Is BFM On The Right Track?

An anonymous email alleging sexual harassment misconduct at Malaysia's widely followed radio station BFM is sent out to various media houses and simultaneously as the story breaks on December 1st 2018, the station issues a statement and also uploads it onto its social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Did BFM handle this crisis well to start with?

Timing

BFM responded immediately and took the bold decision to share its statement on social media. Not many organisations would have done so. In fact the normal modus operandi by most organsations when hit with a crisis of such nature would be to respond as and when required and not to spread the net of possible exposure too wide. So I have to say bravo to BFM for being transparent and forthcoming in acknowledging this email and assuring its stakeholders of its commitment to investigate the allegations and intent to provide a safe environment for employees.

Various people within BFM have also said that when it had got wind that the email was in circulation with the media, the organisation had addressed its employees in small groups to inform them of what was happening and that it will look into the matter seriously. Once again, this was a proactive move on the part of BFM and one that should be commended. Furthermore, instead of taking the easy route by holding a town hall style meeting with one message to fit all, the approach of group sessions allows for more discourse and gives the organisation a chance to show its concern in a more personal manner.

Communications

In the space of five days, BFM has issued two statements.

The first went out on December 1:

It is a fair albeit non-committal statement that I personally cannot fault as an immediate response. It does four things:

i) Acknowledges that certain allegations have been made

ii) Alludes to a probable internal investigation

iii) Commits to ensure a safe and fear-free environment to enable reporting of misdeeds

iv) Claims reviews of its existing reporting processes

While the media have practiced ethical reporting by not publishing any of the names contained within the rather explicit email, the same cannot be said for netizens who are sharing the email in its totality via WhatsApp and on their feeds. Some of them have even shared the email on official social media sites belonging to news portals and newspapers. In these instances I believe the media should practice its discretion as owners of such sites and either take down such postings or blank out the names of the alleged victims.

In fact, I call on anyone who feels the need to share any content that contain names of sexual victims to at least black out their names before posting it. Every time it is posted and shared, you too are harassing these victims who are already vulnerable, and victimising them further.

The next statement from BFM appeared on Dec 3, this time saying that it has started investigations, and that it will be appointing an independent party to assist in the investigations.

Does this statement say enough though?

Many individuals and groups have called for proper investigations and transparency into how the matter will be handled. Perhaps it is time for BFM to share the process it will initiate, a timeline of when it expects to conclude investigations and share findings, and who will be assisting in this investigation. All those following this story are hoping for fair and just actions to be taken, should the allegations prove true. Eyeballs are on BFM to see how they will conduct themselves.

"purpose is to build a better Malaysia by championing rational, evidence-based discourse as a key element of good policy decisions"

In fact this is an excellent opportunity for BFM to lead the way in putting together a tighter zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment and assault at the work place with a better plan for enforcement and reporting of misconducts. Media houses can be a hot bed for harassment as there are many people who are in powerful positions, who can get carried away with assumed god-like powers. When there are people who are powerful, there are people who will feel powerless.

BFM has been known to discuss matters often shun by other mainstream media and has on numerous occasions over the years invited guests to discuss both workplace and domestic sexual harassment and violence on its talk shows. It should now prove that it can walk its talk and even better its own sexual harassment policy over the slim protection provided by our current legal system. BFM describes that its "purpose is to build a better Malaysia by championing rational, evidence-based discourse as a key element of good policy decisions".

So, use this crisis BFM, and show us what you can do in "building first-world mindsets" as you claim on Facebook.

Written by Janitha Sukumaran, Founder of Rantau Golin


The language of wonder has no words – Just Joy

“To All Who Come To This Happy Place

~WELCOME~

Here you will discover enchanted lands of Fantasy and Adventure, Yesterday and Tomorrow. May Tokyo Disneyland be an eternal source of Joy, Laughter, Inspiration and Imagination to the people of the world…”

My Disney adventures began when I was two – the moment I could sing, my sister and I would be kept occupied repeatedly watching Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and not to forget, Mickey Mouse and friends.

On my maiden outing to a cinema as a five-year-old, my father took my older sister and me to watch the premiere of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast back in 1991 – and this has remained my favourite Disney movie ever since. It also inspired my performance and recording of the “Belle” soundtrack – one of the toughest musical pieces I’ve ever played – for a school concert at the then Sekolah Sri Inai (now known as Beaconhouse Sri Inai). It’s one of my most accomplished musical pieces to-date, although sadly, the audiotape that captured it has been lost.

Despite being a Disney kid all my life (yes, I still watch all things Disney at my age, and there’s no good reason for me to stop), it never crossed my mind to visit a Disneyland, oddly enough.

