Monday, April 02, 2007

Move on

Dear readers, we've moved our blog to here. Please come visit us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kongko-kongko* with Andi Sinulingga

Last Friday (23/03) we were honored to have Andi Sinulingga of Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia (KNPI) coming to Maverick for another sharing session. Having been an activist as a student in Universitas Jaya Baya and member of Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (HMI) Andi is very experienced in Indonesian Political world. But what impress us so is the fact that he is very much equipped and understands the history of our country.

As for the Mavericks, well we know very little on KNPI. Fortunately Andi is a very lively speaker, or spokesperson to be exact. He explains that KNPI was established in the Soeharto regime as a breeding ground for future Indonesian leaders. KNPI was the umbrella under which many of the country’s youth organizations comes together. Initially KNPI was funded by government, but not anymore.

After the reformation era, KNPI has become independent, both in its visions and funding. KNPI now must work harder and more creative to generate funding to support their activities. This would mean that the organization would be a strong competition for organizations alike in promoting better program for the community. What a strong competition indeed. J

Talking with Andi on the young generations would truly reflect his passion and hope for the future generation. His book entitled “Hope for the Young Generation?” that he generously presented to us, also a proof of his concerns.

Well, it was a very motivating conversation. A two-hour-sharing-session would never be enough when you are kongko-kongko* with Andi.

* hanging out

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Advertising, is it part of CSR practice?

There is an interesting article today on CSR, it was published in Republika “CSR, di balik kepentingan promosi” (“CSR, behind the promotional needs”)

I was expecting to read one example of corporate promotional activities that are packaged in CSR program, but what was explored in the article is mainly about PT Sido Muncul TV ad “Orang Pintar Sayang Keluarga” version.

The TV ad with new tagline is claimed as one of their CSR project to ensure the better quality of young generation through the the good quality of families who live in harmony. The new TV ad features Ari Lasso (one of the country’s top musician) and his family to convey the message of the importance of making a harmonious family. They simply chose Ari Lasso to be the icon because they want to change the celebrities image that is closely connected divorces. Is it that necessary for Sido Muncul to work on their image?

Well, for me this is some kind of ga’ nyambung, it has got nothing to do between their new social marketing campaign and CSR project I suppose.

CSR should go beyond incorporating your social message to your new adv version.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Click Of The Week: Stania's Blog: This is not my life story

We're already know that radio journalism is quite differ from print media journalism. That's including the person behind it. But when it comes to blogging, it's hard to differentiate between those two.
Take a look for this blog for an instance. In a glance, maybe you would think that she is a journalist for print media, by the way she writes. But actually, she's a radio journalist for Kantor Berita Radio 68-H.
I would say that her writings or posting are somewhat intellectual yet playful. She can really underline or stressed out her point of view yet expressed carefully and successfully ; that it doesn't sound offending. Stania seems to always want to make sure whoever gets to read her blog can easily grasp the real message she wants to deliver. Something that all print media journalist are trying to do everyday, aren't they?
As she describe on her blog's title, the blog is not about her life story; it's HER story.
So mainly, her posting are based on what she experiences, feels and sees which she turns into stories. Errrr maybe Stania itself can explain it more clearly...
Her writings are very expressive that even halfway reading her postings, we can tell how she is not afraid to speak her mind. That's part of the reason why we chose her blog to be the click of the week for this week. An addition to that, this is the first radio journalist's blog selected by Maverick.
Why don't you take look at her posting: Tentang Remeh Temeh dan Omong Kosong and tell us what you think?
Congratulation Stania!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Maverick's Outing

For me, the new girl in the team, the first time I was asked to join along when Nia called me, I was already thrilled!!! Thank you everyone for such a warm welcome & including me in the outing trip which left a tremendous memorable experience and memorie...
For some, this may seem funny, I'VE NEVER BEEN TO Jogja & the outing has also given me a new insight travel of 'Inside Indonesia'.....
So much great activities and sharing that we the mavericks’ had during the outing, Goosh where should I start....
Losari coffee plantation resort and Spa, a beautiful resort, with warm old antique Javanese ambience that when I got there, I think everybody was just amazed by how magnificent the scenery and the fresh air that we were going to enjoy for the next 2 days!!! Spacious rooms and not to mention the king size beds (even the extra beds were huge!!!) for us to indulge our holiday!!! Well, not to forget, thank you for Ong & Mbak Lita, for their generosity...
Scenery and tress were just so fantastically beautiful, that when I sat down and enjoy it, you will also realize the greatness of this world...
By the way, at night Losari was dark as it could get! And everybody's got to attentively focused when they're walking, as we just didn't want to fall, I guess...hehehehe
Nia did mention about Mas Rudy's graduation, yeees, it was really a funny one, because in the surprise graduation party that we arranged (discreetly) for him, we formed two lines, that Mas Rudy had to walk through before reaching the rector and Professor ( which is Ong & Mbak Lita, as it's MAVERICK's University) :) and everybody were tickling Mas Rudy, well, he doesn't take tickling very well...and he was laughing the whole way ( and his laughter made all of us laughing).
Second day, it was trip to Jogja (the seat in the bus was aching) but the whole fun of the trip made it worthwhile...Hot sunny day, but still everyone's was enjoying their time...
There's so much (like really a lot) of stuff to see & it was kind of a headache, because I just don't know what to get....hehehehe (ended up buying 2 pairs of sandals).
Then, we had dinner at Bale Raos, in the Sultan's compound (apparently it's the king's favorite food), it's kinda too sweet, but still delicious... at the end of dinner, I shared my lovely voice ( I wish to believe so) with the 'Mata Genit Band' (the band was great, except for the name I guess!) hahahaha,
Well, the great thing also, that everybody's just mingling and some did share some personal stories so in a way, it made everyone closer as friends and colleagues.
My most truly greatest one, is THE HAMAM SPA...did a 75 min massage which was costly, but it's worth every cent of my credit card that I got to pay later :(...
For that 75 min, I felt I was entering THE HEAVEN OF RELAXATION.. it was awesome!!
I love massages, and been around tried some SPA, but gotta share it with you, THERE'S NOT ONE YET THAT FELT like THE HAMAM!!! (I'm sure Mbak Lita, couldn't agree more with me, as she did have a massage too). Well, I missed the steam train tour though, but gotta choose 1 or the other sometimes huh....(I didn't regret choosing the massage...)
Had a good laugh, memorable and truly a wonderful experience that I shared in this outing...
Once again, Thank you for including me and making me feel a pat of the family at the orange house in such a short period...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Maverick Of The Year 2006

Starting this year, Maverick begins a tradition of recognizing excellence among the already very able team at Maverick. It was tough decision to single out just one associate for special recognition since each one of the Mavericks is special in their own way.

But tough it was, a decision had to be made and the inaugural Maverick of The Year 2006 award was announced at our Annual Outing at the Losari Coffee Plantation in central Java last week-end. It went to Hanny Kusumawati.

She stands out because she managed to meet the challenges thrown at her fearlessly and handled them with self-confidence, creativity and a good cheer. She demonstrated that she was not only a good worker but also a good team member and a team leader. She joined Maverick in September 2005, and within less than a year she was taking on the role of a team leader for two of Maverick biggest accounts, Sampoerna and Coca-Cola. She did this with aplomb and to the delight of the clients.

In Maverick's selection process where everyone had a say in recommending the Maverick of the Year to the Partners, it was also evident that Hanny's talents and accomplishments were also appreciated by her peers.

