GO-JEK is known for shattering conventions and getting away with it. Did it just do this again in the company’s sort of Coming Out Day last week?
It was sort of because on October 11 it joined other companies operating in the more liberal parts of the world to celebrate Diversity, which also falls on LGBTQ Awareness Day. Only instead of going whole hog on it, GO-JEK only mounted an internal campaign among its staff. It put up a gallery in its office displaying the pictures and the stories of its employees who have bravely “embraced freedom, self-acceptance and tolerance”.
The title for this internal campaign was a brave “Going All In” and one of its posters talked about embracing differences, including in sexual orientation. Yet it stopped short of using the acronym “LGTBQ”.
Even so, the campaign seems rather brave and contrarian in Indonesia, which has seen the rise of a noisy, religious Right of late.
But being brave is one thing, being myopic is another.
On the surface, Chinese ride-hailing service behemoth Didi Chuxing seems to have read the playbook on crisis management.
When it came under a barrage of criticism after a driver in its carpooling service, Hitch, raped and murdered a female passenger last Friday, it said and did what you’d expect a responsible company to do.
It deployed what industry calls the 3Rs of crisis communications. It expressed Regret — Didi extended their condolences to the grieving family and professed deep regret for their shortcoming; Reason — They humbly and touchingly admitted that the unfortunate incident happened because they prioritized growth over safety; and Remedy – They fired two high-profile executives, indefinitely suspended Hitch nationwide, and reprioritized safety in their entire operations.
The 3Rs are sufficient in most instances to neutralize criticism and allow the company to get on the road to recovery. This, however, did not happen. Instead, the criticism of Didi carries on unabated and is starting to look worse by the day.