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Monthly Archives: August 2007

Polygamy haven

Indonesia is so liberal and the Press is so free, all sorts of weirdos exist and thrive. Unspun thinks this is fantastic in the spirit of letting a hundred flowers bloom etc…

One of Unspun‘s sources, let’s call her S, has just berated Unspun for not having a wide and eclectic enough range of reading materials. She points to the tabloid Poligami, for instance, and a “Siap diMadu” page as one of the publication’s features. For those of you not fortunate to be equipped with the Indonesian language Siap diMadu can loosely (no pun intended) be translated into “ready to be bonked.”

You think Unspun and S is kidding you? We have proof and we all know the camera does not lie. Here it is:

poligamy-cover.jpg

and here is the Ready to be Bonked Page. The subhead says, “Need polygamy volunteers who are prepared to be leaders…”

poligamy-siap-dimadu.jpg

You wonder if Aa Gym would make it to Page 3…

More on The Point’s launch

Unspun searched high and low and came up with a source who had attended The Point’s launch party yesterday. This is the source’s account:

“The blades those dancers used scared me off.
Message might be clear, but I think it’s too obvious. Immature. If they want to declare a war against the Post, should they really involve the ‘innocent’ guests – who then took few steps back, including myself?

Other interesting fact was they still had lots of red wine at 8:45 p.m. – party was supposed to end at 9:00 p.m. Not a very good sign, I guess? Either wine was not good, or too few guests. First they serve small amount of wine in big glasses, later they started to fill half the glasses but still servers found it difficult to sell. But for sure the huge ballroom felt empty and cold that evening.
Oh well…

And the Judge Bao comic is still there!!!!”

Additional “experience” I would like to share with you is when I rang them for RSVP.

I rang the number mentioned on the invitation. The receptionist asked me to dial mobile numbers of people whose names mentioned there – assuming I knew their mobile number. I told her, “I don’t have their numbers. The invitation only mentioned one landline number for RSVP. Can you just write down my name?”

The receptionist said I had to call one of those people mentioned at the invite. She gave me two mobile numbers. I was like “Gee… What a hassle…”, but OK. Then the receptionist said, “OK, ya, Bu, bisa dilanjut sendiri, ya?”.

Apa? Dilanjut? Sounds more like a cab operator… *chuckle*

When the weird becomes the mundane

Indonesia is one of those placs where often the weird becomes the mundane.

Take, for instance, squatters living under turnpikes. For authorities to cose an eye and allow people to live under turnpikes is a weird concept, for officials to sanction people living under turnpikes – even though the decision was later reversed – is an even weirder concept.

But the authorities have turned a blind eye for so long that the weird has become mundane and people actually think they have right to live under turnpikes. If the government chase them away, the expect welfare and compensation. And for what? For doing something illegal in the first place.

So now we have an instance like Jembatan Tiga where a fire that broke out among the illegal houses under the turnpike have made two of the turnpikes three lanes unuseable by cars. Traffic jams now occur each day and no authority is being held responsible for allowing the squatters to live under the turnpikes in the first place.

Weird. But oh so mundane in Indonesia.

clipped from thejakartapost.com

A huge fire under the Jembatan Tiga turnpike early this month prompted the city administration to issue a decision regarding the relocation of all people living under or alongside expressways.

The decision was made in a meeting between the North Jakarta municipality, turnpike operator PT Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada, and state-owned turnpike developer PT Jasa Marga, as well as the Public Works Ministry.

According to data from the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC), 4,646 families or 18,584 people are currently living under the 11-kilometers of elevated roads stretching from Tanjung Priok to Penjaringan, North Jakarta.

In 2002, the Housing Ministry issued a decree that temporarily allowed people to reside under turnpikes. However, in November 2006, the Public Works Ministry annulled that decree.

  blog it

The Point declares war on The Post?

Unspun was, unfortunately catching a flight on Air Asia from Denpasar to Jakarta that was miraculously NOT delayed when the event took place. So Unspun had to rely on “sources” instead.

According to them the Point welcomed their guests with an Ambonese war dance. People  acquainted with symbols, tea leaves and othr omens say this was The Point’s way of declaring war on The Post. But o realistic was the vehemence of the war dance that some of the guess were freaked out, faint of heart as they were.

The sources also said that The Point unveiled a slew of new columnists. Unspun at this stage is too tired from his travels to pursue more about the Point’s resurrection. More to follow…

In Bali for Independence Day Holidays

Here are some impressions from Bali, which seems to be enjoying a very good season in tourist arrivals. This photo I took at the took at the birthday party of a 6-year old child of a friend.
which-way.jpg

you-dont-scare-me.jpgAt the Sanur Beach Festival

before-the-dance-2.jpg

Single women in Jakarta, despair not

There’s many an eligible woman in Jakarta who’s asked Unspun to find them a single man who’s not either gay or married. Unspun has men friends who are single, gay and married but none of them I would describe as eligible. So in an effort to stave off countless plaintaiff requests to jodoh them, here’s a public service posting of where to find your man…even if you’re geeky or freaky (courtesy of Stumble Upon. Unspun would never venture to such as site otherwise…hehehe).

clipped from mashable.com

20+ Dating Sites For Geeks and Freaks

August 15, 2007 — 12:06 AM PDT — by Marina ZaliznyakShare This

    datingsites.PNg

Dating sites have come a long way, and now there are hundreds of alternative services beyond the all-encompassing Match.com and the breakout hit PlentyofFish. If you’re looking for one last summer fling (or just a human for a change –editor), we’ve picked out more than twenty niche dating services.

  blog it

Is the message dead?