Bravo, Hanny!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Change of Seasons

The Maverick family along with our neighbors, friends, clients, family members and journalist colleagues decided to make a difference on Monday 12 March 2007. We invited the Indonesian Red Cross blood donor van to come and take our blood. Invitations to our friends and colleagues were enthusiastically responded to, and blood was taken for those in need.

Why a ‘Change of Seasons’? Because this is the first time the company as a whole can participate in a collective effort of social aid, although Maverick had previously helped the Mitra Netra NGO further their cause for the sight impaired. This time, everyone in the office can participate, even including our personal friends and families.

As us enthusiastic, albeit rather scared, donors were led one by one to our cots, amidst the doubts, the fear of needles, and the endless jeers of our well meaning peers, the realization that our blood will mean a lot in disaster ridden Indonesia meant that all who donated their blood did so with a clear conscience and a pure intention, although that sexy nurse taking our blood helped a lot in this department - for the guys anyway.

All in all, 51 people came and donated their blood. Thanks guys! Keep it up!! We have received positive feedback and due to that, we have decided today to make this an annual event here at Maverick’s office. So I hope that next year’s turnout will be even better. J


PMI arrived at Maverick’s office at 9am sharp!

Employees from Jerry Aurum Graphic Design are busy filling out the front and back of the PMI document.

Before giving blood, everyone was checked what blood type they are and if they were allowed to donate.

Drivers who hang out at the warung close to the office and even TNT courier staff have spontaneously donated their blood. Good on your guys!

Every donor received their new donor card and a little thank you gift from Maverick and of course food to get back on their feet after giving so much blood.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A tribute to Morgan Mellish

It’s a week after the accident of the Garuda GA200 which caused 21 passengers lost their life. One of them was Morgan Mellish, an Australian journalist for the Australian Financial Review, the winner of the Walkley Award 2006.

As a journalist, he was persistent in getting information from news sources, besides his laid-back and relaxed characters. As an expatriate who lived in Indonesia, he loved to try different kind of local food here. He even told his maid to cook local food three times per week. As a friend, he was a good fellow to the others.

Morgan had reached his dream: to be a foreign correspondence. He told me that he really loved it here. He tried to go away from the city in the weekend, to surf, to climb mountains, or anything. An adventurous guy, indeed. He definitely knew how to live a life and embrace every moment of it.

Today is supposedly his 37th birthday. He left us just one week before his special day.
What a great loss for all of us in the communications industry to lose a talented young journalist like him.

Happy birthday, Morgan. You’ll be missed by all of us here.

New and Old Faces in Maverick

Maverick this week welcomed a new face and also the return of an old face to our team of eclectic characters and talents.

The new face is Nancy Natalia. She holds a BA degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Central Queensland University, Sydney, and also an Advanced Diploma in Mass Communications from Staffordshire University, Singapore. Nancy spent three years working in Sydney as a sales rep for a shoe product, before returning home and joining Metro TV as a Production Assistant and Reporter.

“I have always been interested in PR & would like to get a more in-depth, hands on experience of what the world of PR is all about," said Nancy. "I believe that Maverick would be a good place to work in, because from what I hear from others prior to joining Maverick is a place that encourages its employees to grow better, professionally and personally.”

Also returning to the fold after a three-month sabbatical is Crivenica “Riri” Alam who moves on from her role of Associate at the consultancy side to head Gauge, Maverick's online media tracking and PR measurement service.

“The past three months have been very enjoyable and full of activities. Most of the time, I was traveling and spending quality time with my loved ones," said Riri. "I think Maverick is cool place for giving me the flexibility to take this sabbatical where I could refresh myself. And now, I am back fully recharged and looking forward to new challenges and fun with the Maverick and Gauge crews.”

Warm welcome to both of you. We believe the ride becomes more enjoyable with you on board.

Lunch with Indria Samego

Pak Indria Samego, Indonesia's well-known political observer, loves yoghurt.

The first thing he did when he stood up to order some food at Marche Movenpick was to walk to the beverage section asking for yoghurt. He wasn’t lucky though. They restaurant was temporarily ran out of yoghurt.

We met up with Pak Indria yesterday. He will serve as the final judge for political subtopic in this year’s Anugerah Adiwarta Sampoerna. Friendly and humorous was the first impression that crossed our mind as he entered the room. Pak Indria said that he felt honored to become AAS 2007’s final judge, and we talked a bit about last year’s AAS and journalism in Indonesia.

Pak Indria specifically mentioned about high-solidarity amongst Indonesian journalists based on his experience: “For instance, I gave my cellphone number to one journalist, and the next thing I knew, other journalists will have my number as well!” he laughed.

After our lunch arrived, we started to talk about many things, including the controversial businesses’ contribution to the community we once posted in Maverick’s blog. Pak Indria told us that we can’t blame people for being skeptical when controversial businesses are trying to give back to the community. “Philantrophy is needed and it is good for the community,” said Pak Indria. “I think it’s better for them to give back rather than taking the profit for their own good and do nothing for the community.”

The part I like the most was when he talked about the tendency of today’s generation. “They have millions of rupiahs to spend on a concert ticket, but they don’t have that same amount of money to produce something. This nation can’t stop consuming things, but we don’t have the will to actually produce something. We have to change our mentality if we’d like to step ahead.”

Everyone, are you ready for a change? :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nokia Got It Right!

This is how Nokia translates the term of customer satisfaction and shifting it into customer loyalty:

About a week ago, I had this problem with my Nokia N73. The message 'memory low, delete some data' kept blinking on the screen, though I had deleted all data I stored in my phone memory. Based on my past experiences, answers to almost all questions can be found in the net. So I went googling instead, and found out that there were lots of Nokia users in all part of the world are actually having the same problem. Unfortunately, there were no solutions to this problem yet.

Since I needed my phone badly, in despair, I contacted Mr. Hasan Aula, General Manager of Nokia Indonesia, and told him about the problem I was having. I also gave him links to several posts and discussions on the net mentioning this memory-low issue.

The response was immediate.

Pak Agus from Nokia called me up not long after. He apologized for what had happened to my N73 and said that Nokia would pick up my phone the next morning and had it fixed. Pak Agus also told me how thankful he was for having being informed about this problem. He said the links I inserted in my email was very useful.

To add up to that, he was kind enough to ask me whether I have another cell phone to use while mine was being fixed! So, the problem solved, they fixed my phone, and I think I have become a more loyal user of Nokia!

I was impressed with this response. It is important for a company to give immediate response to their customer’s complaints, and handle it professionally. Nokia have shown they’re level as one of the leading cell phone manufacturer in the world by providing this excellent service. And it will be a whole lot better if Nokia could sign up to these Nokia users’ communities in the Net and respond to complaints and questions posted there.

Most of the times, when you get access to ‘higher-level’ officials in a company, it is more certain that you’ll get a faster response. I think it happens in most companies.

The problem now is to make sure that when your customer have complaints, they knew where or to whom they could complain to, and the person who receives their complaints could make immediate decisions and take necessary actions.

Came to think about it, I think companies will perform much better if their ‘higher-level’ officials become the ones who receive complaints—probably by launching a blog? Therefore customers will be able to interact directly with the board of directors, even CEOs!

Since the power is shifting now …

Friday, March 09, 2007

Click Of The Week: Iman D Nugroho

My friend was right, when I take a look at this blog, I thought it’s a news portal. Only, it’s packaged with more “artistic” touch.The blog belongs to a young journalist named Iman D Nugroho.
This 30 years old man is currently working as a reporter at The Jakarta Post, a free lance cameraman and a contributor for Reader’s Digest.
By the color of his blog, you can actually tell this man who loves to listen to alternative music is a dynamic and vibrant young man.
Iman gives a serious attention to his blog, he consider it as a big project of being a professional freelance journalists. What he posts in his website is basically and mostly his writings which have been posted in the newspaper or magazine he is attached to.
What makes it so interesting is his passion in photography, completes his blog to be an artistic “diary”. Series of self explanatory images which somewhat tell us a glimpse of his journey and experience.
What interests me the more is actually the name of his blog, A Journey of East Java Indonesia. If you browse through, you can see most of his writings are about current stories happening within the East Java region.