So, when I was assigned to manage the media trip taking Malaysian journalists to the 35th anniversary celebrations at Tokyo Disney Resort, it didn’t quite strike me that I was heading to a place of my childhood dreams until I slid into my seat on the plane in the early morning of 12 April 2018. It might sound clichéd to say the feeling was surreal, but truly, it was. I was still reeling from disbelief that I was on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Tokyo. In my prayers right up to that point, I asked, like a child, “Why Disneyland? Why Tokyo?” The answer wasn’t clear to me – until I got there.

My Disneyland experience began on the second day in Tokyo, the first day being just a day of rest once I checked in our Malaysian media entourage into Urayasu Brighton Tokyo Bay Hotel. The hotel was indeed classy, and this added to the magic right from the start of my stay in Tokyo. Knowing that my itinerary was going to be full that day, I loaded up with a classy but hearty breakfast before our group was due to set off on our tour.

Our first stop of the day was at Tokyo DisneySea. The air was crisp and clean, with a brisk and chilly wind that felt almost like winter without snow. We had the company of media from other Asia-Pacific countries – Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and more. The members of the media were efficiently grouped according to their country for the tour. Our tour guide, a staff representative from Oriental Land Co Ltd (owners of the Tokyo Disney Resort) was Miki Fujiwara. Seemingly reserved at first, she was easy to warm up to later on, despite the language barrier, and was ever patient with us as we stopped numerous times at various places for the obvious touristy thing – taking photos. This time spent was indeed crucial for the media to capture just the right images they needed to complement their storytelling.

Pic1

A pit stop to say hello to Mickey Mouse

The first show we watched was “Disney’s Happiest Celebration on the Sea”, specially produced for the anniversary celebrations. Mickey Mouse and his friends – Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and the rest of the gang – greeted us from aboard a golden ship cruising around the lake, decked out in all its glory. I was just tickled that Mickey Mouse and his friends spoke in Japanese! I have never heard Disney characters speaking in any language other than English so that was simply amusing. This show lasted about 10 minutes, then we proceeded to walk through the other areas of DisneySea.

Four hours was certainly not enough to cover the 175-acre DisneySea, but we had to move on to Tokyo Disneyland, which itself covers about 115 acres. That said, one of the perks of wearing the “press” pass meant that we got priority access to catch selected performances or parades, or go on the rides ahead of the public. The sight of throngs of visitors at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea is certainly testimony that the 494-acre Tokyo Disney Resort is rightfully one of the top three Disneyland destinations in the world.

Allow me to share with you some of my experiences at Disney and immerse yourself in a little Disney magic ☺ (because words can’t describe all of this, you’ll see!)

Pic2

Little Hawaiian figurines dancing to “It’s a Small World”

Caption: Dreaming Up Parade – the main highlight of Disneyland, where you meet all Disney characters!

Pic3

Disney Princesses: Snow White and Rapunzel

If there was one place that truly makes you feel like a child again, this was it – Disneyland. The “adult me” struggled to behave (for lack of a better word) while managing both the media and the client. However, inside, my heart was skipping around like Bambi! Oh, the music all around just made me melt and I couldn’t help but sing along to all the familiar Disney tunes I knew by heart! And boy was I glad to find a singing partner in my Japanese counterpart, Miho, who sang along to the tunes, too. So, I wasn’t the only crazy one who knew all the Disney songs by heart ☺

Pic4

Miho and I sharing a self-absorbed but totally cute bunny moment!

By the end of the full day at Tokyo Disney Resort, we were all beat. But my heart was full, and I’m pretty sure it was the same for the members of my group too.

Pic5Our team, including Miki (second from left) and Miho (front) – exhausted, but all smiles ☺

The entire Disneyland experience is a pretty spectacular affair. What I found truly impressive is how every element – music and acoustics, character livery, monuments and fabrications adorned and decorated with finesse, garden after garden filled with beautiful flowers in a myriad of colours, parades, performances and attractions that make your heart go wild – was well thought out and close to perfection, and truly brought Walt Disney’s imagination of happiness to life. If you want to feel enchantment, look no further than Tokyo Disney Resort. People find it so enchanting that they even have Disney-themed weddings here, and we were lucky to witness one!

Pic6

While it is a Japanese thing to provide top-notch value-for-money attractive service and hospitality, it is a Disney trademark to consistently deliver an all-encompassing childhood experience of creativity, imagination and enchantment that can’t be matched, ever since Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928.

But, here's the catch.

For a truly immersive experience, you have to allow yourself to look through the eyes of a child. That is exactly what this trip was about for me, personally – humbling myself to see beauty and wonder as a little boy or girl would, and to feel what no person, adult or child, should ever be deprived of – true happiness.

