KPAI isn’t all wrong about PB Djarum

Something important is lost in the rancour against KPAI (The Commission for the Protection of Children) for calling out PB Djarum’s (Djarum Badminton Association) badminton auditions.

KPAI, as we know has accused the cigarette maker Djarum of using its foundation, PB Djarum (Djarum Badminton Association) to exploit children.

To be sure, KPAI has chosen its accusation poorly, using the word manipulate instead of exploitation or a more neutral used. It has caused a groundswell of opinion and invective against its stand, drowning out the one important issue that should be addressed: how should corporations discharge their Corporate Social Responsibility?

If KPAI had been more measured it could have advanced a more persuasive argument against Djarum because it does have a point. Djarum is indeed using PB Djarum to give it visibility in the youth segment where the Djarum tobacco brand has been forbidden to enter.

PB Djarum has undoubtedly contributed immensely to Indonesia’s domination of badminton worldwide/ But setting up a foundation or creating an event that is seemingly divorced from the parent brand’s activities, yet giving the brand a high visibility is one of the oldest tricks in the book of corporate communications.

Why else, you might ask, would the foundation still carry the logo and brand name of the parent brand? In this instance, you cannot look at the PB Djarum logo

Without being reminded of the tobacco company’s parent brand.

Why can’t Djarum (and other Indonesian companies). for instance, adopt the route taken by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is in part funded by Microsoft Stock dividends. The Foundation’s logo.

And why, among all the gin joints and causes, does Djarum have to alight on a cause to do with the target demographic for continuing tobacco sales? Why can’t it, instead, channel its vast resources in, say, helping improve the lot of tobacco farming families?

Study the marketing campaigns and events of other Tobacco companies and you will see the same cynical insertion of their branding elements.

On the other hand, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation can never be accused

Can never be accused as a vehicle for Microsoft.

The problem in Indonesia, I think, is that most corporations have not thought through the role of business in helping the nation develop economically and socially.

What is their role? How should they go about it? In which causes or issues? And will they have credibility and trust if they proceed.

Many corporations Here grasp at the most convenient concept around: Corporate Social Responsibility.

It’s a concept that sounds nice but is dated and ineffective, especially during these times when trust in business is at an all-time low.

Harvard Business Professor Michael Porter have argued convincingly that CSR doesn’t quite work because it does not reconcile a business’ imperative to make profits with the need to contribute to economic or social development in the Harvard Business Review on Creating Shared Value. Here is a video of Michael Porter speaking on CSV to business leaders

To me CSV makes more sense. It posits the notion that businesses are aware that unless the communities with which they work with prosper, neither can they. As such, the corporations – because of the resources at their disposal – should take the lead in helping these communities generate economic or social value in their activities. By doing this they are effectively creating shared values.

This will help them to rebuild the trust that Business Has been losing ground on. An with this trust comes greater social capital with which they can achieve more and perform better. It’s a virtuous circle.

The KPAI-PB Djarum issue has given us a chance to reexamine and review the role of business in society, especially the businesses in controversial industries such as tobacco, alcohol, large-scale agriculture and mining. because of their huge revenues they are under scrutiny by many activists, NGOs, social organizations and regulators.

Business has a great opportunity to do it right and embrace CSV, or they can continue to dwell in their comfort zones and keep plugging away at CSR – and then wonder why, after all the money and effort they have altruistically committed to an activity, people still distrust them.

APCO Indonesia in for some tough times from former boss?

The embattled office of APCO in Indonesia may be in for more tough times.

Some time maybe as early as this week, said little birds to Unspun, APCO’s competitor in Indonesia Kiroyan Partners will announce a partnership with Vriens and Partners. Vriens Partners is headed by Hans Vriens, the suspender wearing, battered suitcase carrying former head of APCO Indonesia and APCO in the region.

After many years in Indonesia Hans relocated to Singapore about two years ago to start up APCO there as well as to head the regoin. But hand has not been a happy camper. Some birds say that he felt frustrated that his overbosses were too conservative and unwilling to embrace newer ways of communicating, such as using new media.

At any rate Hans has left APCO in not the best of terms and has started his own consultancy, Vriens and Partnership.

Of late both Hans and Noke Kiroyan, of Kiroyan Partners and formerly of Rio Tinto and Newmont and often mistaken for a Japanese, have seen potential synergies in a partnership. They both see lots of opportunities in indonesia and Hans can bring to the table his contacts while Noke can bring to the table resources, said the birds.

Both men also have another common link that bolsters the partnership. Noke’s daughter Natasha is currently working at Vriens and Partners. She remains a shareholder in Kiroyan and Partners where she was working until a few months ago when she departed for Singapore to follow her heart, said the birds.

This partnership between Noke and Hans is sure to pose stiff competition for APCO Indonesia, which is currently helmed by John Arnold, formerly of Ernst and Young. John, who retired from EY and then took up this job has not been having a restful time at APCO Indonesia as the firm has, so said the birds, been having some problems here and there.

Looks like John is in for exciting times, as the Chinese would say.

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.
blog it

How the Indonesian Government should treat Geert Wilders and YouTube

When you get down to the bottom of it, ironically, Geert Wilders wants the same thing as the most extreme of the Muslims he attacks in the film Fitna – the terrorists.

The terrorist, according to Louise Richardson in her book What Terrorists Want, is motivated by the 3Rs- Reaction, Revenge, Reknown. The terrorist commits acts of terrorism precisely because he knows they will cause a reaction, they help him seek revenge for perceived slights and they would bring him reknown.

What Geert Wilders wants – and got – with his act of creative “terrorism” in releasing Fitna are

Revenge – This is not very clear but presumably Geert at some stage felt he and his ilk had been insulted by or been deprived of something important by Muslims and Fitna was his act of vengence.

Reknown -Before this episode Geert Wilders was just a third rate extremist politician with bad hair tucked away in a small country. Now he is known throughout the world.

Reaction – The game for terrorists is to provoke a harsh reaction on the part of governments and others to their act of terrorism. These reactions usually result in alienating them from their constituents.

So what do you do with the Geert Wilders of the world?

Continue reading “How the Indonesian Government should treat Geert Wilders and YouTube”

Of sleeping leaders

As we all know and the Malaysian Government keeps telling us, it’s all the fault of Mahathir. For what? Whatever.

The proof? See story below. If Mahathir had acted like SBY and, in his time, chastised upcoming leaders for sleeping on the job, the Barisan nasional would still be holding on to the two-thirds-majority, Malaysia wouldn’t be in the shits and bloggers would not be in elected offices. It’s all the Mamak’s doing!

clipped from www.thejakartapost.com

Sleeping forum participant outrages President

Desy Nurhayati ,�
The Jakarta Post ,�
Jakarta � | �Wed, 04/09/2008 11:20 AM� | �Headlines

The most valuable lesson learned by regional leaders at a five-week workshop at the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) might not be on leadership at all, but how to withstand sleepiness.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was speaking before 86 participants of the forum consisting of mayors, regents and leaders of regional legislative councils on Tuesday when he spotted a participant falling asleep.

Yudhoyono paused his speech and told the attendants, while pointing to the participant: “Wake him up. Go outside if you want to sleep.”

“How could a leader fall asleep while I am talking about how to develop our nation? You should be ashamed of the people who have elected you their leader,” he said.

“Be serious with your responsibility. I’m ordering Lemhannas not to pass participants with bad attitudes even if they are highly intelligent.”

blog it