What should controversial businesses do?

It is always a dilemma for being involved in a controversial businesses. When it seems like everyone is against you and everything you do is always wrong.

An article in Asia Times, entitled Smokes Get In Your Eyes in Indonesia, written by Duncan Graham, mentioned tobacco company as quoted below:

“... Indonesia’s tobacco company don’t like being portrayed as purveyors of poisons and killers of citizens. So they have tried to boost their image through socially responsible campaigns ... Another ploy is to fund educational institutions and scholarships ... (they) has also started to seduce journalists with media awards equal in most cases to six months’ salary for the average reporter ...”

The question that crossed my mind instantly was: ‘What about the mining company who allocate significant amount of money to help preserved the environment?’ or ‘Are fast-food restaurants should be banned from supporting national children’s health program?’

I think as what other ‘responsible’ companies do, these controversial businesses also want to give back to the community, but people are always skeptical towards their efforts. This is where a clear guidance on what companies can and cannot do in terms of doing social activities is needed.

The government should also be consistent and clear on what controversial industries are allowed or not allowed to do, especially when it comes to promotion and marketing activities. Therefore, they can go on operating their business activities without having to worry about possible disruption.

What do you think? Any suggestions, everyone?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Salute to Dewa...!

Last Friday, when I got home a bit late, I spotted a pretty familiar face on TV; it's on Om Farhan’s show, to be exact.

That day, Om Farhan did not invite celebrities or other prominent figures to his show. As opposed to that, he exposed those faces that are usually hidden behind their huge camera: ANTV reporters. I didn’t watch the show since the very beginning, but as I arrived, I saw Dewa’s face on screen.

I met Dewa ocassionally in several events. He is a big and tall guy with friendly smile who always stands out in the crowd. As a reporter in ANTV, Dewa sometimes come over to Maverick client’s public activities—mainly entertainment and urban activities. And sometimes sport. Thus, I was a bit surprised to see Dewa in Om Farhan that night, since Om Farhan was discussing about dedication in journalism, the risks and dangers awaited the journalists, and some ‘breath-taking’ moments that happened while they’re performing their job.

I gasped when I heard the story that actually Dewa was once being beaten by Brimob officials in Kotaraja, Papua, while reporting the succession of Kasat Brimobda Papua. This incident has also been reported in Seri Papua Aktual no. 5 published by Sekretariat Keadilan & Perdamaian Keuskupan Jayapura in June 2006 (p.16). I texted Dewa that night, and gave him a salute. Dewa replied humbly to that: ”Wow, I’m so ashamed. Hehehe. I don’t know that people will watch tonight’s show...”

I believe that there are lots of other ‘Dewa’ out there. Dedicated journalists who are just trying to perform their duty, and received unlikely treatment from opposing parties—a treatment that violate human rights; a treatment that could risk the journalists’ life. It reminds me of Kompas Cyber Media’s senior editor’s comment, Mas Cahyo Sasongko, on last year’s World Press Freedom Day. “Yang pasti, wartawan Indonesia itu many threats, less protection. Ada 3 unsur pelindung sekaligus ancaman: owner, state and society. Kita bermain di 3 unsur ini.”

However, we hope that threats experienced by Indonesian journalists won’t reduce their spirit to speak up and tell the truth to the whole wide world. Because we need transparency. Because we need to know the truth about what’s happening out there. And oftentimes, in this country, you’ve got to pay a very expensive price just for telling the truth.

What a shame.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Budi Putra is no longer in Tempo

Budi Putra, a journalist of Tempo, has no longer worked in the publication. He decided to become an independent writer, specializes in issues on technology for printed and online media abroad.

"I learned a lot during my five years in Tempo", he says. "Now is the time for me to move ahead and realize two of my passions, which are to be an independent writer and a full time blogger".

A full time blogger? "Yes, why not? We need someone who is brave enough to declare him/herself as a full-time blogger", he says. Blog is a new communication tool and sooner or later will become more powerful. "I want to encourage Indonesians to take part in the development of this new tool".

"Apart from that, now I have more time to enjoy life. FYI, now I'm in Bandung, enjoying a lovely afternoon with my family", he says. Oowwwhh.. that's so nice. I envy you, mas Budi! :)

Although now he's no longer with Tempo, he will still be a contributor for Tempo's blog. He's also actively blogging at CNET Asia, Asia Tech, 3GWeek, The Gadget, Blog Jurnalisme and Indonesia Tech.

Good luck, Mas Budi. All the best for you yaaah!! :) And please, since now you have more free time, come and visit us at the orange house! ;)

Click Of The Week: Taufik Almubarak

A friend recommends Nia to check this blog, he insist that Nia will like the postings. Not to mention that this blog is quite different. This blog belongs to a young Aceh journalist who is currently running a tabloid called SUWA: Taufik Almubarak.
SUWA was established in November last year and focused in politics.
Taufik hopes that SUWA will be an alternative reading for the public in Aceh. Although the tabloid is rather new, writing has been Taufik passion for a long time. He used to have a column in, he also written articles for Sinar Harapan and Serambi Indonesia.
Nia thinks that his opinion and writing styles are very different from other articles about politic in general. "The story flows as if you're reading a novel, even it's all politics but very catchy and not too heavy. It's more of a story telling which makes me want to know more and more."
Another plus point for his writing is, as an Acehnesse he gives a different insight of what is going on in Aceh. "My favorite posting is: Subuh Berdarah (Bloody Morning). After I read it, I kept on saying, "My God... is this really happening in our country? What kind of childhood are these kids having? How will they live to tell these things? And such an emotional experience they have to go through at such tender age."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Coffee, Tea ... and Interview!

As a PR consultancy, one of the services given by Maverick to its clients is Media Handling Skills—a one-day training on the characteristic on Indonesian media, how to deal with media, how to communicate your messages and get it across, and on top of that: a simulation of one-on-one interview to sharpen several interview techniques. This is exactly what we’ve done for our NGO friends since 2006. Based on references from clients and other NGOs, we invite several NGOs every 1-2 months, to have a free training on the above subject.

Yesterday, we were honored to have Mas Hamid and Mbak Yuni from PIRAC, Mas Aziz from Telapak, and Mas Yudhis from Yayasan Tunas Cendekia in our media handling training for NGOs. As media’s point-of-contact in their organizations, during the training we also had several interview simulations to furthermore boost their confidence and skills in interacting with journalist friends. Turned out, this interview simulation becomes one of the most exciting (or excruciating?) session that day.

Pak Hamid from PIRAC was laughing out loud as he saw his tape on screen, because he found out that he kept on playing with his hands on his lap, and that his chair was swiveling frantically. “I didn’t realize that I actually did that!” he said, giggling. And Mas Yudhis from Tunas Cendekia bursted out laughing in the middle of an interview session, when the question got a bit tough. ”Wow, if this thing happened in an actual interview, probably they will scream: commercials!!!”

