Today we have selected Matylda Setlak to take her interview. She is the Managing Director at All 4 Comms.
What does the CEO or head of PR of a global brand need to know about Polish clients?
The most important point to understand is that although there are several stereotypes about Poles, there is a growing dispersion from year to year. These differences are especially noticeable between various age groups.
For example, Polish Generation Z consumers pay more attention to the brand’s philosophy and people’s views behind it than older generations. They keep a watchful eye on companies, researching the composition of products and production methods. They are willing to spend a lot of money on products from a brand that expresses their opinions on political events or promotes environmental activities. This is the first time the young generation of Poles is paying so much attention to such aspects.
Polish Millennials generally don’t engage as much with brand communication. Although their purchasing decisions are based on similar factors (e.g., brand philosophy, production methods, etc.), they tend to be sentimental. This is worth keeping in mind when planning Polish PR activities. Generation X consumers, meanwhile, feel little to no attachment to brands, often buying products without paying attention to the label.
On the other hand, Polish Baby Boomers are much more loyal. They choose what is traditional and prefer well-known products. Older generations of Poles are generally prominent traditionalists. Research shows they prioritize family, health, and religion, which is reflected in their consumer behavior. In general, PR messages aimed at Poles are best to avoid controversy (e.g., LGBT-related topics) and depict non-Catholics.
Is there anything Polish consumers are particularly averse to in relation to PR brand communication?
All Poles have one thing in common, regardless of age: they hate dishonesty in brand PR communication. As soon as a Polish consumer notices that the company’s behavior is even a bit suspicious, they tend to lose their trust forever. Most Poles are straightforward. Dissatisfied consumers are eager to share their negative brand-related experiences on social media. Brands should react quickly to any negative feedback and not sweep the voices of dissatisfied customers under the rug.
Poland placed fifth among the most distrustful countries surveyed in the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer. When marketing products/services to Polish consumers, it is imperative to reduce their distrust of new products, brands, or solutions. How? By delivering reliable testimonials, recommendations from influential public figures, PR articles written by industry experts, market research results, etc. Younger consumers, meanwhile, have a completely different approach.
What is the current PR situation in Poland? Has the virus affected PR tendencies?
There’s more emphasis being placed on holistic strategic consulting. Brands are starting to see that Polish PR should be built upon and strive to improve all the time rather than simply responding to crises. As a Polish PR agency, we become real business partners for our clients.
I also noticed an intensive development in Corporate Social Responsibility, mainly in brands’ involvement in social interests or environmental protection. CSR is becoming the norm, not only for companies with foreign capital but also for domestic companies across various industries.
Digitization is another major trend in Polish PR. According to the Digital 2020 report, a typical Polish consumer spends over 6 hours a day on the internet. Brands that plan to enter or are already on the Polish market must adapt their PR activities accordingly. Today, online PR – social media in particular – is becoming a more valuable marketing tool than the press, radio, or TV ads.
So, is it still worth investing in traditional offline PR?
We shouldn’t give up on it completely. Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic caused the number of Polish printed press titles to drop drastically, but many activities of classic PR turned into so-called hybrid forms. It’s an alternative worth looking into. Examples of this include online magazines and brand events without in-person attendance and are then broadcast live on social media.
‘Old’ forms of Polish PR, such as real-life events, magazine articles, sponsorships, and press releases, still work sufficiently in many industries. Some brands on the Polish market even create their media, such as newspapers – available both in print and online versions.
How to organize media relations in Poland well?
Having an excellent knowledge of the media market and good relations with journalists. It’s worth paying particular attention to trade journalists. Email should be our primary tool of communication with Polish journalists. According to research, most Polish journalists use press releases sent to them by companies and institutions daily.
Industry journalists follow brands online and use materials they share on their social media accounts. It’s essential to publish valuable content on the company’s social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Polish media relations’ most popular paid types include sponsored articles, press events, and PR boxes with products or samples.
You can use ready-made tools with press publications, including the White Press platform. However, if a foreign brand wants to build good long-term relations with Polish journalists, it’s better to work with a Polish PR agency that keeps a database of journalist contacts.
What about influencers? Is influencer PR common in Poland?
Polish consumers are eager to believe in products or services recommended and promoted by influencers. This trend is especially noticeable among young audiences. Platforms for finding influencers, such as ReachaBlogger or Hash. Fm tends to be quite popular.
However, it’s always worth vetting the people we intend to collaborate with. Recently there has been a lot of talk on the Polish internet about influencers who have aligned themselves with brands of dubious credibility.
Moreover, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection began to examine how influencers mark their cooperation with brands. Before we deal with influencers, we should research the Polish influencer market and Polish law.
If your PR campaign is aimed at the Polish market, I suggest working only with Polish influencers. Those from Ukraine or Russia will not bring your campaign any success. Although these countries are close to each other, the Polish audience likely will not recognize or have much, if any, attachment to these influencers/celebrities.
What is undoubtedly the most important thing in Polish PR from the perspective of a Polish PR agency owner that serves clients worldwide?
In my opinion, it is a fact that a well-planned Polish PR with an appropriate, well-thought-out strategy will support sales and generate an influx of new customers. Before starting any Polish PR campaign, I work with my client on setting their goals. These goals are often different than they would be for foreign markets.
This allows me to define the indicators that we will measure. For example, we can measure the reach by counting the number of websites where a brand is mentioned or the number of visits to a website with a given PR publication.
We can also measure reviews – such as the number of reviews and mentions on social media – or the number of unpaid influencers recommending a brand. It’s also worth measuring the sentiment of mentions (the ratio of positive feedback to negative feedback). For me, as a Polish PR specialist, internet monitoring tools are the absolute basics of my everyday job.
Finally, tell us the most common PR mistake foreign companies make when entering the Polish market.
With several years of experience under the belt, having worked with companies worldwide, I would say the biggest mistake would be a blind attempt to transfer global trends to the Polish market.
Of course, the Polish market is not as different from other Western markets as the Asian markets, but you can still see some differences here. Not every global trend is adopted in Poland.
What’s more, Polish consumers also often shape their trends. When entering this market, many foreign brands disregard domestic brands. It is a significant omission. Many Polish customers support local brands and are often willing to pay more to have something with the ‘Made in Poland’ label. It’s an especially popular choice when buying Polish food, alcohol, and clothing.
If you have a foreign brand and are looking for a Polish PR agency to help you conquer the Polish market, please contact us at email@example.com. Our experts will be happy to discuss your goals and expectations, choosing a suitable Polish public relations strategy for you.
• Spokesperson: Matylda Setlak
• Company: All 4 Comms
• Website: https://all4comms.com/