Something to like: Friends of Captain Zaharie MH370 Facebook page

If you are family or friend of Captain Zaharie, the pilot of MH370 that went missing more than 10 days ago and feel that much of what is being said about him was unfair, careless or plain sensationalism, what would you do?

You could face the media but that would be a huge strain. The pressure would be enormous, you would be subjected to a public inquisition and a small slip of the tongue could crucify you and reflect badly on the Captain. And even if you are good with the media you could still be subject to misinterpretation and misquotes.

Yet you feel that you need to set the record straight on some matters. In the captain’s case, some media reported that authorities raided his house and confiscated his home-made simulator when apparently the facts are that they want to the house and respectfully asked if they could inspect it. Th family cooperated fully and even helped to dismantle it. It was a picture of cooperation, not of authorities busting into the defensive home of a political fanatic.

What do you do? For Captain Zaharie’s family and friends their answer lies with starting a Facebook Page “Friends of Captain Zaharie MH370“.

FOCZ

It would have been better if they had identified who exactly was hosting the page to give it more credibility but under the circumstances this was enough and they have taken to providing information and clearing the air about misreports and misinterpretations.

FOCZ1 copy
                     Continue Reading

This is smart use of social media during a crisis-like situation and corporations would do well to take a leaf from the Captain’s family and friends for their own crisis moments.

And why not? The Internet now allows almost anyone to own their own media. You could, in short order, set up a blog or reconfigure your webpage, set up a Facebook page and a twitter account, or use your existing one with a particular hashtag to do what the Captain’s friends have just done.

What you can do then is post notes to inform or announce information, or correct misinformation. If you want to go further you could also post your own videoclips and even open up a “press room” where you take the media’s questions and answer them through the net. The journalists would not like this very much as it takes too much control out of them, but what choice do they have if that is the only source of timely information from you?

This is not to say that a corporation should eschew the traditional face-to-face interviews, briefings and press conferences but social media now allows you to have a medium where you too can be a broadcaster to take the monopoly of power from the mass media.

Yet this is something corporations don’t do enough when confronted with emergencies and crises.is it because bad habits are hard to break, or that they feel that they are not engaging enough unless you do things in the real rather than the virtual world?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Malaysia Airlines instil confidence in its handling of MH370 incident?

When tragedy strikes, like it has with the disappearance of flight MH370, the company at the centre of it all comes under intense scrutiny. It must demonstrate that it knows what it is doing and has a difficult situation under control – or lose the confidence of the public and all other stakeholders.

If it loses control of the situation it will plunge itself into a deeper crisis as all the frustration and anger of missing loved ones come to bear full force on it.

Fortunately for the families and loved ones of MH370, however, Malaysia Airlines has so far has demonstrated its professionalism in handling this crisis-like situation. Their burden remains heavy, but they can at least take comfort that CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya and his team know what they are doing.

How can you tell if they are doing a good job?  There are several tell tale signs.

The first is that Ahmad and Malaysia Airlines’ willingness to share information. Perhaps a bit slow off the block Ahmad nevertheless addressed the issue in a Press Conference yesterday where he expressed sympathy for the friends and families of the victims, told the public what they did and did not know yet, and what they are doing. This is the Triple R of crisis communications – Regret, Reason and Remedy.

The other indication of what sort of a company Malaysia Airlines is when it comes to crisis management can be seen very evidently  from how it manages its digital assets because in this age of the super-connected public, they are the first points of contact for most people around the world who are interested in the developments of the search and rescue and recovery of MH370 and its passengers and crew. The digital assets are primarily its website, as well as its social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

Companies trained in crisis management usually have a Dark Site prepared for incidents such as MH370. A Dark Site is a “dormant” website that is stripped of all promotion materials and designed to provide information and updates about the incident. It is activated only during crisis-like situations.

If you go to the Malaysian Airlines website you will see that they have stripped their website of all promotional materials, with a prominent “pointer” to the Dark Site.

MAS Website

Click on that and you go directly to the Dark Site where you get the latest information that the company has on the incident.

MAS Darksite

But Malaysian Airlines does not stop there. Go to their Facebook page and you will see the same messages being posted to amplify their message on the website. The Facebook page is also stripped of all colour and the airlines logo is grey together with a grey background, to prevent any inadvertent visuals that may not be appropriate for the mood.