After those simulations, we had a lively chat over coffee, tea, and snacks, where the three NGOs started to share their experience in dealing with the media; and asked some questions about the characteristic of the media and its journalists. Since I was conducting this training with Rommy, an ex-journalist himself, the chat became even more interesting! :)

We do hope that yesterday's training could be of use for our NGO friends in their future contacts with media and journalists. And if you happened to know some NGOs that needed help in their communication and PR skills, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to invite you to our Orange House and have another media handling session over coffee and delicious snacks.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Selling the country

On Friday, 23 February 2007, we got Muhammad Al Aula for sharing session. He is a young diplomat from Indonesian Department of Foreign Affair. The two-hour discussion was so hot and lively, that we forgot there was another event to attend to.

We discussed many things, especially his experience as a diplomat. He shared with us what are the responsibilities of a diplomat. But in this session he gave more emphasis on public diplomacy -- communicating Indonesian foreign policy toward the Indonesian citizens first.

When we hear about that, we just thought how complicated the role of diplomats. They must make complicated decisions, and still they have to balance the national interest with public opinions established by the press.

It is quiet interesting to know how the department of foreign affair is doing their job. One of which interest me is how they approach prominent and influential leaders through a “breakfast meeting” to create awareness, change perception, and drive action. Well, to this part, it sounds pretty much like a PR practitioner -- in a sense that we also like to treat certain people for lunch or diner of course. :)

I think it is a good step to communicate to the public about Indonesian foreign policy. As the Indonesian society is patriarchic, people would believe respected individual leader, rather than the mass media for instance. :(

Aula also share that Department of Foreign Affair has been reforming itself for many years. Unfortunately they don’t socialize very well which make people’s perception the department stand still.

From the discussion, we can also learn that they haven’t really pushed the envelop, as they have so much potential, partly because the short numbers of diplomats. I hope in the future Department of Foreign Affair is more proactive to communicate what they have done, and why they make such measures.

But most important is what Aula calls the second track diplomacy. Any Indonesian can be the ambassador of the country, through interactions with people from other countries. Thus, every Indonesian must understand the nation’s foreign policy, so we can achieve the goal together.

Sounds like a great idea, isn’t it?

*written by Tuhu

Friday, February 23, 2007

FEMALOGRAPHY: a photo exhibition by Jerry Aurum

Jerry Aurum, a young and talented Indonesian photographer, finally holds his photo exhibition in Indonesia. Themed “Femalography”, this photo exhibition will be held in Senayan City from February 23rd – March 11th, 2007.

Jerry held his first international photo exhibition in September 2006 in Singapore. On the same day, he also launched the “Femalography” book. The book was chosen as “The 2nd Best Recommended Book” by Borders Bookstore, Singapore. What an achievement!

In yesterday’s press conference, Jerry said that in his artworks he positioned women as the subjects, not as objects. When asked, “How do you choose your models? It seems that all of your models are beautiful young celebrities in Indonesia”.

Jerry said, “That’s not true. Actually, in the Femalography book and photo exhibition there are more ordinary women than the famous ones. For me, the most important thing in choosing a model is that the model has to be able to express herself. So, it doesn’t matter whether she’s famous or not. She also doesn’t have to be skinny or has a perfect body image”.

For the past 5 years, Jerry has been preparing the Femalography project. More than 100 people from different background contributed in the project. Rachel Maryam, Aline, Dian Sastro, Dinna Olivia, Endhita, Adella Aletta, VJ Cathy, Indah Kalalo were voluntarily posing for Jerry. If it’s not because of his talents, for sure these celebrities won’t participate in Femalography.

“There are not many Indonesian photographers publish a book. So, in Indonesia, we don’t have that much literature or reference in photography. So, it’s very good that Jerry decided to publish a book of his artworks. His artworks are impressive”, said Andi Dewanto, a journalist of Tempo magazine.

For those who love photography, you can drop by at the Exhibition Space, Senayan City to enjoy 40 photographs by Jerry Aurum. The Femalography book is now available at Kinokuniya and Aksara bookstores.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

KONTAN: the Newspaper

On KONTAN 27 September 2006 10th anniversary, Editor in Chief Yopie Hidayat told Maverick that Kontan will publish a newspaper under the same name on February 2007. Guess what?! They are definitely on schedule.

The first issue of KONTAN newspaper will be published on Monday, 26th February 2007. I heard the news directly from one of the 30 new reporters they have hired for the daily.

As for the tabloid, they are moving the publication from Wednesdays to Sundays. So, for you KONTAN tabloid readers out there, who mostly living in Medan, Jakarta, or Surabaya, hope the newspaper will satisfy you as it is the tabloid.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

'BRAVO' for children!

Penerbit Erlangga is well-known as publisher of text books. Since elementary school through high school, I saw the word "Penerbit Erlangga" printed in most of the text books I used. However, I just heard the news that Erlangga has published children’s magazine entitled BRAVO.

BRAVO is a magazine targeted for children age 8-12, and “aimed to equip children in pursuing their dreams” as stated by Uti, a contributor of this magazine. BRAVO is now available in news stalls in Jabodetabek area.

Bravo, BRAVO!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Para Group’s next move

I’ve heard a rumor that Para Group (Chairul Tanjung) is eyeing Indosiar and SCTV to further expand his media ownership in this country. The source said that Indosiar and SCTV would soon be transformed into Trans 8 and Trans 9 respectively.

Early this month, Tanjung was also reported to probe a deal with Dahlan Iskan on Jawa Pos group shares purchase (Tempo Interaktif, Feb 7)

Well if that is so, the media tycoon is about to spread his wings even wider then.

Monday, February 19, 2007

TOFI: pride of the nation

Last Friday in Maverick sharing session, we were delighted to the company of two lovely young ladies, Lidya and Nouva, as the PR of the Indonesian Physics Olympiads Team (TOFI).

First, let’s get one thing straight because as it might be a name of a team, TOFI is also an NGO. The NGO is pioneered by Yohanes Surya, Agus Ananda, Roy Sembel and Joko Saputro thirteen years ago. But the most important of all, this NGO has realized the importance of PR in delivering their mission to make physics as a fun and easy subject.

Well most of us, by now, may have already known that our beloved country has oftentimes triumphs the International Physics Olympics (IPhO). Yes, thanks to some of our mass media concerns and TOFI’s PR team, of course. But have any one of us known how these gifted teens managed participate in such Olympics in the first place?

For a start, every year TOFI together with the National Education Ministry is searching for the national best physics students through a series of competitions. The first test is in the regency level where students have to compete to be the provincial winners. These winners of the provincial selections then compete for a place to represent their Provinces in the National Science Olympics (OSN). OSN nests national champions who will compete for the best eight and become members of TOFI. Ultimately, these best eight will compete in the Asian Physics Olympics (APhO) and the International Physics Olympics.

If you think this is the end, you’re wrong. As TOFI members, these high school students will undertake training carried out in TOFI Center in BSD City, Tangerang for months – which everyone enjoys very much. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

PC Magazine Indonesia's last edition

PC Magazine Indonesia, a leading computer magazine that has been published since 2004, starting next month will be no longer available in the market. Svida Alisjahbana, Vice President Femina Group on the official announcement written in February edition explains that due to the shifted trend of reading source, Femina Group has to terminate the publishing. Here is her explanation:

“Perkembangan yang pesat dalam beberapa tahun terakhir telah mengubah Teknologi Informasi dari suatu bidang khusus menjadi gaya hidup yang diterima oleh semua golongan masyarakat… Melalui analisa dan pertimbangan mendalam, kami berpendapat sudah bukan masanya lagi untuk menyajikan perkembangan Teknologi Informasi dalam suatu majalah khusus. Dengan sangat menyesal kami sampaikan bahwa PC Magazine Indonesia edisi Februari 2007 merupakan edisi terakhir kami.”

