What I learned on my Italian media tour
by Intern, on Jun 22, 2018
Having the opportunity to travel the world as a college student is a truly remarkable experience. I recently had the good fortune to travel throughout central and northern Italy as part of an international media class. My journey throughout Rome, Assisi, Florence, Venice and Milan inspired me not only as a student, but as a professional.
Between pasta feasts and cultural excursions, we visited a variety of media-related businesses including a newspaper, radio station, public relations firm, advertising agency, publishing company and some internal media operations.
With one foot in the academic world and one foot in the working world, I sometimes limit myself from learning about other communications fields. But when you’re working in an agency setting, it is a good idea to see what the rest of the industry is up to from time to time and this trip gave me the platform to do just that.
We covered a lot of ground in two weeks, so here are some highlights.
Making something small big
One of the companies that captured my attention in Rome was Art Attack, an advertising agency within the Arkage Group.
We spoke with Claudio Ciatti, managing partner and founder; Federico Giuntella, chief customer experience officer; and Mario Feliziani, creative director – all of whom were incredibly passionate about their work. (I think some days we could all use a little more passion for our work.)
They spoke to us about authenticity in advertising, the ways in which data helps inspire creativity and how content marketing should be inherently personal.
One stand-out piece of advice Mario shared was this, “never think you are doing something small, because if you do your job well, it can be something big.”
Storytelling is a universal language
Our last morning in Rome we visited Enel, an international power company that is making strides when it comes to renewable energy.
We spoke with their Head of Internal Media – Ivano Ferioli – about building company culture, developing a brand charact
er and how to keep employees across the globe informed and engaged, something we strive to do for our clients here at WordWrite.
Enel has an internal media mix consisting of an intranet, e-channel (TV), email, e-radio and vertical web platforms. All this to comm
unicate company news to their offices across the world from Tel Aviv to Boston. How many American-based companies do you know that have a full-scale TV studio in their building?
Ivano laid out the editorial pillars of Enel’s content, stressing that it must be: informative, timely, well-formatted, tell a story and free from external bias.
See? Storytelling is a key player, even across the ocean.And you can rarely go wrong with high-quality, organized content.
Great ideas can come from unexpected places
Our next set of media visits took place in the lovely city of Milan – Italy’s fashion and business capital. We had the opportunity to visit the Milan branch of public relations agency Burson-Marsteller (soon to be Burson Cohn & Wolfe) and speak with CEO Fabio Caporizzi along with a host of other talented communicators.
I was fascinated to learn that most of the agency’s work is conducted in English. Fabio told us, “we think in Italian, but we work in English.” He stressed the fact that the Italian market is often overlooked, but they are just as capable as other countries when it comes to creating great campaigns.
In the American market, it’s easy to overlook the small, boutique agency and praise the giants of PR. But just like the Italian market, those small agencies, like WordWrite, have a lot to offer the industry.
We are in an exciting world as PR professionals in 2018. The industry is always growing and changing, and we should make every effort to nurture our knowledge and passion for our work.
And hey, if you need a trip to Italy to do that, I won’t stop you.