertise. By empowering Mitra Netra with communications skills Maverick hoped that all their set objectives would be soon accomplished.

”challenges can always be solved by learning and hard work, that challenges create opportunities,” as quoted from Bambang at the end of his interview.

You can check out the article’s details thru this link http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/7/21/central/14879155&sec=central

The Mav's: Ong is Blogger of the Week

Maverick’s Ong Hock Chuan has been named Blogger Indonesia’s Blogger of the Week by A. Fatih Syuhud, the man behind the Blogger Indonesia blog. Fatih showed Ong the ropes when he just started his adventure in the blogosphere. We'd like to thank Fatih for this because at a point in his early blogging months, Ong accidentally deleted Maverick's blog!

Joining in on this thank-fest, we'd also like to thank Ong for encouraging the Mavericks to blog more, constantly preaching the gospel of Blog which has shown significant results, breaking us through even more from the clutter.

And this week, Fatih is honoring Ong for his writing and how his postings in unspun have attracted lots of attention:

the Indonesian bloggers will never be no where near a kind of influence the conventional media has, until and unless the person like Ong and others like him are also engaging in blogging activities.

Ong, of course, has blogged his acceptance speech in unspun.

Note:
Earlier in July, A. Fatih Syuhud awarded the Maverick blog as Blogger of the Week

We're definitely on a roll!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What's with Corporate Blog?

I just went into Technorati and searched for Maverick's blog out of curiosity. At the very top of the results is a blog post titled "Apa itu Corporate Blog?" or "What is a Corporate Blog?" written by Nukman Luthfie.

His definition of a Corporate Blog is:
a blog that is written, published, and supported by a corporation or organization to achieve a certain objective. From a marketing-communications standpoint, the corporate blog strengthens the bond with the target market and also the company's image as an expert in a particular field. This blog falls into this category. A similar breakthrough has been done by a well-known Indonesian PR consultancy firm Maverick with its corporate blog. Others who've done so include Virus Communications and Hermawan Kertajaya.


Note:
Virus Communications and Nukman's Virtual Consulting are both under PT Virtual Media Nusantara. Virtual Consulting runs the "Blog Internet Marketing Indonesia".... Hmmm... Sounds familiar doesn't it Mavs?

Thanks to Nukman for the post. Please do check out our blog periodically because this won't be just another corporate blog, but simply one kick ass blog

On "losing" journos...

Earlier this month, unspun has blogged about The Jakarta Post losing 8 of its journos. On a more recent post, that number increased to 9. Both posts have generated quite a reaction from Jakarta Post journos in their mailing list, and also from an individual who claims to be a former Jakarta Post reporter who jumped ship several months ago.

The comments for the post are getting more and more... eh.. interesting. Go check it out for yourself! :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To fly or not to fly

Do you ask yourself, “Will I get there alive?” whenever you’re about to fly with an Indonesian airlines? Don’t worry. We all have asked that question once or twice. It is public knowledge that the Indonesian airlines are still quite unsafe. It just seems more definite when it comes from an insider in the industry itself.

Last Friday, July 7, 2006, Maverick had the pleasure of having Harumi Supit from Airefata as a guest speaker in our weekly Friday Sharing Sessions. Looking very relaxed among the Mavericks, Harumi spoke for almost two hours giving us no-sugar coated insights on the Indonesian aviation industry and then patiently answered all of our questions.

Don’t get me wrong. Harumi was not slamming the Indonesian airlines, she just laid it out as it is. She started by giving us a picture of the commercial airlines industry from the top airliners, Garuda and Merpati, to the low cost carriers (LCC), such as Air Asia Indonesia, Lion Air, Adam Air, Batavia Air and Mandala Air. With the very tough price competition between the airlines, there are also smaller airlines, which still manage to hang in there among the bigger airlines, like Sriwijaya Air, Kartika Airlines, Ekspress, Jatayu Airlines, and Riau Airlines. However, those that couldn’t compete slowly fluttered away, like Star Air, Bali Air, Indonesia Air, Air Paradise, and Bouraq. Airefata is positioned strategically between the top airlines and the LCC’s.