Is Ogilvy PR’s Marcia Silverman (clip below) channeling Herman Hupfeld? Herman who? Hupfeld, the guy who wrote the song As Time Goes By for the movie Casablanca. You know, the song with lyrics that goes…

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by

Fundamentals considered, perhaps it is time to question the conventional wisdom about supremacy of The Message in PR thinking with all the digitization going on.

Unspun likes the assertion of Lois Kelly, author of Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-mouth Marketing, that messages, though important, should be consigned lower down in the heirachy.

Kelly’s argument is that messages by themselves are not effective anymore as products get more commoditized, audiences get more skeptical and the Noise gets louder. At the end of the day messages begin to sound the same if an organization or business does not have a unique point-of-view.

It is this point-of-view that would differentiate an organization from its competitors. It is also this that infuses passion into an organization and makes its messages come alive and meaningful.

As a PR hack Unspun thinks Kelly makes sense but it is a difficult sell to clients as it is tantamount to telling a colorless chump that they need to acquire a personality. The trouble is that many companies and the persons that lead them are not very interesting personalities, therefore they do not have an engaging point-of-view, therefore they do not have a credible framework to deliver their messages in.

Wonder what other PR hacks think?

clipped from strumpette.com

Digital Media: Yes! and No!

By Marcia Silverman, CEO
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

A lot of PR practitioners have expended time and energy asking if the rise of digital media has irrevocably transformed our industry. To those individuals, I will give an unqualified “yes”—and an equally assertive “no.”That’s not fence straddling—it is simply the truth. For while digital media have had an enormous effect on the way we serve our clients, our core mission—getting the right message for the client in front of the right audience—remains the same.

The fact remains, however, that the client’s message always comes first. The rise of digital media has not displaced messaging as the key PR discipline—if anything, it has made us more focused in our approach to messaging.

  blog it

Mud in Bakrie’s eye

if there are more people like Franz Magnis-Suseno, the Teflon-like qualities of the Bakrie clan to avoid being held accountable could rub off.

Gives rise to an interesting thought of what a few good men with integrity could do what dozens of muckrakers have failed to do.

clipped from thejakartapost.com

Bakrie awards spurned by recipients

Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The credibility of the annual Achmad Bakrie Awards are at stake, with one recipient refusing to accept the award and another saying he would consider joining the boycott.

Catholic priest Franz Magnis-Suseno said he decided to refuse the award in order to preserve the reputation of his vocation as a social scientist.

The annual awards, aimed at promoting a culture of intellectualism in Indonesia, are handed out by a foundation set up by the Bakrie family, or which the late businessman was patriarch.

The family is part-owner of energy company Lapindo Brantas, whose gas drilling operations have been blamed by many for a massive mud volcano in Sidoarjo, East Java.

“The award is linked to the owner of Lapindo. It’s difficult to accept the award when victims in Sidoarjo haven’t got compensation,” Franz Magnis-Suseno told The Jakarta Post.

  blog it

Tale of two PR Conferences

It must be the season. In the first week of September the International Public Relations Association is holding its Regional Conference in Bali. In the last week of November the PR Society of Indonesia is holding its “Annual International PR and Communications Conference” in Jakarta followed with a workshop in Bandung.

flyer-conference.jpgWhy not just one super duper PR conference where everyone gets into the act instead of two conferences so close to each other. One might interpret it as competition between different PR camps in Indonesia and different PR associations.

Pertinent questions to ask about these conferences: Apart from the schmoozing and potential business leads for the hopeful, what would you get out of these conferences? Who are the speakers and what’s their caliber? (IPRA’s conference has james Riady speaking even though he cannot get Kabelvision working well to deliver good service and reliable internet connections, for instance) Are they known for achievements in PR or for just talking about PR? Apart from the tired old topics like internal communications and change communications, CSR CSR and more CSR, Going Glocal or its variations and PR ethics, are they saying anything new or examining in-depth how th whole bloody profession might be changed by New Media?

More on The Point’s Grand Launch

Bounce back, take the  risk, grab the gain, revival path are the buzzwords for the seminar leading up to the Grand Launch of the The Point next Monday. One of the panel speakers is Adam Suherman, the president director of Adam Air for the session on Plan, Obstacle, Progress and Expectation where he will present his business plans and strategies “to overcome possible hindrances…” Should be interesting.

Here’s the blurb from their proposal to sponsors

SEMINAR
“BOUNCING BACK: THE REVIVAL PATH OF INDONESIA’S AIRLINES INDUSTRY”

BACKGROUND

Grand Launching of “The Point” daily
“The Point”, an independently-run English daily newspaper is going to hold a one-day seminar as part of the activities marking its grand launching. The big theme of the grand launching is “Take the Risk, Grab the Gain” which is mainly aimed at encouraging its readers as well as the general public to face the future with a positive attitude, with readiness to make bold decisions, even if it involves some risks. In other words, the newspaper intends to urge the people, the business circles in particular, to avoid an attitude where they only seek to minimize risks instead of maximizing risk-adjusted returns.

“The Point” believes that such a theme is very relevant to the country as it has been ten years since the Asian financial crisis swept through the Southeast and East Asian regions and Indonesia is still struggling to totally overcome the aftermath of the crisis.
(more…)

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