MAS FB

This same treatment is also applied to its Twitter account which is also used to amplify the message on its website.

MAS Twitter

Such coordination and activation within hours of the incident suggests a company that takes crisis management seriously and has drilled its employees to be able to carry out such tasks under the pressure of public scrutiny. It should give confidence to the public that Ahmad Jauhari Yahya and his Core Crisis Management Team at Malaysia Airlines are competent, professional and know what they are doing.

In difficult times like this, such professionalism should be a source of comfort for aggrieved families and friends of the passengers of MH370.

 

Jilbab Hitam and Waiting for Godot

Regular readers of Unspun will know that this blog takes interest in journalistic developments in Indonesia and elsewhere.  The interest comes from Unspun having been a journalist for many years before he “sublimated” into a communications consultant.

Readers will know from the two previous posts that Unspun found the Jilbab Hitam issue fascinating since it involves several prominent names, the allegations of a putative ex-Tempo journalist and of extortion of well-known institutions.

That, however, was where Unspun’s involvement with the case ends. Ditto Maverick, the communications firm where Unspun works at.

It was therefore very surprising last Thursday night when the names of Unspun and Maverick started cropping up on Twitter. The head of a research firm in Indonesia (let’s call him Godot), who is also an occasional newspaper contributor and commentator on anything from politics to economics had insinuated that Maverick was involved with a corporation (let’s call it AA), whose name had been bandied about as the possible instigator behind the Jilbab Hitam posting in Kompasiana.

AA was supposed to be involved, so the rumour mill has it, because they wanted payback for a book claiming to expose questionable practices in the corporation.

Now, sometime during the last week or so a blogger, who had almost the same name as one of our employees (let’s call him RF) , had posted an opinion piece in a Detik.com blog criticising the book. In the posting the blogger had said that he was a student of a lecturer  in University Indonesia who had also earlier posted a critique of the book in Kompasiana.

The detik.com posting sent Godot’s research juices flowing and somehow (presumably through something more sophisticated than a Google search, for he is, after all, a researcher) he came up with the allegation that Maverick and RF were in cahoots with AA to run down the author of the investigative boo. Without further ado Godot started to post Tweets about his suspicions.

As with most things that come up out of  the blue, Maverick’s crisis management training has taught us to seek and verify facts before reacting rashly. So we methodologically called up RF’s personnel files and found out that unlike Godot’s insinuations, RF did not go to school in University Indonesia. We then asked RF if he had known the particular lecturer. Negative. Had RF written any opinion pieces and posted them on any blogs, let alone Detik.com? Negative. Curiouser and curiouser.

We then went on the next stage of fact-finding. Going to source is usually the most reliable means of arriving at the truth. So since Twitter seemed the communications channel of choice for Godot, we asked him a simple question : why did he think that the blogger was the same person as our employee RF, since it was a common name and a Google search came up with dozens of RFs. Why did he think our RF was the RF?

That’s when the Twitter conversation turned weird. Godot dissembled and never answered the question. That didn’t stop him from casting aspersions on us and the PR profession though.

Normally, we would dismiss Godot as a troll and ignore him but because this issue was emotionally charged among a community we are close to – journalists – we thought we needed to resolve the matter conclusively and give it a decent burial. In social media, anything that doesn’t get a decent burial can come back to haunt you.

So we asked Godot for a face-to-face meeting so that he can explain how he came to his conclusions and we can set the record straight. By then the Twitter exchange had attracted the attention of some prominent Twitterati, a few of whom are senior journalists. They felt it was a good idea and encouraged Godot to meet with us to clear the air.

In spite of all this willingness to engage though, Godot has not replied. If he felt that he was right there was no indication that he desired to get to the bottom of things. If he realised that he had been wrong there was no hint of owning up and an apology for wrongfully insinuating that Maverick was in cahoots with AA.

So we are now…. waiting for Godot

(Thanks @julianto_irwan for being our muse with the name)

Today – Jakarta Marathon Day, but also Hari Blogger Nasional

It is a sign of the times, I suppose. Today is a big day for Jakarta’s fashionable crowd because it is Jakarta Marathon Day.

