While wary of words that are too fashionable, Luca Barabino admits that best of all describes the winning attitude of entrepreneurs, companies and, why not, also of the country, in the months of the pandemic: resilience. The ability to react positively to negative situations – says the founder and president of the consulting agency in business communication Barabino & Partners, specialized in corporate, legal, brand and crisis management communication, at the top with Federico Steiner, partner, second shareholder and general manager – it unites all the companies that have been able to express unexpected resources. Resilience is what we have put in place first, identifying a common thread to follow, to be closer to our people, customers and suppliers. Also entitled to resilience is the recognition that the group, six offices in Italy and abroad, a staff of over one hundred people, has given to all its employees and collaborators not involved in previous incentive plans or other variable remuneration systems: a bonus from two thousand to three thousand euros per person. The world of communication is leaving behind a complex year, which has gone through different phases, for companies and the country. We have recommended to our customers what we have done internally – says Barabino -. That is: let’s refocus on relationships.
How, right now that we are forbidden to meet, to see each other? a different understanding, which must be sought and filled with value, which must be nourished by a mission, a purpose. It is important that at this time there is a strong bond between the companies and the community, and that in the product or service, the consumer or user recognizes a purpose. Entrepreneurs such as Giorgio Armani or Brunello Cucinelli understood and communicated this in an exemplary way. In short, learning to communicate your place in the world, and not just financial results. It means giving prominence to what I call “just profit” as well as to one’s social commitment, in a present where more and more responsibilities are shifting from public to private and in which the paradigms of finance are changing, which focuses on ESG criteria, says Barabino . His agency will close 2020 with 16 million in revenues, in line with 2019. To all this must be added the new rules of work. The relationship will always be central and I do not rule out that there will be a new desire to return to the office, with the pandemic behind us – says the manager -. But welfare is also changing. We wanted to give our employees different attention, enhancing the concept of mutuality, with a “Pandemic Covid-19” insurance to which a “Long term care” will be added in 2021. Being close to customers, on the other hand, has meant give support and further activities, for example in monitoring the most topical issues. We have reduced payment times for suppliers from 28 to 18 days.
How storytelling changes
With regard to the commitment to the community, the board of directors of Barabino & Partners then approved a solidarity contribution equal to the amount of the usual corporate Christmas gifts, for the Opera San Francesco per i Poveri Foundation in Milan, up to about twenty thousand euros in hot meals. In the meantime, in New York, the new offices have been inaugurated in Rockefeller Plaza, on the 30th floor of the iconic skyscraper, in the heart of the city that symbolizes creativity which, having overcome the virus, will have to reinvent itself in many ways. Will it also happen to communication? Covid leaves behind a very open market for communication, which is no longer experienced as a cost but as an investment – explains Barabino -. Many of our new customers do not have specific needs, but they come to us to communicate what their company does, every day, for their business and for the territory in which it operates. a communication of facts, less sensationalist. From storytelling to storydoing. Adjectives are removed, simple concepts are chosen. After all, there is nothing more extraordinary than what we have been experiencing for a year now, says Barabino.