Buddy Spotlight - Meet Fajar Handoko

February 7, 2024
  |  by 
Bud Communications

Get ready to meet Fajar, our main man in Indonesia! Fajar's been immersed in the martech and enterprise tech world for 6 years, spending the last 2.5 building valuable relationships with media on behalf of Bud and our clients. He's passionate about sharing his knowledge and loves learning as much as he teaches. In this interview, Fajar will pull back the curtain on what got him here, revealing what's worked for him in connecting with the media and what, from his perch, are trends keeping him on his toes regarding the future of the industry. So, join us as we delve into this dynamic sector, discover its future, and maybe even pick up some actionable tips along the way.

Can you tell us about your journey in PR and what initially drew you to working with tech clients?

I began my PR journey in 2018, initially overwhelmed by remote work and building journalist relationships. However, as I delved into working with clients in data analytics and other technical fields, I found myself captivated. Understanding the intricacies of their services was not only fascinating but also incredibly eye-opening.

I moved to Bud in 2021 and this transition deepened my appreciation for the complexities of technology and its impact on various industries. What truly stood out was the opportunity to forge meaningful connections with journalists, many of whom have become cherished friends. For me, PR has been a journey of growth and discovery, and it offers insights into cutting-edge innovations in tech.

Can you describe your approach to establishing and nourishing long-term relationships with journalists in the tech space?

Typically, I start by researching journalists covering pertinent industry topics, examining their past articles and preferred communication channels. During the pitch, I offer insights on why the topic would engage their readers. Maintaining regular contact is key, even if it's not work-related—discussing hobbies and shared interests helps nurture relationships. Lastly, flexibility is crucial to accommodate their evolving needs, demonstrating adaptability and a willingness to prioritise their concerns.

Can you tell us about a pitch where you faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge, but your ingenuity and persistence resulted in victory for your client?

I recall an instance when I reached out to a prominent publication in Indonesia regarding a marketing tech-related story. It all started with a casual response to one of the journalist's WhatsApp statuses about cats, on a Friday night no less. This led to a spontaneous discussion about the local ramifications of TikTok's ban on businesses. Despite being out with friends, I swiftly researched the topic, finding relevant insights to support our conversation. Ultimately, this exchange resulted in securing an opportunity for one of our martech clients, much to their satisfaction. Opportunities can happen anywhere, anytime and we just need to be ready to see it and act accordingly.

How do you keep yourself informed about the ever-changing trends and insights in the marketing tech industry, given your focus in this area?

I'm always on top of the latest stories by subscribing to newsletters from various publications. It's just so much more convenient than hopping from one website to another. Plus, I make sure to catch up with my journo friends regularly, just shooting them a quick message to see what's buzzing and what stories they're diving into lately. It's not just about staying friendly with them; it's also about getting a feel for where our clients might fit into the conversation. It's like keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry while also building those important connections.

Looking at the trends you've observed in the martech space, what makes you excited for the future?

It seems that customer experience (CX) is poised to take centre stage this year, transitioning from being merely an option to becoming a business imperative. With the surge of e-commerce in Southeast Asia (and TikTok comeback in Indonesia at the end of last year) and the increasing pace of globalisation, competition has reached unprecedented levels. In this landscape, CX emerges as a critical differentiator, enabling brands to distinguish themselves, capture customer attention, and foster loyalty amidst a saturated market.