As adults, we often forget to look up and around, to be in awe of the beauty present all around us. We’re probably too caught up on the road to success or living in the moment in a fast-paced lifestyle full of challenges, which tends to make us disconnect from the childlike nature within us that wants to experience true joy. I believe this is what Walt Disney wanted to achieve from the beginning – to put a smile on every face in the world, a smile that is priceless and radiates joy.

Pic7

The joy that filled me during this trip was indescribable, and it’s an indelible experience etched in my heart and memory – a truly magical experience. Beyond Disney, the remaining days of my adventure in Tokyo were spent discovering more of this city that took me away from the buzzing life of KL for a week in the land of the Rising Sun, a place I wouldn’t in my wildest dreams plan visiting, but nevertheless may be one very special stop on my way to other dreams. ☺

Pic8

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney

(And I hear that the Tokyo Disney Resort will be expanding by 30% in the early 2020s. Imagination has no limits!)

Pic9

   Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse – immortalised

 


Time To Reboot – You Are Now Pro-Gov

By Janitha Sukumaran
Founder & Consulting Director
May 2018

Reform is multi-fold.

When a new government is elected, there are numerous changes that need to take place. It is not just a question of who will make up a new cabinet and what existing systems and processes need to be looked into. A bigger and more immediate issue is ensuring that the newly-elected government and all its coalition partners and members understand the process that will take place in the formation of this new entity and appreciate the need for a singular front.

The Pakatan Harapan consists of four member parties, each with its own game plan. Many of its members have always played the opposition and the rule of thumb in this position in politics is clear – challenge the government.

As much as all opposition parties aspire to be the governing party, the question remains if they are ready to take this on with a new mindset.

A government is like an organisation, and getting the right public perception from the start is key to creating trust and credibility, thus building customer loyalty. The main customer segment of a government is the people, the rakyat.

Internal Communications
In public relations, organisations are always advised to ensure that it practices what it preaches and this starts from within the organisation. The success of any external communications depends on how well members of the organisation understand what the organisation’s vision, mission and promise are. They need to be aware of the direction the organisation will take. They must respect that the decisions made by the leadership of the organisation is in the best interest of its members and customers.

The same goes for the government. All members of each party within the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which is now the ruling government, must appreciate the importance of the aforementioned, and this is achieved through real-time communications by each party secretariat to its members.

Lapses, or even worse, non-communication will result in confusion and dissident operators who will unhinge the unity that needs to be maintained post-elections and beyond the first 100 days.

One Voice
Once members of an organisation have been updated on the position of the organisation, it is then necessary for each member to adhere to the communications protocol of spokespersons. There is usually one key spokesperson, in this case the Prime Minister, and then secondary spokespersons, we can call them the Ministers, who are sanctioned to speak on behalf of the government on pre-determined matters.

The one thing that all these appointed spokespersons agree to undertake is to speak in One Voice. This means that spokespersons are unified in appreciating what the end result of their actions and communications is.

When you have every single member of the organisation assuming the right to speak and comment, then you have a fractured organisation that creates confusion amongst customers, which then leads to a question of credibility and trust for this organisation that is visibly broken.

Challenge Internally; Project Solidarity Externally
The best of organisations invites its members to challenge it, but it also stresses on the need for this to be done in a respectful and structured manner. These organisations learn to improve themselves to become stronger and better based on internal feedback. Such exchanges take place within the organisation. Once decisions are reached, all members must stand in solidarity in the eyes of its wider audience. Any show of discord in public is a show of weakness within the organisation.

Members of Pakatan Harapan must realise that it is no longer acceptable for individual members to publicly voice their dissatisfaction on decisions made by leaders, to demand punishments for organisations and individuals and to make independent comments that can and will threaten the coalition. It is time to rein in individual ideologies now that they are on the other side of the fence.

Pakatan Harapan should also seriously consider the need to train and mentor its newly-elected Members of Parliament and future ministers, many of whom are taking public office for the first time, on rethinking their future positions. Training and mentoring are offered in any credible organisation for new and even existing members to ensure that they have the support, tools and acumen required to be successful in their positions. So why not offer this to the newly minted MPs, who need to reboot their mindset in appreciating how to change their playbook as a government official and advocate.

Pakatan Harapan members need to realise that they are now pro-government and any challenge against their coalition must be done within the boardroom. This is new unchartered territory for all, but the need for a fresh approach is imperative. While going rogue on social media as the opposition was necessary, these members must now understand that such behaviour against the decision and direction of the coalition is neither valid nor attractive. Just like how organisations have communications policies in place, which includes rules for social media speech and interaction to protect its reputation, so should political parties, especially the ruling government.

Pakatan Harapan is like a quadripartite joint-venture and like all JVs, it will face many teething issues. However, there can only be one clear leader and a new set of rules to adhere to. It is important for all members to quickly appreciate that they are now pro-government and to be successful, they must now heed their own call for reform.

The Malaysian voters who gave Pakatan Harapan the mandate to rule, with the hope for change, must believe that they made the right choice. It is Pakatan Harapan’s task as the ruling coalition to now ensure that this change begins from within.

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The WhatsApp Elections

by Gogulan Dorairajoo, CEO, Rantau
WhatsApp Image

Just like me, most of you, or nearly everyone reading this, will have had their overload of election messages on their group chats streaming in daily since the date of the election was announced.

Never before have we been inundated with so many messages from the various quarters from every conceivable chat group. The information more often than not is always false and most of the time dates back from 2013 (the time of the last election). This of course will not stop supporters of both sides sharing wildly and without checking, the authenticity of said messages. This is why I believe - where the last election was the first one to be fought on social media, this election will be fought via the more “personal" social media channel, WhatsApp.

The WhatsApp chat group has penetration far beyond what traditional or even electronic media can reach and its impact is even more pervasive and instant. It also allows for the recipient to forward ‘breaking news' to the other chat groups in an instant, which is gold in this age of instant gratification.

Now you can watch ceramah after ceramah online and then instantly forward the clip, thus making it viral in a few minutes. Imagine the reach in the rural areas where a data plan, Facebook and WhatsApp are basically your everyday entertainment.

Now we all have our right as voters to be informed as much as possible before we cast our vote. Unfortunately most of the "news" on social media and WhatsApp remain largely false and without substance. This is dangerous in a society where we are not mature enough to handle such incorrect information, leading to incidents started just by WhatsApp rumours.

Information is the key to any electorate and we are in an age where we are either blessed or cursed by the amount we are exposed to.

Vote wisely my fellow Malaysians, we have only one country.


The Millennial In The Office, That’s Me.

Amanda SlavinAMANDA SLAVIN

Hi, my name is Lynn and I’m a millennial.

I’m here to share my views as a millennial in the PR industry today; looking at things from a whole new perspective, sharing my trail of thoughts on being a millennial, and what I face when I’m out and about on the job as a PR consultant. 

Millennials – born in an era when social media grows together with us; the Internet is part of our everyday life; the mention of Apple refers to the most sought-after brand and not the fruit; and Google is our bible, where you can find just about anything and everything with a few taps on your keyboard.

I am of this era; I am blessed in every way. My seniors keep harping on how things were so different back in the 90s, where workspaces were private cubicles and open concepts were unknown, and how technology was an assistant not the principle of work life. Nevertheless, nothing can stop society’s desire to achieve greater goals given the many channels of access within reach today. We, the millennials, want things fast, easy, stress-free, simple. A good income to support our lifestyle is a high priority, hence perhaps why there are so many start-ups owned by young people who want to do things their way, the new way, and also why younger employees demand high salaries.

Taking a different approach though, I would like to emphasise the importance of acquiring experience and not to focus on the salary. With experience, one will be able to climb higher, by going through various levels within the industry, working with a variety of personalities, appreciating the ins and outs of different tasks and consistently learning from mentors along the way. I believe in taking every opportunity as a chance to learn: if you fall, get back up and move forward to more opportunities, this is a mantra I have implanted in my mind for the longest time. We are not 100% perfect, so it’s okay to make mistakes. What is important though, is that I learn and make mental notes for self-improvement along the way and remind myself not to make the same mistake again.

Work is where I face many challenges. We are constantly bombarded with negative references and images such as “Millennials can’t work”, “Millennials are so full of themselves”, “Millennials... etc., etc. This negativity is reflected in almost all blogs and articles about work cultures written by our predecessor generations. You hear this lament from people around you and on talk shows. I almost think that it is what most of our colleagues believe, and it is always on the tip of their tongues. I mostly fear that if I fail to deliver in my work, then my paranoia takes over and I imagine those phrases running through their minds.

It makes me pause, whenever someone picks on the negative instead of looking at the bright side of millennials, and trust me, I may be young, but I’ve encountered a lifetime of instances whereby we are criticised and chided for our lack of everything, and here I am, standing in front of you, a 21-year-old millennial.

I have officially been in the PR industry for only five months, where everything is about perception. I, however, have decided not to let this affect me. After all, the PR industry has seen the need to go digital and the advantage of being a tech savvy millennial has saved the day for us.

No one will be more familiar with social media than us, considering we grew up with it. I’m of the habit of checking all social platforms every 1 to 2 hours to ensure that I’m updated on the latest trends or news, which plays a big role in the PR industry today. Social media is transforming the newspaper business, making it easily accessible to view and carry around. Advertisements are all paid-to-go on social platforms and advertisers, influencers and blogger reviews are considered news. All these with the help of social media have really turned the Public Relations industry 180 degrees.

From reaching and hitting our target PR Value via hard copy news, to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook postings and simple write-ups from the online media that are now considered hard news, the audience that individuals and organisations are targeting are all on social media platforms, 24/7, and that’s where we millennials are.

What would happen if the PR industry does not change together with the digital world? All I can say is, you’d be missing out on a lot, and it’s time to step up the game. Coming from a Public Relations background, as I look at how social media has a place in almost everything we do, I am beginning to understand that millennials, like me, are lucky enough to have everything within the reach of our hand. We are given the opportunity to get data and information within hours, where before, the research would probably take days to be completed.

In many ways, it is really going to take a few more years for employers, the industry, and the rest of society to adapt to the ease that technology can provide. It may seem unbelievable but it’s happening right now. Look at how the world is evolving and evolve around it; don’t get left behind and do find a way to let us millennials make a change. We need you, and vice versa, you need us too.

Speaking on behalf of millennials around the world, please don’t pre-form your opinion and perception of us the way many others do. Instead, appreciate our ability and embrace our difference. Communication barriers may be a challenge but we are not aliens. We are the future of a global nation.

 -End-


The Big PR Drivers for 2017

An Opinion Article By Janitha Sukumaran, Founder & Consulting Director of Rantau

Moving into 2017, one of the key drivers for PR will be reputation management as many companies seek to reinforce or regain consumer and stakeholder trust and gain higher acceptance. Consumers have been highly indulgent of companies and brands in the last few years, which have become more convivial in their communications approach, often relying on bells and whistles in order to fight for more likes and shares over competitors.

However, the last 18 months have left an even bitter taste in the mouths of astute consumers who have been inundated with bad communication and mismanagement of information, such as the political-financial scandals from the continued debacle of Malaysia’s very own 1MDB to Wells Fargo’s fake accounts; the widespread propagation of fake news  by two warring political figures and their overzealous keyboard warriors; exaggerated headlines that are meant to grab the attention instead of delivering the message; plus the idea that everyone on Social Media and Whatsapp are media owners who cannot resist sharing every unverified conspiracy theory, anonymous message and hoax, with everyone on their news feed / contact list.

It also saw a high number of well recognisable brand disasters such as Samsung’s explosive year, a perceived liberal and conservative bias Facebook team, the epic let down of the over-hyped Marvel’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Johnson and Johnson’s product content confessions, Volkswagens’ emissions omissions, the East-West non-uniform pricing by Maxis and Yahoo’s breach of privacy rights.

Consumers are generally frustrated with politicians, companies and brands that fail to deliver on promises, mislead and even outrightly lie. Consumers are weary and they have started to criticise every product, service and spokesperson they are exposed to and at a click of a button, every negative thought, feeling and experience are shared with an entire unmonitored audience and then reshared and retweeted.

The psyche of consumers have changed, and marketers are going to have to relearn and re-evaluate the relationship that consumers have with their brands today, in order to move forward. They need to stop talking about what is so special about themselves and their brands, and start asking what motivates consumers to buy and follow.

Younger consumers are steadily moving away from “establishment” and are looking at inviting companies and brands into their lives that display a higher respect for people, animals and the environment. This group in particular are also more critical about politics having a stake or say in the governing of companies, and are more likely to opt for smaller, anti-status-quo products and services, that appear more wholesome and honest. It is also a generation that is fast influencing the choices of other consumers by being more vocal online, in the home and on the streets.

The reputations of more companies and brands are being tested for their integrity, reliability and credibility. Companies that are willing  to open themselves up to consumers are the ones who are going to capture market share and build loyalty. Truth is a commodity that will be traded as companies fight competitors to come up as the more trustworthy and ethical option.

The big question for these companies as they strive to develop their reputations, and put forward their corporate and brand messages, is how best to communicate with its audience.

While engagement with the media will continue, especially in the marketing of products and services, it may not always be the best way to deal with reputation management as the company is at the mercy of interpretations and edits of newsrooms and bloggers. Often a corporation’s message gets buried in a larger story or is completely missed. Ultimately, the best way to control the direction of a story and ensure that the message is not lost, is to tell it yourself and tell it directly to the persons you want to hear it.

One of the easiest tool available that will allow companies to be in charge of their storytelling is video, yet until recently, the high ‘production’ cost of doing a video kept companies from using it more often. It is a different ball game now as the smartphone in our pockets have the shooting and editing capabilities to produce TV worthy recordings of an interview, talk or even an event. PR practitioners no longer need to wait days, weeks or even months before accessing videos to be shared with a wider audience, as it is now available immediately and can be uploaded onto corporate websites and social media platforms within minutes.

Broadcasting to an audience and engaging in real-time is the future in reeling in consumers emotionally, as it is the next best thing to actually talking with someone over coffee, and the fastest way to enter their life. Committing to real-time communications however, comes at a price – the need to be transparent and the need for speed.

Responding to consumer’s reactions every time something is shared, is important in crafting and building reputation. It is no longer a question of posting and then ‘going dark’, especially to unenthusiastic comments. All questions and feedback should be welcomed as a sign of consumer interest. Preparation is necessary, so PR practitioners will have to ensure that whoever manages the communication platforms are armed with suitable answers and can troubleshoot potential negativity. Bureaucracy and approval processes must be minimised and more autonomy given to communicators to manage consumer’s concerns more effectively. Humanising the communications will take a company a longer way, so perhaps it is time to throw in some wit and humour into online conversations.

2017 will see a growth in video as more companies adopt it as a communications tool to control and manage messaging to steer reputation. Video communications will also pave the way for live streaming, which should see higher uptake towards the end of 2017 and into 2018, as companies become more comfortable and confident about opening themselves up to their audience. Livestream will require companies and brands to further invest in the bandwidth and conversation capabilities of their communication platforms to cope with volume and traffic, which once again will take time.

It is important, however, that when you decide on this route, everyone must be onboard, especially the speaker. Sometimes, it may be necessary to realise that the CEO may not be the best spokesperson for video and live streaming if she/he is not articulate or does not have a likeable, approachable and trustworthy persona. In the absence of a suitable spokesperson, it may be best to keep live streaming aside and focus on video with alternative content to carry the message, as you only get one take when you go live. This could be in the form of product testimonials by respected brand advocates, financial reviews by analysts, employees who are passionate about a charity or cause the company supports, tutorials on product usage using animations or caricatures. Be creative, be bold, but hold back on excessive trimmings and instead focus on the messaging that have been set out to establish a company’s image.

A corporate and brand reputation takes years to build, but these days all it takes, is just one eager and upset consumer with a social media account and it can be damaged in minutes and spiral out-of-control in a matter of hours. Without quick response and fast decisions made, the damage can take years to fix. Whether in-house or an external agency, PR practitioners must be allowed to act and direct a communication problem along pre-approved guidelines without waiting for a C-suite meeting to be convened to discuss next steps. In the long run, for reputation to be effectively managed, PR practitioners must have a seat in the boardroom and sufficient face-to-face time with the CEO.

Reputation management, video content and livestream. We are definitely going to see more companies take charge when presenting information that can shape the way consumers and stakeholders perceive them. A company’s bottom line is linked to its reputation. Reputation plunges, revenue dives. Reputations that are not properly managed will eventually kill off a company or brand.

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Brand references:

How Wells Fargo can dig out of a financial crisis all its own
http://www.prweek.com/article/1410820/wells-fargo-dig-financial-crisis-its-own

Stop Using Galaxy Note 7, Samsung’s Exploding Battery Nightmare Continues http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2016/09/10/stop-using-the-samsung-galaxy-note-7/#5c7abcec4a16

Facebook needs more ‘human bias’
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/10/opinions/facebook-bias-accusation-rushkoff/

‘BATMAN V SUPERMAN’ IS A TOTAL TRAINWRECK

The much-hyped superhero slugfest is extremely loud and incredibly gauche.
http://www.maxim.com/entertainment/batman-v-superman-dan-of-justice-review

Johnson & Johnson Struggles With Brand Image
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/276722/johnson-johnson-struggles-with-brand-image.html

Why Volkswagen’s PR Disaster Was Totally Predictable
http://fortune.com/2015/11/03/volkswagen-pr-disaster/

Maxis under fire over ‘unfair’ mobile price plans
http://www.prweek.com/article/1389780/maxis-fire-unfair-mobile-price-plans

Yahoo reveals hack affected more than 1 billion users
https://www.prdaily.com/crisiscommunications/Articles/21960.aspx


Milo Run: Where’s the 2km mark?

by Jfree

Preparation

27 May 2016 marked my first ever 5km run with my colleagues from Rantau. The first thing that went through my mind after paying RM30 to participate in the MILO Breakfast Day 2016 at Putrajaya was “What the hell did I got myself into?” as I have not run at all for almost 1 year. Am I gonna faint? Am I gonna roll? What am I going to do?

Here was a list of things I planned to do to prepare myself for the 5km run.

  1. Wake up at 5.30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a 1.2km run around my neighbourhood.
  2. Go for a jog at 6.30pm after work on Tuesday and Thursday.

But this was what I did instead:-

  1. 5.30am, still sleeping.
  2. Went jogging for ONE day only.