Curious to know what is really happened behind it, I called up our journo friend in PC Magazine Indonesia. He admitted that Indonesian readers begin to rely on online media as their source to know “what’s on” in IT industry, and it’s interesting that online media has been considered as a reliable source.

When I asked him about the decreased number of PC Magazine Indonesia’s readers as the side effect of this trend, he said the number of reader remains stable, and even though the decrease would happen, it wouldn’t be a reason for Femina Group to stop publishes PC Magazine Indonesia.

Looking to other publication run by Femina Group that has their specific theme, such as Femina, FIT, Cita Cinta, Gadis, AyahBunda, Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Dewi, Pesona, Seventeen, and Parenting, is it mean that Femina Group want to combine IT information to these media? or Femina Group plans to publish another computer magazine online?

We’ll wait and see…or maybe Femina Group would answer these questions?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Busway? No waaayyy...

It supposed to be a nice comfortable public transportation that Pemprov Jakarta has promised and also be the answer for the city’s public transportations sad quality problem – but what turned out was really bad service quality provided by TransJakarta management. There were only limited busway units that should go running in service for thousand people. Republika wrote that only 10 new units are provided to serve four new corridors. The remaining units will be put into service in the following months. If that is the case, why can’t they just wait to operate ‘til the whole units are completed? hhmmm...

I experienced it myself last night in Busway Corridor 4 (Dukuh Atas). There were hundred of people flocked in the shelter bus with very minimum of air supplies for sure! When the bus came, the situation was getting even horrible; everyone tried ‘hardly’ getting in the bus by pushing one another.

Couldn’t stay longer in the situation like this, I called up my husband to pick me up instead.

On the way back home, we argued on who should be blamed for this and what sort of things can actually be done to resolve it. From my side, I think people here are not ready yet to adopt better facilities that require high level of discipline. Discipline in queuing is the most vital one and that’s precisely what our people lack of. How possible it is to enjoy a nice, comfy busway ride without even bothering to line up. Ckckckckc...people!

Am also wondering whether local govt had expressed their apology for this very unfortunate condition, which I think, is a must. At least let people know that you guys are also very much concerned and assuring them for immediate improvement at the soonest.

Click Of The Week: Andreas Harsono

For this Click Of The Week, Tuhu has already make up his mind and choose Andreas Harsono's blog. In his blog, we also able to read about his story as a newly wed. Tuhu said that
Andreas Harsono’s blog is very interesting, because it depicts his personal day to day life stories as a journalist, book author, a new husband, and a caring father.
In his life as a journalist we can find writings on his passion to support the many struggling minorities in Indonesia. In his blog he tells stories on his travels around Indonesia from Sabang all the way to Merauke, and his exposure of the many different ethnic minorities’ and their struggles.
We can read these stories and his findings in the articles published in his blog, or the anthology book that he plans to publish soon.
In the blog Andreas also shares his personal life stories. You can find stories on love life, new wife, family and his relationship with his son. He tells the public all types of details of what is happening in his life.
"I think it’s sweet, because he is giving a glimpse of his life. His writings in the blog show his “humanistic” point of view, instead of “journalistic” jibber jabber. He conveys to us his dreams, his daily life, and his opinions about his country in a truthful, unedited, compelling and simple writings," said Tuhu.

Monday, February 12, 2007


A few days ago, I had lunch with a friend of mine. He used to work as a program director for several well-known radio stations in Jakarta, before finally pursue his passion in music industry and join a digital music distribution company.

Anyway, on the way back to the office, he mentioned that lately, he and his wife watched late-night news program on a daily basis to find out up-to-date information on the Jakarta’s flood. Turned out, he got so annoyed by the performance of late-night news presenters in several private TV stations in Indonesia.

In his opinion, these news presenters were acting and dressing more like infotainment presenters: they move back and forth on stage, then sit down, and stand up again while delivering the news, they wear informal dress with too much accessories, they put on these curly wigs with bright color (the model worn in sinetrons), and the intonation of their speech sounds so ‘infotainment’*--while according to his experience, there are certain tones and intonations that should be used by news presenters.

“News presenters are supposed to be firm, right? You’ll never find such news presenter perform that way in Al-Jazeera, BBC, DW-TV, just name it! Where are those days when a woman like Desi Anwar stood firmly in front of the camera and deliver professional TV journalism?” he murmured.

After I watched the late-night news program, I kind of understand why he and his wife got so annoyed—why, his wife is a mass communication lecturer, and she knows exactly how a news presenter should dress up!

Ideally, a “news anchor” or “news presenter” is someone who appears on screen in professional dress (a suit, a blazer), delivering the news in certain intonation with a firm gesture (and I heard there are special trainings for becoming news presenters!). But, I don’t know if these ‘infotainment-style' tendency has becoming a new trend in Indonesian late-night news program... does it mark the birth of 'newstainment' of some sort?

Probably because the news program was aired late at night, the TV stations thought that colorful wigs, constant movements, and fancy dress would be tremendously eye-catching; it prevents you from falling asleep while watching the news. Or the stations are just lacking of night-shift news presenters?

Hmm, are there certain patterns to follow in news anchoring? Anyone can shed some lights here?

*I have nothing against infotainment presenters. Really. They’re supposed to wear fancy dress and accessories. So, no offense! :)

note: image was taken from Corbis, with keyword tv program

On blog code of ethics

An interesting topic above was discussed last Friday during sharing session with our special guests – Mas ‘Ndoro Kakung’ Wicaksono and Mas Budi Putra from Tempo. Big thanks for these Indonesian leading bloggers for dropping by.

It was really a perfect time for us to have them around since we were really curious on their opinions about blog code of ethics. This was related to one of the Mavericks’ ‘unpleasant’ experience with her recent blog posting about a complaint to an organization.

Through a lively session Mas Budi shared his comment that blog must have certain rule to follow. The fact that blog has become accessible anytime anywhere and by everyone - then the content must be based on the facts that bloggers have experienced. Meaning, not any single of bluffs is allowed!

Important to note that blog is one of the new media for everyone to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings on any issues they are interested in. Thus, bloggers have the absolute rights to voice their opinions and have feedbacks/comments from their links.

A good example brought up was Sun Microsystem case. One of their customers posted his disappointment on the product through blog. Soon after, the CEO of the company replied him by admitting the company’s lack of service and therefore he apologized for the unfortunate condition. He emphasized in a polite way that nothing on this earth are perfect and that would include one of their failed products. Also, he ensured that the same thing wouldn’t happen again in the future.

Yeap, The CEO had successfully made a respective image towards the company! This example reflected the blog power as one of the effective medium for corporate to stay close with customers and be updated on what’s going on with them.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Indonesian Broadcasting Comission: a new Formation

The broadcasting industry is one of the fast-growing industry in Indonesia. Believe it or not, presently there are more than 50 TV stations, national and local, and hundreds of radio stations through out the nation. Although oftentimes the public expresses concerns over the quality of programs being offered, mostly by national TV stations, the industry is persistently growing, with few mergers here an there.

As an influential industry, one that can create public awareness, drive perceptions, and propose actions, the broadcasting industry, as many other industries, needs a set of rules. Here comes the Broadcasting Law No. 32/2002 and thus the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), responsible to make, implement, and sanction regulations to the broadcasting industry, TV and radio stations.

Some might say that in the last three years, the Commission has done little, even failed, to change the industry to favor the general public interests -- that is for stations to provide other than violence, pornography, and supernatural programs. While advocators feel that the public should have faith in the Commission -- as it is not its fault that other government institution is trying hard to take away its authority.

Well, last Monday to Thursday, the Communication Commission of the House of Representatives has conducted fit and proper tests on 36 candidates for the new members of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission. The result is a new 9-member-formation announced yesterday.

