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This is a post I wrote in Maverick’s blog about us winning the Agency of the Year award for the third year running.
Satisfied is a word that comes to mind. But also paranoid because I’d sure like to see us retain that title for the next few years coming, as well as winning other awards. There’s just no pleasing some people.
On being MIX’s Agency of the Year – for the 3rd year runningAWARDS / COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT / CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS / DESIGN / DIGITAL /JOURNALISTS / MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS / MAVERICK / MEDIA RELATIONS / PR & COMMUNICATIONS / RESEARCH & MONITORING / RESEARCH AND MONITORING / TRAINING
We are delighted to read the October edition of marketing communications MIX, in which Maverick was named Agency of the Year 2013 – for the third year running.
Journalists were polled by the magazine and asked which PR firm they thought had the best media relations. They apparently voted for Maverick for the third year running, so although we think that PR is much, much more than just media relations and that we are more of a consultancy rather than an agency, we are still pleased by the verdict.
This recognition is important to us because it means that one of our most important “customers” thinks highly of us (the other is the client, who usually vote with their check books and we’ve been fortunate in that area as well). To have journalists giving us the thumbs up on how PR people should deal with them is a rare endorsement as journalists are one hard crowd to please.
As a partner in Maverick I was interviewed by the magazine as a prelude to their announcement of the award. I was asked how Maverick could consistently be at the top of the media relations game for three years running and I told them that there was no big secret to media relations. All we had to do is adopt a customer service mentality when it comes to dealing with journalists. We need to understand what they want, when they want it and how best to give it to them.
Journalists don’t want spin and they despise PR people who go to them with a begging bowl instead of a strong, newsworthy story . And they usually want the information now, or as early as possible before their deadline. So what all the Mavericks are trained to do is to work with our clients so that they have a great story to tell instead of the usual corporate pabulum that their executives are so fond of. We also, using all our skills as consultants, remind, cajole and sometimes push our clients to meet the deadlines.
The tricky part is to have a team of colleagues that understand this and work relentless to super-please the journalist-customer. In this we are very fortunate to work with a great team of consultants who are probably the best customer service professionals on top of their communications and specialised skills. So a shoutout to the Mavbros and Mavchicks, as they like to call themselves, in the Corporate and Marketing Communications practices as well as the specialists in Digital, Research and Monitoring, Design, Community Engagement, Training and, of course, Media Relations.
And a big thank you journalist friends for voting us Agency of the Year once again. We’ll continue to try our best in serving you together with our clients.
Many thanks to all those clients, partners, alumni and friends who took time to get to Jl. Kyai Maja last Thursday for #Mavoyage, Maverick’s office party to mark the official opening of Maverick’s new office.
We like our new office and we were glad to hear that our guests think it cool as well – from the 12 meter vertical wall to the glass pool/skylight and open workspaces with “quiet rooms” for deep work.
Those of you who did not make it, or gave up because some silly bus had broken down in the middle of the road in Mayestik, causing a massive traffic jam, don’t despair. You also get to see the new Maverick digs in this video that the staff, with the help of some videographers, put together. It begins with us packing at our old office and graduates to us moving into the new office.
The extra space of the new office, with five meeting rooms and a common eating area on the ground floor also allows us to do things we have not been able to do before and you can expect Maverick to offer more trainings and workshops as well as to “donate” the space to communities for their get togethers. We’ll also be forming a Communicators Club for in-house communications professionals to network, share knowledge and learn new things. Watch this space of check in at maverick.co.id for announcements on the Communicators Club.
We know that communities and NGOs are always desperately looking for space that don’t cost them a bomb to rent. In the weeks to come Maverick will make our meeting rooms available to communities either for free or for a token sum for utilities. That way we can be where we’ve always wanted to be more – part of the Jakarta community of communities. (Those interested in securing a meeting room or two can email to our community curator Nia Sadjarwo at firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the meantime, here’s the video of what our office looks like:
Last month Unspun was speaking at the International PR Summit in Bali. The talk was entitled was “Sleeping with the Enemy” where essentially Unspun lamented how the Advertising Industry — in defiance of Al Reis’s prediction about The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR — has not only checked its fall but have encroached on PR territory in the use of social media and being very creative in doing so.
The talk was delivered at the Spikes Asia Awards in Singapore and in this year they had a PR category. The submissions for this category were very creative and well documented and packaged. The only trouble with them was that they were all the work of advertising companies, but packed so that it looked like PR programs so they can add another award to their shelves.
