IABC Indonesia Conference Towards 2023:
Communicating for Impact
IABC Indonesia Conference focuses on discussions on sustainability, particularly ESG, DEI, technological advances, and investment.
Jakarta, 6 December 2022 – As part of the world’s largest community of Public Relations (PR) and Business Communicators , the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Indonesia recently navigated the trends and direction of communication strategy in Indonesia based on the turbulent issues in the business world as well as pressure to transform in Sustainability and Technological Advancement .
The IABC Indonesia conference with the theme “Towards 2023: Communicating for Impact” aims to provide insight, knowledge, and networking opportunities and discuss communications that impact and provide added value to the company’s business development.
Elvera N. Makki, ABC, SCMP, President of IABC Indonesia , stated, “Together with IABC, we want the role of PR and Communications to be more strategic for companies where the IABC community and members work, whether in the public, private, consulting or non-governmental sectors. Data from IABC indicates that around 436 million Google search results discuss ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) under the Sustainability umbrella, so this topic is one of the important discussions at the IABC Indonesia Conference.”
She continued, “The challenge is to improve the capabilities of Public Relations (PR) and business communicators to help companies find their ESG goals, especially what their consumers and employees want. With research, social media listening, dan media monitoring, it is hoped that PR can channel community aspirations about the company’s role in being involved in social issues and then help create sustainability programs and convey them to internal and external parties of the company.”
The IABC Indonesia Conference presents two (2) Keynote Addresses, two (2) Panel sessions, two (2) Special Appearances, two (2) Masterclasses, and eight (8) Workshops. The uniqueness of this event is the selection of contextual and relevant topics, credible sources, and experts in their fields, including PR experts from abroad. This makes the IABC Indonesia Conference provide new insights and networking opportunities with added value on an international scale for participants.
Cylvie Nuraini, Founder and CEO 0f Aurum Group , stated, “As a business and management consultant, Aurum Group helps companies in Indonesia run businesses that also have a social impact on society. We are happy and proud to be part of this IABC conference because it is aligned with our business mission.”
The IABC Indonesia Conference was opened with a Keynote Address from Suzy Hutomo, Co-owner and Executive Chairperson of The Body Shop Indonesia.. Its commitment to running a sustainable business has been ingrained and aligned in communication activities with its consumers since the beginning of The Body Shop (TBS) was established in Indonesia, “It is not easy to remain committed to voicing Environment, Social, and Governance, but we strive to move forward with a legacy of values – this precious value. We also invite consumers to jointly make changes in behavior that are pro to nature conservation.” Until now, TBS has collected 1 million bottles that have been transformed into recycled ones. Regarding gender equality, TBS has 73% female employees and 54% leadership team.
In terms of technological advancement, Telkomsel Indonesia’s VP of Corporate Communication, Saki Hamsat Bramono, was present and explained the company’s strategy for increasing the role of ESG in the company’s overall business processes. “We have a Jaga Bumi program with various initiatives that have real impacts, including efforts to balance emission values (carbon offsets), digitize mangrove forest areas, and waste management which is a program to recycle waste SIM cards made from plastic materials such as starter packs and SIM card shells. Into new non-single-use products, including smartphone holders and pavement blocks, in collaboration with startup Plustik. We will continue to intensify and develop similar innovative efforts.”
It’s different from the development of Metaverse, how this new world with advanced technology provides opportunities for communication practitioners to interact with generation Z consumers, “The combination of Augmented Reality (AR) Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) produces Metaverse, a living platform that uses emoji and avatars represent individuals,” said Primo Rizky, Content Director of the WIR Group which focuses on providing solutions for the Metaverse ecosystem and O2O Commerce.
IABC is a non-profit association for communication practitioners and professionals, including Public Relations, Corporate Affairs, Business Communicators, Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainability, and Government Relations, to unite professional disciplines on a global scale and share innovative best practices through experience, networking, and education.
“Together with members around the world, consisting of 8,000 members, 100 chapters worldwide, 600 international volunteer leaders, and more than 1,000 knowledge sources, we want IABC Indonesia members to improve their skills and abilities, so they can contribute strategically to the organizations where they work and have a significant impact on companies in pursuing their business goals”, said Elvera N. Makki, President of IABC who is also the Founder and CEO of VMCS Advisory Indonesia..
From the international community, he continued, there are various parameters and rankings related to countries with the best implementation of Sustainability, including Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, where we can learn from and adopt innovative steps relevant to Indonesia. “If a global survey from the World Economic Forum states that 90% of executives believe in the importance of sustainability, but only about 60% have until now implemented it into a business strategy, then the challenge for communicators is how internally we can help accelerate communication and transformation within the company so that more and more ESG inclusion.” Elvera underlined.