Come 24 May, I realised there was only two more days left to the D-Day (Doomsday) and I was not fully or even half prepared for the run. There I was while enjoying my chicken rice lunch, thinking that I’ll be dead after the first kilometer. After much thought about what will happen to me, I finally came to the conclusion to  - Mati pon matilah!

D-Day

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It was 5.45am when Daisy and her husband, Eric picked up my brother and I to Putrajaya - just in case I decided to give up and forfeit the RM30. Knowing the Chinese in me, I have been planning to get my RM30 worth of Milo drinks on that day itself rather than planning on how to keep my pace during the 5km run.

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We then met up with Tania at the start line while waiting for Julia and Brigitte whom we did not met until 1 hour after the race. As we were waiting for the run to start, Tania pushed us (Daisy, Martin and me) to approx. 13th row from the starting line. I have never been that close to the start even during my previous fun / night run. Why? To avoid getting langgar from the back laaaaaaaa….. (wasn’t that how Mufasa died?)

Anyway, the run started and Tania ran ahead until we were unable to even see her shadow anymore. After 1.5km, I was then left alone when my brother ran ahead of me, telling me that he would wait for me at the 2km mark. I replied to him,“Proceed” thinking that there was only 500m away and I was sure to catch up with him.

I kept running, walking, jogging and running but never did the 2km mark appear. Then guess what appeared? A sign stating “1KM LEFT TO GO”.

With that, I managed to finish the entire route with one main thought in my head, “Where’s the 2km mark?”.

A special shout out to my colleagues from Rantau for inviting me to join the MILO Breakfast Day in Putrajaya with them. Based on my experience, here are some feedback and thoughts after completing the race:

  1. Great pre and post run activities organised by Milo
  2. Kids went missing on that day and several ‘Lost & Found’ announcements were made at the event. Parents, please take care of your belongings (kids).
  3. Milo from the Milo truck is proven the BEST!
  4. Daisy lost her banana. We’ll make sure at our next run, there will be extra banana for her.
  5. Future run organisers, please do me a favour and put a 2km signage? PLEASE LAH.

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The Beginning of My Journey at Rantau!

Hi everyone, this is Masterbuilder. I am deeply sadden to inform you that this will be the last blog entry from me *sobbing away*. As my internship has come to an end, I would like to dedicate this post to my team and everyone who has been reading my blog. Bear with me as I share my three months journey at Rantau PR.

“If you are living the moments, time flies and if you are hating the moment, time stops”. The truth is twelve weeks interning at Rantau just ended in a blink of an eye. I could still remember the first day of my internship when I bumped into my supervisor, Daisy in the elevator. Started my first day being all nervous since I don’t know what to expect. Later on, I met my colleagues and internship partner, Matthew for the very first time and little did I know that these people will be playing an important part of my life. For the past three months, I had worked with everyone on different projects and gained huge experience through various given task. I recalled attending my first event (EurAsia) and got the opportunity to sit inside a Lotus Exige to recently experiencing a live TV interview at NTV7. All these are definitely ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.

My next following months will be a rather sad one. I am so used to getting ready in the morning and being all enthusiastic going to work. Things won't be the same now. For the past three months, we’ve been going out for lunch, drinking session, playing badminton and attending events together. It definitely felt great spending time with them. Most of the time, their conversations and jokes are very entertaining. I am definitely going to miss all these moments.

What I’ve learned

Being an intern at Rantau has been a blessed opportunity to me. As an intern, I learned so much and experienced the best moments in the PR industry. Now you must be wondering, how much can you learn? Contradicting to what most people’s belief that internship usually involves only photocopying, filing and stapling, I was actually given the chance to do an actual PR consultant’s work. Every day was a learning opportunity for me as I was given different task each week.  I’ve been doing various task ranging from how to monitor news, how to pitch an interview to editors, how to draft a proper news release/newsletter/feature article and others. The best part is, I was guided by colleagues to complete each task and I was able to understand the PR job scope because of those tasks that have been given to me. Doing all those tasks for three months, I realized that I really do enjoy doing Public relations. Although the industry is challenging, but my team had showed me that with proper understanding, attitude and effort, everyone can be a good PR practitioner.  I learned that I am far from perfect but I want to improve myself to perfection.

