Shifting Perspectives: Annisa Indrayanti from SMART

Shifting Perspectives: Annisa Indrayanti from SMART

Shifting Perspectives is an interview series exploring the stories of journalists who have made the move to a career in communications. Telum spoke with Annisa Indrayanti, a communications professional in Indonesia with nearly 10 years of experience in broadcast journalism.

The breakdown:
  • Who: Annisa Indrayanti
  • Previous journalism role: Almost a decade spent in journalism in Indonesia, including roles at national television station, MNCTV
  • Current role: Corporate Communications Senior Officer, Sustainability and Communications at SMART
Tell us about your role in communications.
I shifted from the media to the public relations sector in 2018 to work for Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada (CMNP). I'm currently working in a corporate communications role at Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food (SMART), where I am responsible for developing strategic communications plans, establishing and nurturing relationships with the media and producing various communications materials.

While my role may seem simple at first glance, it is actually quite demanding, given the ever-changing nature of the business landscape.

What inspired your career change?
I had just completed a fellowship programme and had been working in journalism for nine years and contemplating my next move. While I enjoyed working in the newsroom, I felt the need to grow and expand my horizons. I also wanted to change my perspectives and learn new skills.

What differences have you observed between the two industries?
There is a noticeable difference in the work cultures between the media industry and the corporate world. In the media sector, there is a demand for swift and innovative work, owing to stringent deadlines.

Conversely, the corporate space is characterised by deliberate pacing and a hierarchical structure, driven by the necessity to maintain the company's reputation. Although effective communications holds significance in both industries, the approaches and goals differ.

How has your view of the PR industry changed since leaving journalism?
The world of public relations is more complex than I initially thought. When making decisions, it is crucial to consider a range of factors and anticipate their long-term consequences.

As a journalist, I believed I had a comprehensive understanding of everything. However, my perspective changed when I transitioned to working at a company.

I realised there is still so much I don't know. I am continuously learning and gaining new insights from different angles. It has become evident that maintaining a good reputation is a challenging task with far-reaching consequences.

Having worked in the media, I understand what journalists need. I put myself in their shoes and consider their interests and needs to help me with my work. Ultimately, both parties have complementary roles, so maintaining mutual respect is essential.

Now that you’re on the 'other side', what advice do you have for journalists?
We are currently experiencing a digital transformation. When I worked in journalism, information sources were limited. The media is a major source of information for society. However, with the rise of social media, information has become much more varied and misinformation might spread quicker.

Ultimately, the role of a journalist has become more important than ever before, so it is vital that media practitioners continue to serve as the fourth pillar of democracy. Journalists should provide trustworthy information and not be swayed by emerging trends.

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