Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Central Java: There Are Times When There Is Need To Be A Little “Craziness”

PRINDONESIA.CO | Tuesday, September 01, 2020

The leader who is known to be humble hose a rather eccentric way to educated and build public awareness about the dangers of Covid-19.

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – It is undeniable that the Covid-19 pandemic is the most difficult period for Ganjar Pranowo during his two terms as the Governor of Central Java. He admitted in front of the participants of the webinar “Catalyst Talk Vol 4: Communicate So That People Unite!” on Friday (5/29/2020).

Apart from the effort to reduce the number of cases, equally important homework is to raise public awareness to implement health protocols. Until today, that is only one of the most effective ways that can be done to stop the spread of the virus as long as a vaccine has not been found. “It is not an easy job, especially since Central Java is large,” he said.

Ganjar gave more special attention, especially after receiving a report that the awareness of the Central Java community to implement health protocol was low. The governor who is known to be active on social media concluded that this could be the problem because so far they have been inaccurate in choosing a diction that is easily understood by the community.


So, during the Adapting to New Habit (AKB) period, he chose to socialize through Covid-19 themed t-shirts. He believed that the shirt could be an effective communication and campaign tool. Moreover, the t-shirts that were produced contain many interesting sentence choices, using every day, even local language. For example, a sentence with the theme of unity “Together Against Corona”. Or, an invitation, “Always Wash Your Hands So You Don’t Get Corona Virus,”. Unique sentences such as “Wearing a Mask is Cool”, to the use of local language such as “Lagi Wabah Becik Ning Omah” (There’s an Outbreak, It Is Better at Home), and “Nyedak Keplak” (Slapped If Too Close).

This initiative received an overwhelming response. Its unique design plus a sentence that sometimes made a smile for those who read it turned out to be in demand, even to foreign countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. “We will donate the profits from selling these shirts to those affected by Covid-19 such as medical personnel and residents,” he said. He also applied similar diction selection when posting his activities on social media, a digital space that is used for publication and education. “Sometimes I need to use diction that stings and harsh so that people are alarmed,” he said. 

Another thing that concerns Ganjar is delivery. He chose to go around his bicycle while exercising in the morning, reminding residents to use loudspeakers to obey the rules of maintaining physical distancing and wearing masks. “I have to announce it to everyone, and everyone has to understand in an acceptable way,” he said. He also strived for socialization and education to the industrial level by diligently visiting factories and craftsmen to ensure their readiness to face AKB.

According to him, this effort must also be followed by sanctions. For example, do not hesitate to disperse a crowd of people who are caught not wearing masks. Or, prohibit vendors from selling if they ignore health protocols.

Ganjar also highlighted the importance of the government’s public relations role during the pandemic. Especially, related to the speed in responding to public complaints. According to him, the speed of responding and following up on complaints, especially during a pandemic, is part of the form of customer satisfaction. “I am concerned about this. I even gave selected PRs the opportunity to participate in training with journalists to learn how to convey messages that are easy for the public to understand,” he concluded. (ais)