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First and foremost, there is the language. The national language is Maltese, but English is also recognized as an official one, further to being part of the British Empire.


Academic year: 2021

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3 Introduction. Why Malta

Melita, in classical Greek, means “honey”. The Greeks called this way a group of

islands lying in the heart of the Mediterranean. This small archipelago, one of the last strips of Europe in front of Africa, nowadays is called Malta, and it is a melting pot of civilizations with a history stretching back thousands of years. Only the three largest islands - Malta, Gozo and Comino - are inhabited, while the others are essentially rocks.

Malta has always been known in the public knowledge maybe exclusively for the epic history of the Order of Knights of the Hospital, but in the last years it has gained strategic relevance in the international setting for different reasons.

First and foremost, there is the language. The national language is Maltese, but English is also recognized as an official one, further to being part of the British Empire.

Its widespread knowledge of second languages makes Malta one of the most multi- lingual countries in Europe, so Maltese citizens get ahead in a common market where English is the main business language. Moreover, Malta joined the European Union in 2004, it adopted euro as the country’s currency in 2008


and it is a member State closely related to Italy, as it has recently been noticed by the political discussions about the responsibilities concerning irregular migrations in summer 2009. Additionally, Malta’s representative in Brussels, Joe Borg, is the Head of the European Commission for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs


. Finally, its reduced area and population density (1298 per square kilometer, considering a population of 404962 inhabitants on a surface of 316 km²)


foster the widespread use of Internet broadband and ICT technologies, accessible from all areas of the islands. Therefore, Maltese population density is by far the highest in the EU and one of the highest in the world.

1 <http://europa.eu/abc/european_countries/eu_members>

2 <http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/borg>

3 All official population data provided by the National Statistics Office (NSO) <www.nso.gov.mt>


4 Owing to these key factors, Malta could be considered as a laboratory or a privileged observation field in a communicative approach to the networked information economy (Benkler, 2006, p.3), in micro (for number of inhabitants and its area) and macro dimensions (for language and its relevant role), like countries such as Italy or France, or communities/federations as the EU or USA.

For all these reasons, and for my pressing desire to discover a new culture, in February 2009 I decided to do the application for a Leonardo da Vinci Programme work experience in Malta, for a three months period (March-May 2009). Leonardo da Vinci falls within the sub-programmes of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), a project created by the European Union for the promotion of the education and professional training


. The programme enables individuals to pursue stimulating learning opportunities across Europe. It focuses on vocational education and training, other than at tertiary level. It addresses both the learning and teaching needs in the sector, and is therefore aimed at all parties involved, institutions and educational bodies, enterprises, associations, social partners and bodies relating to either lifelong learning or the labour market. The project is implemented through sending institutions, whose responsibilities are to help and support trainees in searching and finding a job placement consistent with their academic profile, and to monitor their activities at the receiving organizations.

In my particular case, according to my CV and my Bachelor’s Degree in

Communication, I have been assigned to the Marketing & PR Consultancy of Where’s Everybody, a private media production house. My job was related with providing media relations consultancy for both private and public sectors, strategy assessment and drafting and vetting adverts and communications. Specifically, I have executed web marketing tasks, using Internet and its media platforms as a powerful retention tool for both old and new customers, trying to give more visibility to the television programmes (increasing their audience share) and involving people in participating and creating programmes themselves.

My three months training has been a gratifying work experience and a little - as tested in such a microcosm as Malta- but remarkable breathing space about the

4 <www.programmallp.it>


5 transition, within a for-profit company, to the logic of relationship and sharing values in the marketing field.

I opted for writing my Master Degree Thesis in English because the documents I have produced and those that the company has supplied me in order to carry out this work, as official documents, are all written in English. Therefore, writing in Italian would not be enable to comprehend the context and the overall analysis completely.

Most of the data this work is based on are provided by public utilities, such as the Department of Information, the National Statistics Office or the Malta Communication Authority, or anyhow from the company where I worked.

Moreover, it has been a further opportunity for me to accept a challenge. Therefore, this research work aims at being a cue for reflection on the current relationship between corporate and organizational marketing and the consumers and its possible oncoming sceneries, moving from a peculiar observation laboratory.

The research has been carried out along five chapters. The first and the second chapter will be an introduction and a description of the micro and macro settings on which the entire work is based, thus are functional to frame the whole research setting.

On one hand, the first chapter describes and resumes the Maltese macro-field variables that makes these islands such a peculiar setting: economic, political, social and cultural factors. On the other hand, the second chapter defines the micro-field components:

media landscape and competitors, with a particular focus on the description and the targeting of Where’s Everybody’s TV programmes schedule. Where’s Everybody is a media production house that was set up in 1999 as a TV production company, but nowadays covers all the leading media, even if producing TV programmes remains the main activity. We will see that, unexpectedly, the Maltese media landscape is quite unique and intensely concentrated.

Chapters three to four are specifically inherent of the web marketing activities and Internet tools used, providing examples created by myself for each tool (websites, social networks, TV streaming and on demand) regarding TV programmes, comparing and analyzing them thanks to the Maltese Survey System outcomes (the Broadcasting Authority and Media Warehouse results).

As a result of collecting and analyzing data, I have drawn my conclusions about the

cutting edge company’s solutions to put in practice web marketing tools, underlining its


6 innovative methods and ability in creating surplus value for its customers, more than other companies in bigger countries manage to do.

All in all, the research work aims at pointing out and highlighting the effective

capabilities of the new web marketing tools from a relationship and experiential

marketing viewpoint, moving from the Maltese pattern of Where’s Everybody as a

pragmatic example of being abreast with the times.


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