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.