And since running is now the flavour of the year, it is getting all the attention from the hip crowd who, all of a sudden, have discovered the joys of running. Never mind that the running craze is now about 40 years old and probably on its third wind. Unspun knows because in his youthful days he caught the second wind of the running craze and ran two full marathons in Kuala Lumpur, on top of being conned to write a column on running for The Star then.

And yes, he was as insufferable as today’s runners with the latest in running gear, interval training, tapering, carbo loading and anything that proclaimed that he was in with the fleet footed crowd. The saving grace then, to Unspun’s detractors, was we didn’t have social media and Unspun could not annoy them with his photos and posts of triumph against all odds.

One wonders whether running will run out of steam in fad-conscious Jakarta, which has seen the cycling, and then the fixie craze come and go lately.

One victim of Jakarta and Indonesia’s propensity of flocking to the fashionable is blogging. Believe it or not, it was fashionable at one point, as fashionable as running today. Then, anyone who was anyone was blogging, or hanging around bloggers.

It is indicative of how unfashionable it has become that even Unspun had forgotten that today is National Blogger’s Day. Muhamad Nuh, when he was  Information Minister Minister, opened the first Pesta Blogger in 2007 and declared that day Hari Nasional Blogger. Those of us who were blogging then didn’t know what that meant but we were euphoric. Blogging, we felt, had become mainstream, and we would help change the world with it.

Not so. In the intervening years blogging lost its popularity to the other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook that required less literary skills and effort. Many bloggers stopped blogging or were reduced to reporting old posts as they switched to Twitter and Facebook in an effort to keep themselves relevant and, hopefully. popular.

The few that remained faithful to blogging had some followers but they were never to regain the cache of those early days.

It got so that everyone, and even Unspun forgot about Hari Nasional Blogger and Pesta Blogger until Unspun found this repost in Enda Nasution’s LinkedIn Page. It brought back a lot of memories, but also served to inform how much the world has moved on since then.

 

Sejarah Hari Blogger Nasional #hariblogger #berkatblog

by  on 27/10/2011 in BLOGREMEMBER

We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten. –Cesare Pavese

Sejarahnya bagaimana sih tanggal 27 Oktober yang sekarang dikenal sebagaiHari Blogger Nasional?

Ceritanya sebenarnya sederhana dan singkat.

Alkisah tanggal 27 Oktober di tahun 2007, beberapa blogger Indonesia (Bang WimarMas NukmanMas WicakLita,PriyadiAttaMas Budi PutraOng) diprakarsai oleh perusahaan kehumasan Maverick mencoba mengadakan yang sekarang kita kenal sebagai Pesta Blogger. Ajang ketemu, kopdar akbar blogger Indonesia dengan Hanny Kusumawati sebagai event manager-nya. Support juga kita dapatkan dariMbak Shinta Bubu dan Satya Witoelar dan tentunya blogger-blogger Indonesia dan komunitas-komunitas blogger dari berbagai daerah.

Tempatnya blogger Indonesia unjuk gigi, karena walau blog sudah dikenal sejak tahun 2000-an awal, tapi belum pernah ada pertemuan nasional yang skalanya cukup besar.

Kebetulan di pergeralan Pesta Blogger 2007 tersebut juga saya dipercaya sebagai Chairman-nya, bertanggung jawab atas acara yang kita lakukan.

Acara berlangsung di Blitz Grand Indonesia, tidak ada yang tahu bagaimana acara satu hari, yang baru pertama kali kita langsungkan itu akan terjadi, tapi dipenghujung hari kita cukup senang, ada sekitar500-an blogger, tamu dan media yang hadir. Ada kekurangan disana-sini, sudah pasti, makanan yang kurang dan lain-lain, tapi niatan unjuk gigi itu berlangsung dengan lancar.

Saya memberikan sambutan (video part 1part 2) yang beberapa jam sebelumnya saya tulis. Acara dibuka oleh Pak Muhammad Nuh yang saat itu menjabat sebagai Menkominfo.

Dan Pak Nuh pulalah yang berinisiatif menyatakan bahwa tanggal 27 Oktober kita sebut sebagai hari Blogger Nasional di sambutan beliau.

Panitia tidak merencanakan sebutan tersebut dan saat itu tidak tahu harus bereaksi apa, tapi melihat kebelakang, dengan rasa terima kasih pada Pak Nuh, mengingat momen bukan hari, momen tersebut memang pantas kita ingat.