No shame in that for the Advertising industry. But shame for the PR industry players who are consistently outclassed by their advertising brethren when it comes to submissions for such awards. And in the creatie ideas employed in the programs.
The study mentioned below is further corroboration that the PR industry needs to jolt itself out of its smugness and be more creative.
GLOBAL – Nearly two-thirds of PR professionals agree that it’s fair to criticise their industry for lacking creative ideas, and about half would label the industry’s creative output as no better than “ordinary”, according to a study published by The Holmes Report in collaboration with Ketchum and No Go Create.Just 6 per cent label PR-industry creativity as “inspirational”
Titled ‘Creativity in PR: A Global Study’, the report (available in PDF form , or below) is based on a worldwide survey of more than 600 people in 35 countries. Respondents included agency and in-house and a diverse a range of industries and sectors covering consumer, corporate, healthcare, technology, digital and public affairs practices.
The report found that just 6 per cent of respondents labelled PR-industry creativity as “inspirational”, while one in 10 described creativity as “unsatisfactory” and 6 per cent said it was “poor” or “non-existent”.
The PR professionals surveyed acknowledged the importance of creativity (95 per cent) and consider themselves to be creative individuals (89 per cent). So why is the industry not delivering more creativity? Popular answers included a lack of time (65 per cent), overworked staff (37 per cent) and a lack of clear creative objectives that hampers personal and organisational creativity (33 per cent).
Asia-Pacific respondents viewed the industry’s creativity in a worse light than those in North America. Among Asia-Pacific respondents, only 37 per cent see PR creativity as “good’ or “inspirational”, while 20 per cent find it “unsatisfactory” or worse. The corresponding numbers in North America were 51 per cent and 11 per cent.
- 42 percent of businesses don’t reward or incentivise creativity.
- 35 percent don’t use any specific interview methods to assess creativity in potential employees.
- 40 percent of clients said their agencies could do better when it came to their creative capabilities.
- Just 16 percent were consistently happy with these capabilities
- 23 percent said they were not happy with their ﬁrm’s creative capabilities.
How well does Jakarta do when it comes to location branding (a fancy modern word to substitute for reputation of a place)?
According to a study by Public Affairs Asia and Ogilvy PR called Location Branding 2012, not that well at all. Out of 16 cities Jakarta came 14, just above Manila.
Another dubious distinction for this city. perhaps it is time for its residents to sport more checked shirts to get the city going.
Seems like interesting times are afoot in one of the largest Marketing Communications firms in Indonesia. So, is it family or package? Misunderstanding or spin?
This news and photo from marketing-interactive com:
By: Deepa Balji, Singapore
Published: Nov 04, 2011
Regional – Stephen Mangham has refuted Ogilvy claims that he left the group for family reasons, telling Marketing it was a personal disagreement over terms that led to his departure.
A statement from Ogilvy said that Mangham had resigned from the agency for family reasons, however Mangham has since said this is not the case.
“The role which Paul Heath (Asia Pacific CEO) outlined to me was a fascinating one – to realise the potential of Indonesia and create another India/China type operation.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t agree on the personal terms, so I decided to turn down the role and explore other options. I haven’t finalised my plans going forward, but I hope to do so soon,” he told Marketing.
His role in Indonesia was that of technical advisor PT Indo Ad.
Mangham had been a long serving group chairman at O&M’s Singapore office. His role was taken over by Fiona Gordon, who continues to lead the business out of Singapore.
Following his departure, barely more than a month into his new role, president of Ogilvy & Mather ASEAN David Mayo will step in to handle the former’s duties until a replacement is found.
“I am taking over responsibility for the Jakarta office while we search for a new chief executive officer,” Mayo said.
Rest of story here
There’s been much comment and discontent about Indonesia’s poor showing in the New 7 Wonders of The World Contest. In the conversation led by, among others, The Indonesian blogosphere’s Comeback Kid, Priyadi, many Indonesians are criticizing the methodology of how the New 7 Wonders were chosen.
The problem in their arguments, however, is that Indonesia chose willingly to enter into the contest, knowing full well that the selection process may not hold a candle next to Ceasar’s wife, so it is a bit churlish to complain when, having been complicit in the progress of the competition, you turn around and criticize the organizers.