Congratulations to M. Izzul Muslimin, Fetty Fajriati, S. Sinansari ecip, Bimo Nugroho Sekundatmo, Selamun Yoanes Bosko, M. Riyanto, Sasa Djuarsa Sendjaja, Amar Ahmad and Yazirwan Uyun as the new members, and be prepared as difficult tasks awaiting.

Notice that the new formation consist of names from the industry, which was never been a part of the previous members’. Hopefully with industry representatives, the Commission is now equipped with experienced know-how and, at the same time, gained industry’s support.

For me, if it’s damn hard to drive the industry into the right direction, why not prepare the public for the journey. Media literacy has always been an effective way to equipped the public that the control is actually in their hand. Let the public choose what to see and listen, and what’s not.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Maverick Click Of The Week: Duncan Graham

Some journalist, used their blog as a news-shelf, a place where they can put all their articles that have already published.
One of them is Duncan Graham, a foreign freelance journalist who lived in Surabaya.
In his blog you can see almost all his article about Indonesia. His articles are quite vary and very interesting. Mersa, who chose his blog for this Maverick click of the week, said:

I picked Mr. Duncan Graham’s blog, ( because I feel his blog has an interesting point of view, the view of a foreigner that has adapted with the East Javanese lifestyle. He seems to me to be a lofo (local foreigner hehehehhehe………), a person who understands the East Javanese people, culture and habits but is somehow always trying to rationalize it with his western upbringing. Which we all know some times doesn’t fit well with one another.
But all in all I think that state of confusion gives him a broader sense of thinking because it makes him think outside the box. He isn’t confined to one pattern of thought. In a sense he is a ‘bi-cultural’ man and it shows in his writings which are rational, indiscriminate, truthful and most of all an unapologetic. All of that I believe is reflected in one of his writings which he posted in his blog titled “A Jelly Bean Journalist in Surabaya” (
Sometimes perspectives from a far can give you a clearer view of an object but to get the details you must see it up close. I think because Mr Graham is a lofo, he has the rare talent to see Indonesia from the macro and micro point of view. And due to that and the other reasons above I am picking as the click of the week. Overall I want to say that after reading your blog I am a new D to the U to the N to the C to the A to the N to the G to the R to the A to the H to the A to the M fan, keep up the good work my Friend……………….. I mean Mr Duncan (hauhauahuahua).
Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mainstream Media Enters the Blogosphere

We have sung our praise for Tempo for entering the blogosphere through its Blog Tempo Interaktif recently.

Not only that The Jakarta Post will most likely follow suit, as written by Unspun, I’ve also been told that Bisnis Indonesia is also considering launching a blog. They’re still in the preliminary stage of determining the concept though. Just a thought… Something like what The Age has done is pretty neat.

Anyway, can’t wait to see how it all pans out!

Welcome to flood

Once again, our five-annually guest came to Jakarta: Flood. And it still amazed me what water can do to disrupt people in Jakarta.

I remember in 2002, when there’s also a heavy flood in Jakarta, many of my colleagues must take about three or five hours to get to the office. Usually they only take about half hour or at least one and half hours to get to the office.

This time, concern about the traffic in the street (I’m kind of a bad temper in the street….), I push my self to go to the office earlier. And it means that I have to take a bath before 05:00 p.m.

Flooding disaster this year, make me more amazed what water can do. And maybe it goes the same way with the government, they too amazed to the flood situation and they almost do nothing. (well, at least to some people…err…or to majority?)

I mean, this flooding disaster came every years, and it became worse every five years, and why government seem don’t have any plan about this? I remember that in the past two years, government always busy mumbling, even yelling, about busway project.

It doesn’t mean that busway project is not important, it is important. But do they realize about rainy season five-year cycle? Do they realize that they have to choose the priority for public?

That one thing, the other thing is:

I saw Bang Yos at the talkshow in Metro TV few days ago, sometimes in weekend if I’m not mistaken, he interviewed about flood disaster in Jakarta. One question from Metro TV announcer’s that still banging in my head is: “What government anticipation about flooding disaster this year?”

And Bang Yos answered: “Well, we distributed survival-boat more quickly, and develop more posko banjir, and distributed other survival-logistic faster….”


I thought ‘anticipation’ is some kind actions BEFORE something happen, not DURING the situation.

Well Bang Yos, maybe you need our juicy and fruitful Media Training Session.

note: photo was taken from corbis with keyword: flood in Jakarta.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Maverick Click Of The Week: Satrio Arismunandar

How do you like to see what’s behind the journalist mind? Please read Satrio Arismunandar blog’s. His blog was chosen by Adwi. Why Adwi did choose the blog? Here’s his explanation:

Here’s someone I think very experienced, considering that he has work both in print and broadcast media. And one thing worth noted is that a skilled PR practitioner he is -- although oftentimes denying this fact. We are not, however, going comment on Satrio Arismunandar the person. The main focus here is Satrio Arismunandar ( the blog. “For the Eagles and True Traveler,” is the tagline, as well as the purpose of this blog, I suppose. The blog itself is fairly simple: it has no side bars which most bloggers out there competing to stamp on their blogs. From the lay out, readers might thought this is a dull one. The straightforward writers focus on the content. Here readers can find many sorts of writings from poems, short stories, articles, to tips and tricks. To quote the writer, “a creation without the any benefits, is a waste….”

I was a former journalist, and sometimes journalist cannot express what they feel and think about some case that they find on the field. They can’t just write about it and submitted their article to editor’s for tomorrow edition. There is some media policy that kind of chained the journalist creativity, especially in reporting some critical issues.

Anyway Satrio Arismunandar has found a way to express his thought and feeling: bloging.
Good job Mr. Arismunandar, it's always nice to 'see' you around mailing list.

Will CSR (in Indonesia) loose its spirit?

Investor daily today, published an article on the government plan to issue the regulation on CSR practices.

The source in the article said that only 2% companies in Indonesia apply CSR. This reflected the low awareness of CSR practice among business players and the fact that CSR is not the matter they even consider about.

From my side, CSR is no longer responsibility when the government is involved in regulating it. Agree with Faisal Basri who was quoted in the article, he said, “With the government’s regulation, CSR would then loose its spirit”

Looking at the above small percentage, I believe the more important thing that government should do is a thorough examination on how to boost the number of CSR practitioners (companies) in Indonesia, without creating the sense of ordering people to do so.

The key word is ‘the awareness’, how to raise awareness is not as simply as issuing stiff regulation. Continuous and keen commitment from government to encourage companies could be translated into series of communications program or campaign.

The essence of CSR is the commitment from the companies to create better living in the society by putting your continues effort in it. CSR is no longer taken as the company’s cost but it is the investment for the future of the company itself.

Thus, I personally believe CSR is not the task that people can order you to do.

I can imagine many companies would only practicing CSR just for the sake of fulfilling their obligation to the government, that’s it! No sincere commitment from the companies to bring the betterment for the community they operate in.

If that happens, better use other terms then. How about Corporate Good ‘Responsibilities’?

(image was taken from corbis, with keyword: social responsibility)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Malaysia Tourism Board, Disappointing

Malaysia Tourism Board invited over 190 journalists from all over the world to witness the opening of Floral Festival 2007, which was part of the Visit Malaysia 2007 program.

