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.

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

No comments: