Michael Rossa, Ph.D.
Vice President Market Communications Corporate Communications and Government Affairs
What makes you optimistic about the economy?
We have witnessed difficult times for the global economy. The world appears to have become more complex and less linear over time. And we appear to be surrounded by an increasing number of challenges put forth by global megatrends like climate change, urbanization and an aging population. One thing we know: The world of tomorrow will need an infrastructure that lasts, and a sustainable way to use resources. Siemens is dedicated to providing this infrastructure. I am optimistic about the future because Werner von Siemens said: “I will never sacrifice the future for momentary gain.” This dedication is very much alive in the company – you feel it every single day.
What unpredictable factor most impacted how you managed your brand in the past decade?
“Unpredictable” may be an overstatement, but the way in which insights gained from brand research and campaign monitoring are influencing our approach to individual markets has developed faster than we expected. Today, we have a better understanding of what drives specific dimensions of our brand image in a given market. As a result, we can be more specific in how we communicate our brand proposition in a local context. Siemens has strong local roots across the globe, and our communication needs to reflect this strength. What is remarkable is how well marketing insights support this.
How have you adapted to the impact of technology and social media?
We have taken social media extremely seriously from its beginnings, and were a first mover in our industry to support this development. We introduced an internal blog platform in 2006 that is still alive, and continues to be expanded with functionalities like a Siemens wiki. Enabling our employees to participate in social conversations that revolve around domains that they work in is just as necessary a prerequisite in the information age as access to the internet was 10 years ago. We do not see social media as a market communications channel, though – it is the individual Siemens manager or employee who speaks in social media, not the company. We think this distinction is important.
Michael Rossa heads Market Communications in the Corporate Communications Center of Siemens in Munich, Germany. With his team he is responsible for Siemens’ corporate brand, advertising, media, sponsoring and events.
Michael studied product design at the University of Kassel, Germany, and graduated with a “Diplom” degree (the equivalent of a master’s degree). He obtained a Ph.D. with his work on interaction design at the Royal College of Art, London. Before he joined Siemens in 1997 he worked with a design agency in Munich.
His professional experience at Siemens includes two years of corporate design management and three years of responsibility for the appearance of the brand on the web. He was head of Web Strategy for three years and oversaw Corporate Media for another three years before assuming his current responsibilities in 2008.