From Indonesia, 17 journalists from 10 media – 7 printed media, 3 tv stations -- followed the 5 days trip in Malaysia (Jan 25th to 30th). I got a chance to represent SCTV to go there together with Anca Leksmana (producer) and Bambang Triyono (cameraman). Being invited by the Malaysia Tourism Board, I had a high expectation that it would be a fun and easy trip, in the sense of we would get easy access to explore interesting places in the country.
However, it surprised me that in most of the places written on the itinerary, we couldn’t shoot anything! Actually, when we just arrived at the hotel, the first thing I asked to the Senior Tourism Officer of Malaysia Tourism Board was a simple letter stating that they invited SCTV to come to promote the country for Visit Malaysia 2007, in case we needed it. But, to write such letter, the officer said that they needed two weeks time! Geezz.. Why does it take so long to write a simple letter? I understand bureaucracy might be complicated, but couldn’t they make it simpler to ease the work of the journalists?

So, we were there for 6 days, had an itinerary on hands that looks fabulous from outside but useless. For example, there was a shopping tour program for 5 hours in 2 shopping malls and IKEA. But then, in these malls, it was forbidden to shoot anything. As journalists who work for a TV station, what’s the point going there if we couldn’t record anything? We came to Malaysia to work, not for holidays. We are not tourists.

Another small example, we were scheduled to have lunch at a revolving restaurant at KL Tower. We also couldn’t shoot there and the manager even had no idea that a TV station from Indonesia would come. Being in KL Tower, the 4th tallest tower in the world, it would be such a waste if we couldn’t shoot some scenes from the top of the tower. So, we contacted the PR of KL Tower by ourselves. I got her number from a French journalist who works in KL. We got a good response from her as she realized that it would be a good exposure for KL Tower. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and it was such a short notice. She could only assign a customer service to take us to see the facilities that they have and shoot there. If we contacted her earlier (on the workdays), then she could have arrange a tour to the top of the tower, which is not a public area. Wouldn’t it be amazing?

She wanted the Tourism Board to contact her to confirm that it was true SCTV came on behalf of their invitation. So, we asked the representative of the board to call her. Apparently, she already contacted the Tourism Board in KL herself. And this caused a little bit of a crisis in the board (Malaysia and Indonesia offices). The representative of the board from Indonesia who brought us there, called us up saying that her boss was angry at her and now she looked so stupid and unprofessional in doing her job. So, she warned us not to contact any parties directly in the future. Oh great! Being journalists on a TV station, our job is to get a good picture and produce a good show. If the board didn’t do their homework in arranging permit to shoot in any places, then as journalists, it was our instinct to contact the party directly. Especially, when we could get direct access to the party (journos always know how to get direct access, right? ;))

Being a PR myself, I couldn’t believe how the Malaysia Tourism Board didn’t understand what the media needed. A TV station doesn’t need to go to IKEA and eat at a fancy restaurant if they couldn’t get any story (and picture) out of it. Plus, there are so many nice places in Malaysia that actually we could explore for 5 days, apart from staying in Kuala Lumpur only! Too bad the board didn’t allow us to go outside KL (only to Genting Highlands and Putrajaya). They should’ve created a program highlighting the best spots in the country and most importantly, arranged a permit in each of the places so that we could shoot there freely.

Plus, we got a tour guide that had no experience in guiding the media. She made our days even harder as she always forbids us to shoot here and there, even in Petaling Street (China Town)! Ckckck.. (but we tried to convince her that it was ok to shoot there and if anything bad happens , we wouldn’t blame her. Oyeah, we also managed to drag her to take us to Batu Caves Temple after the Genting Highlands trip. Batu Caves wasn't included in the itinerary, but we had to go there, otherwise we wouldn't have enough images/stories for the show due to all the limitations)

So, 5 days in KL, we felt frustrated. Frustated by the board and… by the tour guide! Hopefully, next year the board does their homework well and knows the needs of each type of the media. If not, it would be such a waste to invite many journos from all over the world if they couldn’t maximize their work during their stay there.

Now you know how frustated we were when filming the show. This is a behind the screen story ;). The "Melancong Yuk" Malaysia episodes will be aired on Saturday, 3 February and Sunday, 4 February at 6.30am in SCTV.
It will be 2 different episodes, full of hard work and lots of candid shots. So, make sure you watch both of them! ;)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

An Ernest Talk About the Music Recording Industry

Last Friday, we had Ernest Prakasa, Radio Promo Executive of SonyBMG - Indonesia for our sharing session.

For most of the Mavericks, the subject was very interesting because we haven't had much knowledge about the industry itself from the perspective of the companies. However, for some it was more personal. Yasha is also a manager for a musician, while Mersa, apparently had once submitted a demo to SonyBMG and never heard any news about it from them! At least Mersa's career in PR looks more promising than that...

So the Mavs learned that music demo tapes and CDs that people submit gets dumped in a storage room of the Artist and Repertoire department. I can imagine that while it seems that its just a messy room with thousands of dusty CDs and CVs, it's also a room of broken hopes, of the thousands who wish to one day become popstars or rockstars.

We also found out from Ernest the general idea on what they really do for the artist. He said that SonyBMG handle the marketing and promotion of the album and its songs, while buliding the image of the artist is the responsibility of the artist management. The label can only give advice about the image building, he said. Previously we thought that image building is part of the label's responsibilities.

I think SonyBMG as a big company do not think that PR as an important part for the company. We discussed a lot about how they handle the information published to media. Ernest say they cannot do much in managing information about their artist. For example, they cannot do much when in a press conference for an album launching, the media only interested in the personal life of the celebrities, not in the album launching itself.

I think as a company, it is time for them to start caring about it. They must give the media information that has value for both sides, and not simply do a one way pitch.

Another interesting story about this sharing session is that some associate were really eager to know how they can be signed for an album with SonyBMG. Hmmm, sounds like some of the associates have secret ambition to be celebrities. So when's Indonesian Idol gonna start the audition round for Jakarta?

The Brand-Free News

It was around 3:30 am in a newsroom of this TV station I used to work for. I had the graveyard shift and was really trying hard to look completely awake and alert that night, especially at the top of the hour as all eyes in front of their television were on me.

I found an interesting news on APTN about how a customer found a finger inside a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s chain in Las Vegas, if I’m not mistaken. I ecstatically told the producer about it, saying that this is news that would get people’s eyes open at that time of the day. So there I was translating this story for my script, getting the video edited to be aired for the next Headline.

This was supposed to be my highlight of the day. Yet when I was on air, my script had changed. There was no more “chili”, no more “Wendy’s”. My damn script was edited!

After the show, I went to ask my team what happened to my script, and apparently one of the producers did not want to include brands in the news, although it was shown on the footage. It was said that such a thing would mean advertising (good or bad) for the brands.

I went to one of the UN offices the other day and they shared with me all of these programs that need funding. Other than the US-AID, AUS-AID, and other funding organizations, corporate sponsorships are badly needed. I also had been in the position where I had some great ideas for an event, yet I had insufficient funds to realize the concept, and needed sponsorship from product or corporations. The products and corporations, ultimately, need public exposure by such cooperation. Fair enough.

Recently I spoke with an old friend who now works for a newspaper that belongs to a major publication group. He said that this media group is very strict, if not too anal, about news coverage that involve brands. He said that invitation faxes that bear sponsors logo would easily get thrown in the trash bin. I’m really sad to hear that.

Why are brands censored by the media? I believe that the audience needs to know the details of the news, for reference, for inspiration, as a warning, or anything. Should the brand or company do bad things, of course it should be made public. Yet when they do good things to society, why not give them credit for it?