Advice from the wise:

Skills can be taught and trained, what matters most is the attitude” – Daisy Sidhu

If you want to be a great PR consultant, present your work as if you’re aiming to win an award” – Julia Nicholas

Every day there is something new to learn in the PR industry, it is whether you choose to learn it or leave it” – Jeffrey Loh

10 Things that I will Miss

  1. Coming to work every day and to see everyone in the office.
  2. Learning about PR from everyone.
  3. Doing my daily task (News monitoring, media calls and research)
  4. Going out for lunch with the team (From Bak Kut Teh – Papparich – Chinese Shop – Kanna Curry House – Mamak)
  5. Going out with team for event or activities
  6. Listening to everyone’s joke and laughter especially Mini Boss!
  7. Watching Tania (Senpai/Noona) gets hyper from a bottle of Coca-Cola
  8. Singing in Martin’s car (Our Brotherhood Productions)
  9. Playing darts
  10. Vaping with Matthew

 

To me, Rantau is filled with strong and talented people working towards a common goal.  Everyone takes their job seriously but at the same time, they know how to keep their mental and emotional state healthy. They are not living zombies that faced the computer writing press releases and calling the media monotonous. Everything they did, is filled with passion and soul.  I really enjoy the work culture here as everyone is willing to guide and advice on how to improve my work. From a guy that knew nothing about Public relations industry, I can proudly say that I do know what is Public Relations now. If I were given a choice, I will definitely continue working at Rantau rather than going back to studies.

Final message to the team

Hey everyone, I hope you all enjoyed working with me as much as I did. These three months at Rantau had nurtured me into a better individual and I am grateful for the time and effort invested on. Thank you for the trust, faith, and advice that you all had given me. Truly, there is no place out there that I rather be besides being here at Rantau and my internship wouldn’t be awesome without you guys. Thank you for all the advice and guidance throughout my internship period at Rantau. Just remember that I am only one call away, whether its work or hangout, I will definitely be there you all J

I wish Rantau PR all the best in everything and continue being one of the best Public Relations agency in Malaysia! Go Team Rantau!

Remember in my first blog, I mentioned that every skill that I’ve learned is equivalent to one Lego brick? Here are my collected Lego bricks to all of you.1.png

“I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends turned into family and dreams turned into reality”

Sincerely,

Ryan Lee a.k.a Masterbuilder

 


Enter the Batman

The name's Wayne, Bruce Wayne (and if that wasn't obvious enough), I guess you could say that I am an avid Batman enthusiast.

Rather low-key by nature (I'm really not), I tend to stick to the shadows (oh please, I love the limelight) in search of evil doers while carefully evading my mentors' cross-hairs. OH! Have I mentioned that I'm one of the new interns here at Rantau?

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For those of you reading this, you must understand that, you are really bored and I have never blogged ever, hence, I'm clueless as to how this works. Nevertheless, I am the Batman, so this is no biggie.

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 If you're still here for some reason, please laugh for my sake. But seriously, do note that I’m making this entries because it’s the best opportunity to show off to other interns...
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(*cough* losers *cough*)

...and to possibly give future Rantau interns a glimpse of the awesomeness I'm experiencing here at Rantau.

Billionaire by day & Superhero by night

Using my supersonic sonar vision, (cool, no?) I have observed that Rantau plays host to a diversified spectrum of clients, whose wants and needs differ from one to another. In the mere two weeks, I’ve been here, I’ve discovered that no amount of time spent in my beloved college classroom was going to prepare me for this: the real world.

You see, this hit me hard, because being the billionaire Bruce Wayne requires an insane amount of professionalism. Likewise, with Rantau, that business side of Bruce Wayne made his debut. I had the awesome privilege of attending Crowdo’s launch on the 11th! An eye opener for sure, for this side of PR required me to be extra professional, dignified and a little reserved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it just hit me like a durian on the head (ouch?) because all I have learnt of PR being easy-peasy , fun and dandy, was really put into perspective but, I think it’s pretty cool! All suited up, looking fly, conversing with the media, live action of my first press conference ever….yeah, corporate comm. is pretty sweet.

The next night I attended SIC’s media appreciation night (oh yeah that’s right, I attended two events in my first two weeks ;)) and this was a different ball game all together. The reserved side I was talking about earlier? Yup, that’s gone.

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It’s not that professionalism is gone altogether, it just takes a different meaning. SIC’s event made me realize that professionalism doesn’t exist on a uniform level (not that I didn’t know that already, it’s just different when you see it up close okay! Okay? Okay!). This event brought to light that, professional relationships like my boss’ with her colleagues was really what made this event a breeze. The light hearted yet professional flow of communication between the good folks over at SIC and her, showed me that PR isn’t just about making someone or something or somewhere look good. It’s all about the professional relationships that propels the success of someone, or something or somewhere.

Hence, Rantau reflects how I am Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night. Professionalism’s two different meanings eloquently defined by an individual’s change in personality.

Before I go, here’s some of the snaps from the SIC event :

Well then folks, I guess that concludes your brief peek into the life of a Rantau intern. Please stay tuned, for more entries from Rantau's Resident Batman

Bruce W.