6 July 2023


Bologna Business School‘s Hybrid MBA English Edition is a Master created to foster the professional growth of technical and middle management profiles who want to enhance their business careers. Focusing on an international vision, the study path aims to provide participants with management and leadership skills, cross-training, and a holistic view that makes them able to explore new scenarios and find the best solutions for each problem.

Built with an innovative formula based on online didactic sessions and an on-campus smart week, the Hybrid MBA English Edition makes the value of time one of the keys to its success: distance learning, didactic sessions with executives, Mentoring and Career Development tracks are designed to meet the needs of those who are already working and want an excellent work-life balance. The on-campus smart week, dedicated to lectures, company visits and hackathons, adds to the program a concrete contact with colleagues, the School and companies, to expand one’s network.

In this learning-by-doing approach, Leadership Talks are very precious: meetings, discussions with personalities from the business world, ready to talk with students, tell about their working world, and able to pass on to them practical experiences.

On June 20, at 6 p.m. via Microsoft Teams, Hybrid MBA English Edition students got to meet Marita Spera, Chief Public Affairs and Corporate Communication Officer in OTB S.p.A.

Introduced by Giorgio Prodi, director of Asia-Pacific relations for BBS and director of the Hybrid MBA English Edition, Marita Spera, a long experience in the Asian and American markets, and born into the journalism world, began a fascinating digression on the world of business communication, analyzing its different macro areas: press media relations, public relations, internal communication, digital, financial, public affairs and marketing. Each area of a big company’s communication needs special and focused care, with different attention and practices.

For marketing, communication must directly address the relationship between the product and the customer. Other areas must move in different directions. For example, to communicate a company’s values and reputation to the outside world is very important and needs dedicated strategies. Compared to Italy, the U.S. market has a stronger focus on this issue: an employee who is satisfied with the company where he or she works will be the first to communicate the company’s positive values; he or she will become its ambassador. Therefore, taking care of employees’ well-being, in parallel with good communication with all sectors of the company, becomes a key, often underestimated, to which a good manager must pay strong attention.

So, for the media, the formula for good communication with the press is based on knowing the world in which the company lives and produces, and the trends of the system in which it develops its products.

Communication in a big company, says Marita Spera, must cover all possible areas both internally and externally because only a comprehensive, all-inclusive view is able to achieve a real positive impact.

Working at OTB, a fashion group, founded by Renzo Rosso, that brings together unconventional brands such as Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor&Rolf, and Jil Sander, offers a privileged point of view on the importance of excellent communication management: OTB stands for Only The Brave, which has always been Diesel’s claim. A “cheeky” attitude, a focus on all that is new, transversal, and on the talents and issues most in the spotlight is what drives the OTB world. Communicating this vision is key. If Diesel since its creation has been a brand with great attention to this aspect, investing enormous energy in its image and claims, today the OTB group is re-proposing the same philosophy, but having to support multiple brands, accumulated by a strong focus on their diversity and uniqueness.

The communication policies are separate, the teams are different. It would be foolish to think of storytelling Marni’s image with the tone used for Diesel campaigns, and so for each of the brands in the group. What, then, is the common underlying key? The quality of Made in Italy, first of all: the group controls the entire supply chain to always be sure to have constant reports on the production process. Quality and originality. That is the idea behind the group’s communication approach: the bravest way changes the fashion world. When you start communicating for a company, you are not promoting a product, but the company itself: it is important to spread one and clear idea everywhere, strong and outlined on any market.

The first challenge is the result report: if with social platforms it is immediate marketing feedback in terms of engagement and message dissemination, it is more difficult to understand when you are having quality communication with the companies inside and outside when you want to describe the brand, the story, the journey and the strategies.

It becomes crucial to be able to narrate one’s vision in particular regarding the most debated issues today: inclusivity, diversity, integration and sustainability in all possible interpretations.

In the second part of the meeting, Marita Spera took questions from participants, addressing in more detail some issues, such as the development of OTB group communication on three different lines: physical, social and virtual life. Today there are three different and yet in touch worlds in which we all act every day. Here is the importance of being present everywhere: in stores, as well as on social and in the virtual world. It is estimated that in 2030 10% of the fashion system’s turnover will come from the metaverse, but already OTB is working in this new world: GenZ but also Millennials live fluidly between virtual and non-virtual realities, and this is where projects related to NFTs, design in the metaverse, always in dialogue with social and events in physical stores, come from.

It is also important to pay attention to the way you communicate in relation to the environment: if you do not understand a particular place and look at the consumer as an abstract entity, you will never be able to do good communication. The style and tone you use change because time changes very quickly. In addition, they must be adapted to the traditions and customs of the target country, which must then be well understood by those who want to be able to successfully tell their product. Knowledge is the key to moving in the right direction. Respecting the customer as a person and not just a target means being able to have a positive impact.

It was a fascinating meeting between the lucky participants of Bologna Business School‘s Hybrid MBA English Edition and Marita Spera, who gave important reflections on different ways of communicating and illustrated best practices to put in place to achieve a good result.

It was an effective Leadership Talk to better understand the communication strategies of a cutting-edge group like OTB. Always keeping in mind the lesson summarized in the famous claim Only The Brave.


For more details on upcoming Leadership Talks and the Hybrid MBA English Edition program, please contact our BBS Staff (Comasia Fumarola – +39 0512090114, eng.hmba@bbs.unibo.it)


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