I know for sure that editors do get the heat from the sales department for “promoting” brands/services in their content. Hell, I was once guilty for that when I was in the advertising sales dept of a youth radio. But what happens when editorial team gets a cut of the sales? A TV station is already doing that, and when I offered them a famous and respectable guest for a show, I was asked to talk to the Sales department. I mean… come on…

Another case is when I spoke to a local TV about providing a guest speaker from Maverick to talk about Crisis management on current issues on their program. The exec producer immediately told me that he couldn’t have the company’s name credited on the Title (under the name of the person), and that it could only be a “Pengamat Komunikasi” or “Praktisi Komunikasi”. So I replied “Don’t you think your audience would want to know who they’re watching, what this person does, what company is he/she from?”

There are so many people out there who are dubbed experts and not many people are actually aware of what their real occupation and field of expertise. Ong Hock Chuan calls it Expertitis in his unspun blog.

So, if you’re in the media and you’re still censoring out these brands… Relax. News is news and the people have the right to know. What do you think?

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Power of Mailing List

Everybody now talking about blog and blogging, even some companies have blogs to communicate with their stakeholders. But many people forget about the mailing lists which can create quite an impact to brands or corporate image.

I remember some cases that has happened in Indonesia such as Mizone and Top One Oil. I had been receiving lots of e-mails from my many mailing lists about how Mizone used some preservative in their products long long ago before the issue became a national issue.

The same case happens with Top One Oil. As the many versions of the commercial were airing on TV with all of its celebrity endorsers, I had been receiving many negative e-mails about the product. But I personally thought that the company responded really late to the issue. It seemed that they only did so AFTER it became a big issue in society.

And why do companies respond late to this kind of issues generated and distributed through the mailing lists? I think there are two possibilities: The BOD or the Communications Department of these companies don't think that it would grow into a big issue, or they cannot simply oversee all mailing lists, since there are millions of maling lists on the net.

This can be dangerous as the issues could get a snowball effect. Forwarding the emails is just a click of a button, and these emails spread like a virus. Some of the 'viruses' can mean death to these companies.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Night Out

Everyone was excited. Bets were being made and the whole atmosphere in the Maverick’s office last Friday was bubbly because we were going Go Karting. That’s right! 20 Associates were ready to get onto those mini cars and show what they got. Everything seemed to go as planned. We all met at the Speedy Karting at Hanggar Teras in Pancoran. Amiauw the Operation Manager was so kind to give us tips and tricks about how to succeed in the sport. Everyone was listening attentively and you could tell that some were ready to jump into these little cars and drive off.

You can see from the photo that they were in the mood to go racing. Team #1 consisted of Ong, Herry, Rini and Rommy. Every team was meant to go for 6 rounds but when Team 1 was out there racing along and the rest of us cheering them, it suddenly started to rain. I could not believe it. It had to rain that Friday at that particular time when we wanted to have a night out. Errr…..
The winner of that short race was our good old Rommy who had the skills and the body weight to keep him close to ground ;) second came Herry and then followed by Rini and who would have thought that Ong came in last. Maybe he was just being modest. Who knows.

Since we could not continue with the racing we had to quickly think of a Plan B. Clearly the Pizza that I ordered was not enough for 20 people (I know I know…I’m sorry guys) so Ong decided that we will have a feast at Bebek Bali which is located at Taman Ria Senayan. After a long wait, the food finally arrived and it was yummy. By then we forgot that the rain ruined our night out and instead enjoyed the cozy atmosphere with all of us at one table. We chatted, laughed, ate lots and took silly photo. I hope all of you enjoyed yourself and lets see what we decide to do for next night’s outing! Until then!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yet Another Lifestyle Magazine in Town: 69++

I just read this new magazine called 69++, a free magazine that was launched last night. My colleague Indri went to the launch last night. On the cover, it states that it is a lifestyle and shopping magazine. I personally think that 69++ is quite a cool brand for a lifestyle magazine, but then I changed my mind when I saw the cover of the magazine. I don't wanna judge a magazine by its cover, but I'd have to say that this magazine looks very serious.

When I saw the cover of magazine, it really reminded me of the cover of “Jurnal Perempuan” magazine. "Jurnal Perempuan", if you didn't already know it, is a magazine containing articles on women's rights. And when I started reading the pages, I concluded that the content of the magazine is not that of a lifestyle magazine.

Most of the issues in the articles of this magazine are too serious for lifestyle magazine. I thought I was the target market of this magazine, since the rate card bookmark inserted in the middle page state that this magazine is for 25-45 years old, urban dwellers, established, and dynamic. But how come I don't feel like the content of the magazine is for me?

The other thing I noticed from this magazine is that it has a Tempo magazine style of writing. I was informed that the editor in chief was a Tempo journalist, but I also recognized the style as I know that Tempo is one of the pioneers in Indonesian media to use the literary writing style.

I hope that the next edition of this magazine will contain more lifestyle information. And someone please do something about the layout. For a lifestyle magazine, it surely needs that STYLE element. I know that first editions are always tough, but if a magazine want to survive, it really must adapt with the customers expectation. This one fell short of mine.

The Highlander: Not for eternity

Have you ever been to The Highlander pub at the Grand Kemang Hotel?
I’m not a regular customer myself. I went there once to enquire prices for a private party. And since then, they included my email in their promotion mailing list. No probs… at least until yesterday, when I unexpectedly received this rather ‘abnormal’ message…

To whom it might concerned

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I wrote you this e-mail in regards to letting all the highlander costumers know that all of you being fraud by The highlander scottish pub and restaurant.

Recently they just put the beer price up, without further notice from the restaurant management. The steak measurement is way bellow standards, they serve only 80 gr of steak instead of 200 gr, they put a lot of vegetable instead of meat inside their pies.

They put 21% of service but they are only paying the hotel management 17,5%, they never pay tax, they paid all of their staff under goverment standards of payment, they didn't provide the staff with medical insurance, they let one of their kitchen staff died becasuse of the air circulation in the kitchen area is bad, the gas in the kitchen always leaking, etc


The person who sent this email to me (and to 45 other recipients) is definitely disgruntled. Anybody out there knows what had happened to this Scottish-themed pub?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Counterfeit medicines: another health hurdle

Yesterday, I went to an Anti-Counterfeiting Workshop for Pharmaceutical Products held by the US ASEAN Business Council. Guess what? I found out that in 1995, 60.000 people in Nigeria were inoculated with fake meningitis vaccine. The most extreme was that in 2001, when 192.000 patients in China died after taking counterfeit drugs.

Would you believe this?! It bound on me that this counterfeit drug is a serious matter. Consuming counterfeit drugs would result in sick people end up sicker, wider epidemic spread and prevention failure (in case of fake vaccines), numerous unwanted effects, and in extreme cases, death

Too bad we do not have the exact numbers as counterfeit drugs are not always identified or reported, unless there are casualties involved. But are we gonna wait ‘till someone dies?

Apparently, the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) has taken steps to put an end to the problem. BPOM has made a number approach to tackle this 'obat palsu' matter. They are trying to break the supply chain, conduct national joint operation and investigation (with law enforcement agencies), carry out comprehensive investigation and mopping up what is already in circulation, strengthen the infrastructure, and break the demand chain (increase public awareness).

However, in my opinion, BPOM shouldn’t be the only one taking on the responsibilities (as stated otherwise in, 15 January 2007, "Obat Palsu Beredar Luas, Pemerintah Yang Tanggung Jawab"). The legal drug manufacturing companies, wholesalers and retailers, as well as health professionals should also make efforts to put an end to drugs counterfeiting.

The International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group (IPMG), for example, has put up a national award for anti counterfeiting journalism. The award is a form of appreciation from the industry for journalists’ efforts in providing beneficial information and increasing public awareness on counterfeit drugs.

Well, the simplest and safest way to combat this problem is to buy medicines in legal, registered pharmacy.