What Rara experienced as an intern at my workplace

Rara and Ken were winners of the PRVaganza 2014, a multi-university competition for communications students. Their team from Univerisiti Gadjah Mada won the competition and the prize for that was an offer of a month’s internship at Maverick.

Ken’s chosen to write about his experience here (see also my pervious posting) but Rara chose to express herself in a  YouTube video. Here is her story.

All I can say is that we were chuffed to have two such bright, enthusiastic and hard working interns and we want to keep them forever once they graduate (and if they want to come back to us).

The bonus we get when we give bonuses

One of the most gratifying moments as an operator of a communications consultancy is when we are able to distribute bonus checks to our employees. We did that last week, in recognition for their contributions in helping Maverick active a profitable 2011 but more importantly in helping us become even more robust as team.

The bonus we pay out is not required by law, which merely requires companies to pay an extra month’s bonus for Lebaran. But from the start my business partner Lita and I promised our staff that we would share some of the profits and that’s what we have been able to do for the past nine years.

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I think it is important to show our staff that they are appreciated, as often as we can. So we always time the bonus to come just before another event to appreciate the efforts of our staff – the annual outing. The bonus comes just in time for them to have extra spending money for the outing.

These outings began modestly – to Anyer for the first year if I remember correctly. Since then, as Maverick grew we have been able to go to places further and more exotic. memory fails me on the exact chronology but we have been to Bandung, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Phuket.

This year we are all heading for Hong Kong. These trips are always fun as the whole office takes a breather form the breakneck speed of work we have been subjected to. One of the things we do is to make sure that everyone – from the bosses to the most junior staffers – has to share rooms so that it’s an opportunity for us to get to know each other more.

The office has voted to go to Hong Kong’s Disneyland this year so all of us will be trooping to see Mi-Key Lau Shu and friends. For some of the staffers it will be their first time out of the country. for others it would be their first time to Hong Kong. This is all good for them as we believe that travel expands one’s horizons.

Another that we try to show appreciation for the staff is to make their journey in the PR profession special. So we have a music triangle installed in the office and the consultant gets to ring it when they achieve a milestone in their careers,much as the first solo presentation to a client, their first overseas assignment or when they lead their first account team.

It is easy for the more experienced PR professionals to overlook the significance of such events. But when you’re starting out these achievements are a big deal and we try to celebrate it with them.

This is all in our pursuit to build the most formidable communications consultancy in Indonesia. The journey has been challenging but its been fun along the way and I’d like to think that we’re closer to our goal today than when we started out.

Still, it’s a never ending struggle if you want to be the best. Looking around at the happy faces in Maverick and the spirit with which they go about their work and help each other it all seems worth it. We never rest, however, and are constantly looking for new ways where we can make our people feel special.

I constantly wonder, however, what other communications firms in Indonesia Do to appreciate their staff and make them feel special, so that we can learn from the best practices if there are any out there. If you work in an Indonesia-based communications firm, we’d certainly like to hear about how you firm does it.

Physician heal thyself

If you are a PR practitioner, give yourself some good PR advice itself. And if you fail then you make spinmeisters of the rest of us.

Read the article below about how Burson-Marsteller’s CEO Mark Penn shamed his firm or of Edelman’s fiasco in Wal-Mart, which is now a classic story of what NOT to do in the blogosphere.

This is a cautionary tale of how big names in PR aren’t always better.

clipped from www.starkmanassociates.com
The PR profession certainly isn’t immune to public misperceptions either, which is more than a tad ironic. Indeed, we are the proverbial shoemaker’s children when it comes to our own reputation management. Our public credibility gap has, sadly, only widened lately thanks to the headline-generating missteps, blunders, and ethical breaches of some high-profile practitioners. While these individuals may occupy corner offices, I am loathe to use the term “industry leader” to describe any of them for they have shown via their actions, words, or values that they do not represent the trail-blazing people in the PR industry who truly deserve professional respect and admiration.
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