Among the still active airlines, Harumi said that Garuda was still the safest airlines in Indonesia, although they're deeply in debt. On average, Garuda has the “youngest” age aircrafts compared to the other airlines. But, according to Harumi, the age is not the main safety perimeter for an aircraft; maintenance is. Even if an aircraft is not considered “young” anymore, as long as it has been maintained well, it is safer than a newer aircraft that has been flown abusively – just like any type of machinery. A well-oiled plane should have a complete maintenance log done by reputable maintenance facilities, as well as knowing the history of every single spare parts of the airplane.

So now we know that good maintenance is key to a safe fleet, Harumi also said that pilot’s training and flight hours were essential to judge the safety of an airline. These factors can determine the decisions that a captain will make during crisis or emergency situations. Harumi said, that is why at Airefata, they carefully chose experienced pilots and invested in providing them with ample trainings and much more.

Another interesting sharing session that broadened the Maverick’s knowledge. And even with the new information we’ve just learned, we are not afraid to continue to fly because we are the fearless Mavericks and that statistically, flying is still the safest way to travel – even if we continue to ask, “Will I get there alive?”

Benvenuta piccolina!!



(Welcome little one!!)

On behalf of all Mavericks, we would like to send our best wishes and congratulation to Mas Rudy (our Finance guy) and his wife, Ratna who have been blessed by the presence of their cute and lovely baby girl, named Winola Hanaya (Win Win) on July 11, 2006.

After a nice lunch with several Mavericks, we went to visit him and his wife to express our sympathy and plus, to witness the little creature…indeed she is so cute!! Wondering when I could also have my own...

Over the window of baby's showroom, we saw her sleeping in serene and we were carried away to the same situation like she had, peaceful… As quoted from Carl Sandburg that "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on," so I guess lets have more babies to make our world goes around!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jakarta Post to lose 8 journos?

The Grapevine has told unspun that The Jakarta Post is losing eight reporters, some to further education but others to the competition.

Among those the Post will be losing is Reiner Simanjuntak, the business editor to Forbes Indonesia that is being run by former Singapore Business Times correspondent Shoeb Kagda. The other poacher of Post talent, we are told, is research and lobby firm Van Zorge Heffernan.

In the meantime, rumors of a second English-language daily starting up soon are rife. But very few people seem to know who is behind it, except that one of the owners may be from a mining firm that has been in the news a lot lately and one of the editors used to work with Antara.

It looks like Daniel Rembeth, the new CEO of the Jakarta Post has his work cut out for him.

Friday, July 07, 2006

An update on the “Media calls for a boycott to a PR firm”

After two and a half weeks from the date of the boycott calls email spread by Rachmat Baihaki, a journalist from Seputar Indonesia newspaper, today we received a forwarded response email from Indo Pacific. Here they are:



Rekan-rekan yang terhormat,

Terima kasih atas berbagai masukan berharga yang diberikan pada perusahaan kami melalui mailing list ini. Dengan rendah hati, semua masukan tersebut kami terima dengan baik untuk lebih meningkatkan layanan kami di masa yang akan datang.

Sehubungan dengan hal tersebut, berikut kami lampirkan penjelasan dari Management Indo Pacific dengan harapan dapat memberikan klarifikasi atas permasalahan yang ada.

Semoga hubungan kerja antara Indo Pacific dan rekan media akan terus berlanjut dengan baik di masa datang.

Salam,
Fannie Waldhani, Indo Pacific



Dear all:

I wanted to take this opportunity to give a few words of explanation to the recent issues regarding an invitation-only media event that Indo Pacific Reputation Management Consultants held for our client.

Firstly I wanted to apologize to the media who were declined admission at the limited media briefing. Perhaps Indo Pacific did not handle or explain the situation as best it could have to those who were not invited, so I sincerely apologize if you were upset at being denied admission.

We are fully aware that the media are very critical to our success here in Indonesia.
We would never intentionally insult or upset any of our media colleagues with whom we work so closely.

However it is important to be aware that as public relations consultants we walk a middle road. On one hand supporting and advising our clients on the best communications strategies, knowing particular corporate situations and challenges. On the other hand we attempt to ensure that the news we present is professional and newsworthy so that we can gain your support and maximize our clients' media coverage.

All public relations consultants use various strategies to advise their clients, from large scale media events to one on one interviews and a mixture in between.

