What are the major corporations across sectors that have decision-making units based in the region?
Only a few years ago, most of the decision-making units for the EMEA region were located in Germany or Great Britain. In recent years, these trends have shifted and, with highly-qualified personnel and lower operational costs, more and more world-recognized corporations are choosing Poland as the location for their highly-ranked subsidiaries.
Biggest decision-making units in Poland:
What are the “hottest sectors” for start-ups?
One of the biggest sectors for start-ups is the market for specialized IT and technology, like: fintech, bioengineering, cybersecurity, gaming and the automotive industry of the future. Many Polish Venture Capital Funds are also connected with banks or insurance agencies – with technologies like blockchain of particular interest. Another hot sector for Polish start-ups is healthcare. Start-ups are utilizing the most advanced technologies and achievements of others around the world to address what is becoming a crucial issue in an ageing society. Polish entrepreneurs are already changing the landscape of the educational market, with Brainly as an example of a company enjoying world-wide success.
Curiosity: A great example of high-tech being utilized by Polish start-ups is SatAgro. Thanks to the app, farmers around the world can use satellite photos and data analysis to determine the best places to plant seeds and examine the effectiveness of their crops.
What kind of sectors are the rising stars in the local economy?
Due to its highly qualified work force, fast paced growth of special economic zones and ever-increasing spending, the Polish economy is becoming more connected with tech-related industries such as: the automotive, aviation and space industries (with the Polish Aviation Valley accommodating dozens of aerospace companies), biotechnology, fintech, IT outsourcing and so on.
The report “Polish Gene in the Polish Automotive Industry” states that up to 8% of the Polish economy is connected with the automotive industry. What is particularly interesting, and in opposition to most countries in Western Europe, Poland doesn’t have a genuine, mainstream car manufacturer. Most of the production is focused on specialized vehicles such as electric buses, trucks and OEM and spare parts. Also worthy of note is the fact that Polish companies have captured almost a quarter of the transportation services market in the European Union, with almost $2 billion being spent on infrastructure every year.
Another rising economic star is the IT industry. The report from Kapsch BusinessCom states that Poland has the highest capacity for IT related services in the EMEA region. Polish programmers are considered to be among the best in the business and Polish companies such as Adecco, Comarch or LiveChat are clearly benefiting from this fact. One of the biggest phenomena is the Polish gaming industry, with the famous “The Witcher” game saga from CD Project RED to the fore. Innovative IT projects are subsidized and supported by National Centre of Research and Development. Poland – and especially Kraków (where the Planet Partners HQ is located) – is also one of the biggest IT outsourcing centres in the world.
Worth noting – rising stars of the Polish economy in terms of markets:
- Automotive: specialized trucks, buses, OEM and spare parts
- IT: outsourcing, SaaS, gaming, cybersecurity
- Finance: fintech, banking services, insurance
- Aviation and space: design, parts production, research and development
- Fuel and energy: mining and processing technology, research and development
- “Program for supporting investments of significant importance for the Polish economy for 2011-2020” – Polish Investment and Trade Agency
- „2018 European Semester: Country Report – Poland” – European Commission
- “Strategy for sustainable development” – Ministry of Investment and Economic Development
- http://www.parkiet.com/100-lat-gospodarki/301269847-Piec-aktualnie-waznych-sektorow-dla-Polski.html (24.04.2018)
- https://www.forbes.pl/pierwszy-milion/satagro-start-up-daje-oszczednosci-dla-rolnikow-dzieki-satelitom/y1mk7be (24.04.2018)
What holds sway in your region – traditional or new media types and influencers? How is that changing?
In Poland, a strong shift towards new media types can be noticed. Almost every meaningful newspaper or magazine has its own website, a factor crucial for their end-result and range. That being said, traditional media – especially when printed – are still very important for B2B communication. It is worth noting that some daily newspapers (like Dziennik Gazeta Prawna or Rzeczpospolita) are targeted at highly-ranked managers and decision-makers and are still the main source of information for them.
