Comms, PR and ESG in Indonesia: perspectives by Thomas Franky, Artemis Indonesia

Investors are increasingly mounting pressure on companies to comply with ESG, so how is Indonesia handling it? Thomas Franky shares more.

Comms, PR and ESG in Indonesia: perspectives by Thomas Franky, Artemis Indonesia

*Certain segments have been edited for brevity and clarity.

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and impact investing have gained significant attention lately, as investors and businesses recognize the importance of sustainable and socially responsible practices.

Speaking to Leighton Cosseboom of AC Ventures and Enricko Lukman of Content Grow on the third episode of the Comms in Asia podcast by C2 Media, Thomas Franky, CEO of digital and strategic communications Group Artemis Indonesia, shares more about the impact of ESG from a marketing and PR perspective.

What are ESG and impact investing?

ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance, is a framework for evaluating companies based on their performance in three key areas: environmental, social, and governance.

Impact investing, on the other hand, is an investment approach that seeks to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

"ESG and impact investing are not just about doing good, but also about doing well. Companies that prioritize ESG and impact tend to have better long-term performance, lower risks, and stronger relationships with their stakeholders.", shared Thomas.

ESG in Indonesia: PR perspectives

As global regulators put pressure on institutions, the companies they are investing in feel the pressure to pay more attention to ESG, especially in terms of measurement and commitment to improving their ESG practices.

This is happening in Indonesia as well, and PR professionals and media and news companies are also paying attention to the issue as well, according to Thomas.

“To me personally, as a PR professional, I’m very happy this is happening because firstly, it indicated increased concern. This will help increase more awareness and understanding of its necessity, which, secondly, can also help brands to diversify their content.”

What this means is that brands don’t have to only talk about their products or services, or management profiling and can also focus on their ESG commitments and efforts to do better for the environment.

On the grapevine: Journalists’ disdain for ESG

According to Enricko, certain segments have shared that journalists in Indonesia tend to shy away from ESG or CSR issues, which can be a challenge for companies.

To this, Thomas states that how ESG or CSR news is framed is extremely important.

“We have done this with several of our clients. We help them by focusing on the impact that their program has brought, instead of merely what they have done.”

Giving an example of a scholarship, it’s not about the company giving scholarships, but how these scholarships given have impacted their recipients.

Providing better PR and comms services for clients

Whether it’s about ESG or CSR, providing good comms services for clients will still revolve around certain core practices and concepts.

According to Thomas, the first is to understand your client’s target audience, especially for junior PR practitioners who may not understand the importance of certain practices.

“When we do media monitoring, there is a bigger picture behind it – it may seem like a trivial, administrative task, but it actually yields keen insights into how the Indonesian media works, thinks, and reacts to different situations”, shared Thomas.

The same goes for reports, be they events, media monitoring, weekly or monthly, the purpose is to find meaning behind the figures and patterns, which Artemis guides their consultants on through mentoring and coaching.

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Overall, ESG and impact investing are no longer niche concepts but mainstream practices reshaping the investment landscape.

They not only help companies to improve their environmental practices but also open a new avenue of story angles to use for press releases and campaigns.

Get the full episode for free on Spotify, Google, and Apple.

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