In this case, Indo Pacific jointly with the client agreed (and differing from an incorrect comment that was passed through the mailing list), on a limited scale invitation-only media briefing. All public relations consultants face a dilemma when confronted with this strategy. So many important media! Which ones to invite? Which ones to leave out?

However we have to make a valued judgment at the time. On the day of the event, sometimes we have allowed one of two more media in to events who were not invited, but on this occasion we agreed that we would abide by our decision.

I see it was having a group of 50 friends, but on one day you only invite 8 to dinner. The others may hear about dinner, but certainly do not turn up, nor do they get offended. This is the way that we, as public relations professionals view this type of strategy.

I also read in one of the emails about the ‘bules’ not understanding the media culture here in Indonesia. I can assure you that we are very aware to cultural sensitivities, whether it is the ‘bules’ or the majority of our Indonesian professionals. But I can assure you that the same strategies are used in every country. Indo Pacific certainly did not create the concept of an invitation-only media event.

Yes we have to build close relationships with our media colleagues but we also have our clients to protect. Sometimes it is a very difficult middle road to walk.

So I hope you understand Indo Pacific's position, being no different from any other professional public relations firm in Indonesia or elsewhere.

Again I apologize to those media who were upset. We certainly did not have any intention to do so.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to long and close relationships with you all over the coming years.

Chadd McLisky
Founder and Shareholder Indo Pacific

Zinedine Zidane from ‘Les Bleus’




Two steps backward, he looked directly into the eyes of the Portugal goalie, then looking down at the ball as if he was showing, directing and telling it where to roll. Calmly and with confidence, his skillful penalty shot at the 33rd minutes of the game against Portugal, Zinedine Zidane, the captain of the French football team delivered a golden-goal bringing the “Les Bleus” to the World Cup final.

Zidane and Les Bleus have been the talk of the World Cup since the team beat Brazil last Saturday. During that game, Zizou gave no chance for the Brazilians to catch up with him. At 34 years of age Zidane has shown his best football, which some people refer to as ‘magical performance’ on the field. The fans, and myself included of course, just simply can’t stop talking and adoring him. He plays the ball gracefully like a ballerina performing on stage. He looked, and demanded the ball at every opportunity. Amazing. Very entertaining.

Zizou is a great football player with a humble personality, calm character and mature attitude that has made him the star of the world Cup 2006. He has gained respect from his friends in Les Blues team, as well as from his opponents on the field. Simply, there is no way for people not to love him.

He started playing football when he was a little boy. He was not known to be the best player among his friends in the field but he was certainly the most persistent who never gave up learning to become a better player. Little Zizou would stay in the field after a game and try to learn tricks with the ball while his friends had gone home.

Now Zinedine Zidane has completed his master of a great football player. Not only that, he has become the ‘leading light’ in the World Cup Soccer field. After the game against Brazil, he showed genuine compassion to the losing opponents. He touched Lucio’s cheek and soothed Ze Roberto’ hair who lay on the ground crying, comforting them. Robinho squeezed him on the neck like a little baby not wanting to be separated from his mom. For him, Zidane is the ‘hero’ from whom he must learn so much before achieving the same level and become a football legend. After defeating Portugal, he put the t-shirt of Portugal Team Captain, Luis Figo on himself during the exchange. For me who’s been watching the games, those are rare scenes in this season of World Cup.

So, what it is for me as a PR person, the lessons learned? - That is, just like Zidane in mastering football, to be good in Public Relations requires many qualities, heart, determination, organization, and application; and more than anything else, it requires class.

Zinedine Zidane is definitely at a class of his own.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Another Journo Joining Maverick

Today we welcome another journalist into the Dark Side ;)

After working for five years with Bisnis Indonesia, the nation’s leading business newspaper, Rommy Rustami is joining Maverick.

Rommy is a civil engineering graduate of the National Institute of Technology, Bandung and started his career as Reporter and Announcer of Radio Maraghita, Bandung, in 1997 before moving to Bisnis.

“After being a journalist for many years, I’m very excited to enter and experience the other side of the field,” Rommy said.

His journalism experience will surely strengthen the Maverick team Welcome to Maverick, Rommy, we all look forward to you playing a big part in the kick-ass team we have!

