Andrzej Sowula, Founder of PR Solutions, our Polish Convoy partner, shares some brand-building wisdom.
Poland is the largest country in Central-Eastern Europe – both in terms of population (38 million) and GDP. Given its booming economic growth, it’s no surprise that the country is attracting interest from many international b2b tech brands. But how should you go about running a successful brand-building campaign in Poland? Here are my five top tips.
- Show your commitment
If you internalise just one message from this article, it should be to show your commitment to the Polish market. The absolute minimum is to localise your marketing materials into Polish before starting any promotional activities in-country. To boost your chance of success, especially with media stakeholders, try and demonstrate a long-term strategy for Poland, including investment and hiring plans.
Having an on-the-ground team with strong management is extremely important in Poland, especially if you want the media to view you as a subject-matter expert. For instance, you will not be taken seriously if you pitch an “EMEA” spokesperson to journalists, who has no previous experience of the Polish market.
- Focus on niche media outlets and telling stories relevant to the Polish market
The Polish b2b media landscape is well developed. There are a range of printed and online media outlets across various niche categories. Building a strong position in these is very important, as information from industry media is often used by mainstream business titles when they occasionally report on developments in a given industry. Maintaining close personal relationships with relevant journalists can help you get coverage – this is where having an experienced, on-the-ground PR partner pays dividends.
By and large, Polish journalists are primarily interested in stories related to the Polish market. However, they will occassionally make an exception to cover important global trends or interesting research. However, you shouldn’t count on coverage of a news release that doesn’t directly relate to Poland. Furthermore, even if you include a local story, you need to demonstrate why it is important from an economic perspective.
- Get creative with your PR action plan
To secure coverage in the Polish media, your news release must A) include genuinely important information and B) avoid pushy self-promotion. Simply announcing a product or service, especially one that wasn’t created by a Polish company, will most likely get you ignored. You’ll also find it tough to get coverage if you’re a little-known company operating in a niche industry.
For this reason, you need to get creative with your PR action plan. Research-based stories, ideally related to the Polish market, typically work well. Also, journalists tend to be interested in stories related to social responsibility, or unique brand values. You should also make sure you’re commenting on and reacting to important industry developments and trends. This is the best way to demonstrate your expertise in a particular area, and thus build brand recognition.
- When it comes to social, go local
Poland has 19 million active social media users. In terms of platforms, b2b tech brands should pay particular attention to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Unlike many other European countries, Polish Facebook has active groups related to almost all industries and niches. Plus, LinkedIn is extremely popular among Polish professionals. Meanwhile, Twitter is often used by journalists and various influencers.
Also, don’t forget local social media platforms, such as GoldenLine.pl (the Polish equivalent of LinkedIn) or Wykop.pl (the equivalent of Reddit). There are also many other niches tech sites with a strong, active community. So, if you want to target a specific group of decision-makers, you should remember that there’s probably a dedicated site out there somewhere.
- Engage in paid activities, use local tools for audience listening
The existence of many niche publications and sites creates plenty of opportunities for paid collaboration. These opportunities are a great chance to connect with your target audience, and also strengthen your relationship with specific outlets. Many of them look more favorably upon news releases from companies that are also their business partners, even if the involvement is small.
When it comes to PR software, the Polish language and media landscape remain a big challenge for leading global brands. You’ll have much better results using their Polish equivalents for media monitoring and social listening. Again, a clued-in local PR partner can help with this!
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