For B2C communications, the best way to go in most cases would be digital. Social media are still growing (by 2020, almost 20 million Polish citizens will use Facebook) and influencers are becoming increasingly important. YouTube is the main source of information for many Internet users from the post-millennial Generation Z, with youtubers ranked among the most influential people. Brands, especially from e-commerce, apparel and consumer electronics markets are eager to use influencers in their campaigns, as they generate a tremendous range and impact on the commercial group.
What is the influence ecosystem – the media, analysts, consultants and non-traditional influencers (bloggers etc). And where to start in this ecosystem?
If you are interested in B2B communications, the best way to go would be traditional media and business-influencers. Analysts and consultants are not highly regarded by the media and therefore their influence is rather moderate.
Considering B2C communications, influencers and digital channels rule the market. In Poland, bloggers and youtubers are most eager to work with brands, but commercial cooperation is often required. You can find one (influencer) to suit your needs and target group in almost every market: from consumer electronics and gaming to apparel and finance consulting. It is worth noting that influencers (especially youtubers) are often affiliated with promotion groups and therefore you can choose from a wide range of influencers which are suitable for your needs as a package.
What kind of stories tends to dominate influencer / media attention? What type of stories receive little attention?
Press releases and brand news are becoming less and less engaging for both the media and influencers and, as a result, it is very hard to push this kind of content into publication without previous commercial cooperation. Nowadays. one has to work directly with journalists on an interesting topic and rapidly deliver top-quality answers and content. What is crucial is the real time reaction to market news and hot topics.
Reports, whitepapers, trendbooks and cross-sectional articles and high end content are very desirable, as they can be used as stand-alone pieces or as a source of information and inspiration for journalists. Additional infographics and creative photo design can bring about more meaningful social media impact. Brands, especially in the e-commerce market, are also investing in their own channels of influence. Building an ecosystem of themed and well-optimised websites can not only bring more attention to the brand, but also benefits conversion rates to the shop itself.
What communication tools are the best to use in your market – media relations, social media, employer branding, events, content marketing etc.?
Media relations based on the distribution of press releases and brand-connected news is coming to an end. Media and social media activities have to be supported with advertisement activities, as publications are very often dependant on them.
One of the most effective methods of communication is building self-owned channels of influence such as themed blogs and social media groups. Brands are building their own websites as the source of information for the public and journalists as well. Content marketing is on the rise and is becoming one of the most useful tools for communication.
Corporations located within major cities and large outsourcing centres (like Krakow) are becoming more engaged in Employer Branding activities – especially in IT. Polish IT specialists are recognized as being among the best in the world and IT companies have to invest and commit to Employer Branding in order to attract the best employees in the market. To achieve their goals, they often utilize, among others: guerrilla marketing, events, content marketing and media relations.
What kind of communication software are you using in your daily activities? (media and social media monitoring, CRMs, knowledge management, project management, news distribution software etc. – give names)
Media and social media monitoring:
- IMM (Institute of Media Monitoring)
Market intelligence and research:
- Similar Web
- Google Analytics
- Google Docs
Do you have any “horror stories” or anecdotes that demonstrate contemporary PR/communication practice in your region?
Brands in Poland often use historical references in their communication. One of the most discussed examples of this kind of content “done wrong” is the case of Żytnia – one of the biggest Polish vodka brands on the market.
In Polish law, there are harsh restrictions concerning the advertising of alcohol – therefore brands often try different methods for pushing their content. A few years ago, Żytnia published a photo on their Facebook page in which a mortally-wounded victim from a peaceful demonstration in 1982 is being carried by his companions. The brand used this photo with the line: “Hangover? Scenario written by Żytnia” with an additional line “When your bachelor party gets out of hand”. This created outrage in the community, with many customers boycotting the brand and also criminal charges were filed against the manufacturer.
In reaction, the brand fired the PR agency responsible for the post. Later, responsibility was shifted to an employee of the aforementioned agency. This move provoked an extensive discussion about the responsibility of brands for their own content.