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Global plane, train builder chooses Cebu


Bombardier Transportation, the global giant that builds planes and trains, has chosen to open its finance center in Cebu, the progressive resort city in central Philippines, to service the multinational company’s international operations.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia and acting Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama led local officials, representatives from the business community, Cebu-based diplomats, and members of the Cebu media in gracing the grand inauguration of the Bombardier Finance Center at the TGU building in Cebu City’s upscale Asiatown IT Park on April 27, 2009.

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The search began in August 2008 months after top Bombardier officials mandated the formation of a finance shared service center to reduce cost and increase the quality of financial information.

A team scouted several countries in Europe and Asia. They considered, deliberated and evaluated various qualified places. And Cebu stood out as the best place to combine work and leisure.

“Best tourist attractions, presence of people with good English skills, cost-efficiency and political stability are some of the major factors that led the team to choose the Queen City of the South to be Bombardier’ Transportation’s Global finance service center,” said Kennerth Lundgren, head of the financial services project, change management, ERP and Process Improvement.

An initial 25 Filipinos are now being trained to serve as the finance center staff. Search for competent accountants and finance wizards would continue to complete the planned 150 workforce. After two months of training, they will be brought to the United Kingdom for work shadowing. By October 2009, all of Bombardier’s finance operations will be transferred to Cebu.

Doris Mongaya of PRWorks Inc. pointed out that the Bombardier decision came about even before the onset of the global economic crisis that hit First World countries badly. “This means Cebu has what it takes to compete for the relocation of vital facilities of global giants that now need to streamline operations to increase efficiency.”

PRWorks Inc. is the sister company of the newly-formed Konseptworks that won the event management contract for the grand inauguration of the Bombardier finance center. A result of Mongaya’s partnership with Bong Abela of Concepts and More, the new company focuses on corporate events and marketing for international and national companies looking at the vast market in Cebu and Southern Philippines.

PRWorks Inc., in particular, takes pride in its excellent access to local governments, the local business community, and local media that has made it the favored local partner of Asia’s event and PR giant Teamasia, Globe Telecom, Sanofi-Aventis and SPC Power Corp.

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Offense better than defense in PR crisis


By PRWORKS Inc.

Many corporate crises stem from attacks in the news media on the reputation of the corporation or its top officials or its services and products. The attacks could come from competitors, the media, the labor union, or government agencies.

When this happens, some corporate leaders lamely respond to the attack, just stay silent and hope it goes away, or surrender to the pressure.

Unfortunately, the news media is primarily driven by allegations. The people who accuse or raise damaging issues against a corporate entity shape the news coverage. A straight news story, though written supposedly in an “objective” manner, is usually biased favoring the allegation.

Note that many news leads or the first paragraph of a news item are usually about an allegation then alludes to the other side somewhere down the story. Worse, “the other side” sometimes merely says you could not be contacted for comment as of press time in an attempt to make a news story look objective.

Often, when a reporter calls for your comment on an allegation, the story is already written and he just wants to complete it with your side on it.

Newspaper readers often readily accept the allegation as the truth and deem “the other side” as mere excuses unless the one reading is the accused or knows the real truth.

One might decide not to respond in the hope that the media coverage on the allegations would go away.

When the attack is isolated and buried deep in the papers, this might be the right thing to do.

But often, controversial issues raised against a corporation get follow up stories and later comments by columnists and radio commentators. And we are conditioned to believe that innocent people don’t run and hide from problems.

Thus, hesitation or a “no comment” would raise suspicion. Silence, in the minds of many, is guilt. A lame reply to a baseless attack makes news readers doubt the confidence of the accused in his own innocence.

But waging a vigorous defense unfortunately entails more resources and far less efficient than going into the offensive. Soldiers exert more effort digging trenches, barricades and barbwires than crawling near and tossing a grenade into an enemy machine gun nest.

By going into the offensive, one forces his adversaries to stop or take a step backward to assess what happened and take defensive measures. They should also realize that you are not a pushover and they picked on the wrong guy. Their media campaign won’t be a walk in the park.

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Globe Telecom taps PRWorks for Vis-Min coverage of Annual Stockholders’ Meeting


TWELVE journalists from Visayas and Mindanao again covered the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting of Globe Telecom held at the Intercontinental Hotel Manila in Makati City last April 2, 2009.

Four business writers and editors from Cebu City, five from Davao City, one from Bacolod City, and two from Iloilo City arrived in Manila with Globe Telecom Cebu’s Jerry Yntig on April 1, said PRWORKS Inc. Managing Director Doris Mongaya.

Doris Mongaya (seated, second from left) poses with journalists from Visayas and Mindanao who covered the recent Globe Telecom Annual Stockholders' Meeting.

Doris Mongaya (seated, second from left) poses with journalists from Visayas and Mindanao who covered the recent Globe Telecom Annual Stockholders' Meeting.

During the press conference after the stockholders’ meeting, Globe Telecom President and CEO Gerardo C. Ablaza, Jr. announced that the company recorded its highest quarterly revenue performance in the fourth quarter with service revenues of P16.3 billion, up 5% quarter-on-quarter and surpassing the previous best of P16.1 billion from the same period last year.”

Globe Telecom “maintained its momentum in wireless subscriber acquisitions by adding one million SIMs, ending the year with a total subscriber base of 24.7 million, up 22% from a year ago. The Company’s mass market brand, TM, led the growth, accounting for 70% of the 4.4 million net additions in 2008, bringing in more than 3 million incremental SIMs.

The Company also registered its strongest broadband subscriber take-up this quarter, driven by healthy demand for its wireless broadband offer. This period’s net additions of about 55,000 exceeded the performance

of the first three quarters of the year, enabling the Company to close the year with a broadband subscriber base of 234,000, almost
double that of 2007.”

Having recognized Visayas and Mindanao as a vast market growth area, Globe Telecom has continued inviting journalists from Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao to cover its annual stockholders’ meeting.

Globe Telecom board chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (right) poses with deputy CEO Ernest L Cu, and President and CEO Gerardo C. Ablaza Jr.

This year, Globe Telecom tapped the services of  PRWORKS Inc., the preferred PR and events agency in the Visayas and Mindanao, as its partner in making the nationwide coverage possible.

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Globe Telecom board chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (right) poses with deputy CEO Ernest L. Cu, and President and CEO Gerardo C. Ablaza Jr.

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