Tapi apa artinya?

Apa artinya Hari Blogger Nasional?

Hari Blogger bukanlah (belum) hari resmi dari pemerintah, tapi ini ada bagusnya karena mengingatkan kita bahwa kita pun boleh punya hari sendiri, dan maknanya terserah pada kita-kita, diisi oleh kita sendiri. Hari blogger ada dan terus ada atau tidak pun terserah pada kita.

Dari momen itu banyak hal yang kemudian terjadi. Blog dan dunia online makin dilihat dan disadari oleh masyarakat banyak.

Dan mengingat balik ke tahun 2007 banyak hal yang sekarang kita gunakan sehari-hari yang saat itu bahkan belum ada. Facebook belum marak, laptop, tablet, ipad, blackberry, modem dongle, social media, medsos, dan bahkan Twitter belum jadi kosa kata.

Momen itu menyambungkan banyak noktah di masa depan.

Momen praktis yang membuat saya ada di Salingsilang.com sekarang dan momen yang sama membuat kita di Salingsilang menyajikan data blogger Indonesia yang kini jumlahnya sudah ada 5.331.093

Momen itu membuat kita terus menyelenggarakan Pesta Blogger setiap tahun sejak tahun 2007. Momen itu juga membuat saya tetap terlibat dalam penyelenggaraannya sebagai steering comittee dan tidak lagi sebagai Chairman.

Momen di hari itu membuat di tahun ini kita memodifikasinya sedikit dengan menggunakan namaON|OFF 2011 yang nanti akan kita laksanakan di tanggal 3 Desember 2011

Momen itu mengenalkan dan menyentuh banyak orang, momen itu menyapa banyak isu dan bergaul dengan banyak peristiwa.

Moment itu membuat saya, kamu, dan kita semua ada di sini sekarang. Membaca kalimat terakhir di posting ini.

Selamat #hariblogger nasional!

 

The Buzz about Buzzers in Indonesia

So here we have it, the widespread use of buzzers in Indonesia to push the products or brands of companies.

The questions marketers need to ask before they embark on their next foray with buzzers are these:

  1. What competitive advantage is there for their brand when their competitors are all also doing the same – paying buzzers to endorse or “create buzz” around a product or event?
  2. Is there any credibility in it at all given that everyone using social media knows that buzzers are guns for hire and are a promiscuous lot? If there isn’t, what’s the point of using the buzzers?
  3. Are brands squandering their resources by using buzzers, since it is transplanting the old world practice of using Key Opinion Leaders to influence others? That idea is grounded in Edward Bernays’s theory of Influencing the Influencers that is at least 85 years old. A lot has happened since then, specifically the social media that renders most things transparent and demands authenticity and relevance from brands
  4. Shouldn’t brands focus more on how they can use social media to create a great customer experience for their audiences instead?

 

In Indonesia, buzzers not heard but tweet for money – RTRS
23-Aug-2013 04:00
By Andjarsari Paramaditha
JAKARTA, Aug 23 (Reuters) – In Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, a buzzer is not an alarm or a bell, but someone with a Twitter account and more than 2,000 followers who is paid to tweet.
Jakarta is the world’s tweet capital and advertisers eager to reach the under-30 crowd are paying popular Twitter users to spread their word through social media, starting at about $21 per tweet.
While celebrity endorsements via Twitter are common worldwide, Indonesia is unusual because advertisers are paying the Average Joes too.
These Twitter “buzzers” send short messages promoting brands or products to their followers, usually during rush hour, 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m., when Jakarta’s notorious traffic jams create a captive audience with time to scan their mobile phones.
Jakarta has more Twitter users than any other city In the world, according to Semiocast, a social media market researcher, and Indonesia is home to the world’s fourth-largest population, with half the people under 30. All ingredients for a social media marketer’s dream.
“Indonesians love to chat. We love to share. We are community driven as a culture. For us it’s very easy to adopt social media because it is a channel through which we can express our opinions,” said Nanda Ivens, chief operating officer at XM Gravity Indonesia, a digital marketing unit of London-listed advertising giant WPP Group WPP.L.
For advertisers, using Twitter buzzers is a way to personalise the pitch, connecting someone who may have a special interest in a product with like-minded potential customers. A local photography buff, for example, would be a good target for a camera company.
An effective social media campaign will generate real conversations and genuine endorsements, said Thomas Crampton, Hong Kong-based social media director at advertising firm Ogilvy. But one issue with paid buzzers is that they may be seen as endorsing something only for the money.
“It’s not going to be transparent to the people reading the Twitter feed whether they’re being paid, and that’s not very honest,” said Crampton.
“The followers will see that this guy is for sale. It’s really like talking to a friend. If your friend is being paid to tell you something then a) you wouldn’t consider that person your friend and b) you’re not going to believe them.”