AFP looking for journos

AFP is apparently looking for Indonesian news correspondents. Here's their announcement to the jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club.

VACANCY AT AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) seeks a full-time Indonesian news correspondent to be based in its Jakarta bureau, reporting on Indonesia and East Timor. Candidates must speak and write fluent English.

The ideal candidate will have some experience working in print, radio or television news, with a strong interest in and understanding of world politics and economics. The candidate should be able to generate their own ideas for feature stories.

He or she must be self-driven and be able to work with minimal supervision.

Travel to different regions of Indonesia and possibly elsewhere in the region will be necessary, sometimes at very short notice. The candidate must be willing to report occasionally in hazardous environments, such as disaster zones.

Proficiency in Indonesian languages such as Javanese, or other languages such as French, would be an advantage.

Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Interested applicants should send an application letter and a CV as soon as possible to sebastien.blanc@afp.com, cc samantha.brown@afp.com

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Maverick named Blogger Indonesia of the Week

Maverick has been featured as Blogger Indonesia of the Week in Blogger Indonesia. Thanks Fatih.

Here's what it says:

When I lamented in a bit disappointment about the passive attitude of traditional media towards blogs and bloggers or you can call both as blogosphere, R.M., founder of Blog Indonesia aggregator advised me to be patient because he's rest assured the time will come when Indonesian mainstream media will look into the blogosphere more seriously as far as the blogs trend and growth in the West keeps up. He actually wanted to remind me of this: our traditional media will follow whatever trend happening outthere sooner or later.

But he also warns Indonesian bloggers to keep quality, beside quantity, intact to attract many others to blog.

I reproduce here his good comment:

I believe it is just a matter of time.
Indonesian blogs still have some growing up to do. Honesty, credibility and consistency are qualities that can only be established over a long period of time.

Blogs with such quality no doubt will shine and it would be foolish for the mainstream media not to pay attention to them.


He further said that, even New York Times learns from bloggers:

...
Today, the New York Times launched its site redesign, announced by a prominent editor’s note on the homepage. There’s a few lessons for bloggers to learn from the redesign, as well as some evidence that the Times itself has been learning from bloggers.

In other words, the more media people (and academia) go blogging, the more it will be followed by others and that's the time when blogging become inseparable part of tools to communicate thought, news and ideas; beside the already existing tools like print media (newspapers and magazines), books and academic publication which are only accessible to certain circle of people.


It's in this context that Maverick Indonesia's presence in Indonesian blogosphere deserve duly attention. Maverick, as mentioned in the blog header, is "A Jakarta-Based PR Consultancy on the media, journalists PR, communications and life in Indonesia." An institution which is very closely related to the media.

Wonderfully, this blog is a collaborative works, similar to Agoravox or Global Voices Online, although all the 15 contributors seem to be from the same office.

You can read a lot of interesting and quality stuff in the blog that covers various topics, mostly on news, journalism and current-affairs commentaries that you might not read in the print media.

Just to take a few example, see Maverick's meet-up with Ulin Niam Yusron, a journalist from the weekly publication KONTAN. And see also its critical and unpriveleged-leaning commentary on Jakarta Governor, Sutiyoso's speech which is one of my favorite piece. Maverick said:

Reading about his speech, I couldn’t help thinking that his “Acting Metropolitan” plea is geared more towards those who are less privileged in the city, while we know that some citizens who drive around in fancy new cars or big chopper bikes are also “kampungan”. Well, those who are less privileged tend to imitate or look up to the behaviors of those who are perceived to be at the higher social strata. So, perhaps in his final year of his second term, Bang Yos should be tougher in enforcing his rules and values to those who are supposed to know the rules already - those who have experienced the “better” cities in the world, and those who know how other citizens work together in making their city a better place to live.


So, as far as Indonesia goes, blog appears to be a converging point of two different world: a chatting and friendster culture on one hand and the journalism, traditional media and academia on the other. A meeting point that needs to be preserved and if it continues will surely create a bigger and unprecedented positive forces in the future.

While the former, with more edges in IT technology related stuff, can give some help to the latter on blog nitty-gritty, the latter can "teach" the former on how to make a good and quality content. I hope the former should learn to communicate with the latter and vice-versa, to make the "converging process" going smoother.