This is a bit outdated – but fun nontheless! Enjoy.

Everyone was going – and, of course, I was invited. Kehati was participating in a press conference to announce a partnership with Indonesian online gaming company UniPin. Essentially, UniPin would give Kehati a portion of every game voucher purchased – 50 rupiah, to be exact. Which comes out to less than…a penny.

Now, I’ve been to several press conferences in the US. They are usually boring affairs – lines of chairs facing a podium, a speaker or two followed by questions. There is a prevailing sense of professionalism on both sides – which dictates all interactions.

Now, here’s how’s it’s done in Jakarta.

First you arrive. The place is more like a lounge than a conference room – in fact, its in a shopping mall. An attendant greets you, offers you water. You sit, and grab..a plate. Cause, there’s a first class, catered buffet!

Take a seat in your comfortable seats. Lighting be damned – this is a party. Take a few photos to appease your bosses, but stay for the food.

I was already astounded – and then things got only crazier. In what would be a blatant form of corruption if it were done in the US, the press conference ended with…a raffle. Journalists got on stage, and screamed out answers to questions for the chance to win an IPad, and more.

My colleague, a former journalist, explained me how little freedom the corporate-controller reporters had in Indonesia – one reason she left to work in the non-profit sector. It wasn’t Government control, but more editor control, and it was more pervasive than overt. Still, the press conference – Jakarta style – was an eye opener to me. I wonder how they do it in other places. China? India?

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