ESG and the communication trend in 2023 is also the turmoil around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Dr. (H.C.) Prita Kemal Gani, MBA, MCIPR, APR, FIPR, Founder and CEO, LSPR Institute of Communication & Business inSpecial Appearance conveys a perspective on the gender gap, “Women have many opportunities to lead, and it is evident that more and more names are in the top structure of the organization not only in Indonesia but also in Asia.” One of the obstacles for women in pursuing their dreams is the reluctance to highlight their strengths and the absence of role models who can motivate them to keep going. In Indonesia, women’s representation in the legislature is 21.39%, with a target of at least 30%. Meanwhile, in the corporate world across countries, only 24% of women occupy middle to upper managerial positions. With impactful communication, business communicator practitioners can help women to be heard more, increase self-confidence, and get opportunities for optimal career advancement.
In the logistics world, JNE’s VP of Marketing, Eri Palgunadi, “Every aspect of the business from upstream to downstream, JNE always strives to instill goodness and responsibility, both environmental, social and governance. Operational efficiency and effectiveness determine how much we produce a business that has a positive impact, including on society.” He explained, “JNE has an Automatic Sorting Center and Gateway Systemin collaboration with leading airways in Indonesia. With a bigger, faster, and wider system – it can accommodate the capability to handle hundreds of thousands of packages per day and expand the network to more than 8000 service points throughout Indonesia to encourage the progress of MSMEs and improve the national economy. This Technological Advancement carried out by JNE certainly opens up many opportunities and is a rapid development owned by Indonesia’s leading logistics company, not only for JNE itself but also for MSMEs that are also developing. We are committed to continuing to contribute to the development and process of a sustainable business.”
One of the panelists, Manager Communication Relations & CID, PT Pertamina Hulu Indonesia, Dony Indrawan, shared about the strategy for communicating Sustainability, “The focus of Sustainability from Pertamina Hulu Indonesia follows and supports Pertamina’s Sustainability strategy towards zero emission and energy transition, by focusing on the four pillars, namely economic, innovation, social, and environmental. In communicating, it is important to convince stakeholders that Sustainability is everybody’s business, so continuous communication to raise awareness and make this a common goal is critical to success in impactful communication.”
Turning to the provincial government, the Deputy Governor of East Java, Emil Elestianto Dardak, who is currently also the President of EAROPH International (Eastern Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements), said in the Keynote Address session, “The role of the younger generation is very crucial in communicating Sustainability so that they need to take a role and cooperate in achieving their idealistic ambitions. Critical voices, when their responsibilities and burdens of life are not large, can make a significant contribution to voicing and urging ESG and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) issues to become concrete steps. Their actions must, of course, receive positive support and assistance from their seniors and are also in line with the government’s Sustainability objectives.”
The Director General of Information and Public Communication (IKP), Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Usman Kansong, said in the Special Appearance session,“Our task is to become the coordinator of national public communications, including compiling a single narrative related to government policies and programs.” At the G20 event, one of the main issues raised was the sustainable energy transition. This is a challenge and an opportunity to communicate it to the broader community and invite them to play an active role. “In the communication strategy, content is divided into tactical and strategic content, outlined in formal dissemination channels and informal education, and is participatory in nature. The combination of delivering multi-channel messages and involving the wider community is a determining factor for disseminating the government’s single narrative.”
Elvera N. Makki concluded, “The first IABC Indonesia Conference was held to provide impactful communication trends in 2023 so that IABC members, as well as the professional community of Public Relations and Business Communicators, can gain the insights and networks needed to carry out 2023 with an aligned communication strategy. With business goals. We hope this event will be useful and provide added value to the participants, and we thank all sponsors andpartners who have supported the success of this event.”
Elvera N. Makki, ABC, SCMP, inaugurated IABC Indonesia, as President of IABC Indonesia and online opened by Chair IABC International Alain Legault, MA, SCMP and Chair IABC Asia Pacific Jyoti Khan, , and Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Unowith members of the Board Directors who attended offline, Dwi Fatan Lilyana (Director of Professional Development), Jeane Niode (Director of Sponsorship and Events), Donna Priadi (Director of Strategic Partnership), Ninesiana Saragih (Director of Social Media and Content), Dian Noeh (Director of International Relations), and Wing Antariksa (Director of Professional Development – Leadership) and IABC Indonesia Distinguished Advisor Adrian Cropley, SCMP.
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