August 4, 2019, was a bleak Sunday for residents in three provinces at once, namely Jakarta, Banten, and West Java. The three provinces experienced a mass blackouts. The crisis that befell PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero) has become a valuable lesson. Including for its PR practitioners.
BALI, PRINDONESIA.CO – PR INDONESIA invited Dwi Surya Abdullah, Vice President Public Relations of PLN, to share his experience in front of the participants of the 5th PR INDONESIA Jamboree (JAMPIRO) Corporate Public Relations (PR) class in Bali on Wednesday (30/10/2019).
Speaking of crisis, this electricity supply company interpreted it as a condition of customer comfort disruption. PLN divides the cause into two groups. First, the crisis that is not identified because of a natural disaster. Second, identified crisis, such as when the primary energy supply is hampered due to high tides so that the traffic of the coal truck transporting vessels is obstructed, equipment damage, power outages, work accidents, to crises caused by legal problems. “This condition can have an impact on the deficit of trust that affects the company’s policies and business activities,” Dwi said.
The impact is enormous. Dwi and the PLN PR team carried out a number of strategies to increase trust and restore reputation. The first confectionary is to mobilize all available resources to immediately recover the electricity network that is cut off. Next, PR must found out the background information on the cause of the problem. “This is important because this message will be delivered by the company spokesperson to the public,” he said.
If the cause is known, as soon as possible convey the real condition honestly and openly to the public. Then, determine which media will be used as a medium for delivering information. Prioritize using company internal media, both official pages, and social media. After maximizing all internal media platforms, then hold a press conference session by inviting conventional media.
Keep in mind that in a crisis situation, customers don’t need information about the cause of the problem. What they want to know is a form of corporate responsibility in the form of compensation for the losses incurred. “People need the electricity to be on, they don’t need to know (in detail) the cause of the problem,” he said.
The restoration of the company’s good name can’t be only done when a crisis occurred but also after the crisis subsided. The trick is, PR conducts monitoring and issue potential continuously. Manage good relations with the media. Make sure they deliver the message from the company as a whole without reducing or even exaggerating. Meanwhile, to avoid the impression of being defensive, the information doesn’t merely have to come from the internal of the company. Dwi concluded, “Information can also be delivered by third parties such as experts who are competent in their fields.” (ais)
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