Unfortunately, however, most of us – Unspun included – are suckers for that whatever slim chance at recognition and victory that we tend to overlook the flaws of a contest or award, only to have these very same flows come back in their mocking glory when we do not win any prizes.
Unspun knows this feeling only too well. Last week Unspun was invited by some friends to join their table at the SABRE Awards that was organized by the Holmes Report. Unspun went there because 1. The spot was free, courtesy of my friends and Unspun’s a cheapskate and 2. Unspun’s firm had been short listed as finalist in two of the award categories.
Unspun was skeptical of the awards from way back (see this link) but so hard wired are we all to optimism and The Slim Chance that he trekked to Singapore for the dinner. When the results were announced, the spoils went mainly to the Big Boys of PR, who also happened to be sponsors.
At this point Unspun reasoned, you could interpret the results several ways: Big Boys, because of their resources, are inherently more creative; Big Boys have more clout because they also happen to be the sponsors of the dinner (or conversely, because they are aware of how good they are, they sponsored the dinner so that they could be recognized); Small Boys generally can’t compete with the Big Boys; Big Big Boys rule,maven against other Big Boys.
Unspun wasn’t alone. There were others more skeptical than him. Many questioned the impartiality of the awards, pointing to the close connection between the viability of the organizing body and advertising/sponsorship for its existence. This, however, is a bit unfair because the Holmes Report did conscript some judges who should be impartial although,
Ironically, they did a bad job of PR-ing that fact.
Unspun thinks that the Holmes Report’s present dependence on sponsorship and advertisement leaves its credibility vulnerable but at least they are trying to do something to recognize PR.
The real problem is that the organizations with the heft and resources to really do something for the profession – the Big Boys – are doing squat to set up a forum where good PR work can be recognized and encouraged in a manner that is much more beyond reproach. (Human psychology is such that if you belonged to a Big Boy team and won an award, the fact that you are intelligent enough to figure what Unspun’s said so far would not stop you from The Ecstatic Moment When your firm or team’s name is announced). Then again, if you are a Big Boy, why would you want to upset the apple cart?
So there you have it. Unspun is probably churlish for complaining (and would he write a completely different post if his firm had won an award that night?) but at the same time feels that the whole matter should be brought up for a good airing and unspinning. Any opinions from the PR fraternity?
I’m so proud of my colleagues at Raconteur who picked up yet another award for Maverick last week.
Who says PR can’t be creative?
The Year of The Raconteurs!
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Other posts by hanny
This year looks like an especially favorable one for Raconteur!
Earlier this year, the story tellers were celebrating awards to two of our social media clients: US Embassy Jakarta and AXIS, that received awards from MIX magazine on their effectiveness in using social media. We were so humbled and proud for becoming a part of it—and we recounted those days when we were working on the two winning projects with lots of excitement and enthusiasm.
The US Embassy Jakarta won a Silver Award in Image and Reputation Building category with the program “Berbagi Indonesia: A Campaign to Welcome President Obama”. This social media campaign netted the embassy with more than 70,000 new fans in its Facebook Page within 2 weeks, and exponentially increased the engagement level with its audiences in other social media platforms as well. Our other client, AXIS, won a Silver Award in the Marketing PR category with its “AXIS Menang Bareng” campaign, which succeeded in helping AXIS increase consumers’ usage of its mobile packages and attracted hundreds of new customers.
A few days ago, we were pleasantly surprised with the news that we have won another award—this time from a client.
Each year, PT HM Sampoerna Tbk holds the “Sampoerna Supplier Awards” to recognize the work and contribution given by their more than 3,000 suppliers. The suppliers comprise advertising agencies, PR consultancies, event organizers, among others. This year they created a new category of awards—the Value Creation Ideas Award, to recognize their partners who had come up with the best idea that would add value to PT HM Sampoerna Tbk, either in terms of increasing productivity, increasing quality, lowering costs, lowering wastes, improving safety, or increasing its corporate image.
We submitted two ideas involving the use of communications technology in customer relations and direct communications that they apparently found very useful and awarded it to Maverick, as Raconteur’s parent company.
We think that this award would nicely round up Raconteur’s year for 2011—except that one of our projects have also been selected as a finalist in the SABRE Awards in Singapore on Thursday night! Now if thing go well, that would be the perfect ending for the year for us
Wait for more stories that we will be able to tell in 2012.