MEASURING SUCCESS
PT Nestle Indonesia, a unit of global food company Nestle SA NESN.VX, counts teenage pop singer Raisa (@raisa6690) and heartthrob actor Nicholas Saputra (@nicsap) among its brand ambassadors. They recently tweeted their experiences at a large Sumatra coffee plantation in a campaign supported by hired buzzers who were retweeting the celebrities’ comments and other sponsored messages from the company.
The challenge is measuring success.
“We do have quantitative measurement, which is the number of followers, the number of likes and the number of clicks,” said Patrick Stillhart, head of the coffee business at PT Nestle Indonesia. “But how do we relate that to brands and sales? There’s left a question mark.”
Stillhart said the company uses social media for more than a dozen brands and about 15 percent of its advertising spending goes to digital media. Apart from Nestle, competitor Unilever Indonesia UNVR.JK also followed similar path for their products.
Sometimes things go wrong.
Prabowo (@bowdat), 33, who quit his day job two years ago to scout for buzzers, recalled one cautionary tale about tweets meant to promote an Android product 005930.KS that were sent through a rival BlackBerry BB.TO or iPhone AAPL.O device. Followers could see the gaffe because tweets often include an automatic tag indicating how the message was posted.
Stand-up comedian Ernest Prakasa (@ernestprakasa) fell afoul of the “twitterverse” last year while promoting the Mini Cooper, a popular car made by BMW Group BMWG.DE
“There was a viral video. The idea was, I had to pretend to be locked in a container for several hours and then I escaped with the car. I was asked to act as if I was captured,” said the 30-year-old, who charges advertisers 7 million rupiah ($670) for 10 tweets.
Some of his friends didn’t realise it was an act, and began retweeting he had been kidnapped. They were furious when told it was an advertising gimmick.
“I was cursed at, accused of only trying to create a sensation. I had around 15,000 followers so I didn’t think it could become big. But I also learned that whenever this sort of fiasco happens, stay silent. It won’t last more than two days. Something new will come along and people will forget anyway.” ($1 = 10,490 Indonesian rupiah)

(Additional reporting by Jeremy Wagstaff, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher and Raju Gopalakhrisnan) ((andjarsari.p@thomsonreuters.com)(+62 21 3199 7170)(Reuters Messaging: andjarsari.p.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net))

Bully for the President

How naive can one get? The Internet can be a powerful medium to communicate and engage with lots of people but it has never been a Utopia.

In fact, from the start the Net has had a culture of crash and burn. It has not gotten any better with the millions of people now using social media. In fact it may have gotten worse as it gets easier to be stampeded by a herd mentality.

All this information has been available to anyone interested in finding out the working of the Net. So it is a bit rich for the President to complain about “bullying”. His social media team should have warned him before hand that the Net is a place for big boys who can take the hard knocks, not crybabies.

Which raises the often-asked question of prominent people who venture into social media use: why did they go in, in the first place?

 

BBC News – Indonesia: President ‘bullied’ on Facebook

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with his wife in Laos in November 2012

Anti-social network? Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s not happy with some “fans”

Indonesia’s president complained about being “bullied” on Facebook, just a day after launching his fan page.

The press team of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – known as SBY by the Indonesian media – signed him up to the social network, along with YouTube and Google Hangout, on Friday, reports the Jakarta Post . And, having attracted almost 100,000 fans within 24 hours, the president declared in his first Facebook post: “I want to be able to communicate more with my fellow Indonesians.” He thanked all his followers for their input but added: “Sometimes I am being bullied.

He later posted a poem dedicated to his wife, who celebrated her 61st birthday on Saturday. By Wednesday morning, SBY’s page had amassed nearly 250,000 “likes”. However, he still has some way to go to match the 2.7 million followers his @SBYudhoyono account has on Twitter .