Spotlight: Warsaw

Anna Rak, spokesperson, Trusted Shops, discusses the need to educate decision-makers about the benefits of PR in the region.

What makes Warsaw great?
Warsaw is pulsating with business activities during the day and cultural events in the evening.

Poland's capital city attracts international companies that start their expansion to Eastern European markets here.

That's why you will find construction sites on every corner and new state-of-the-art office buildings touching the sky. When the business day draws to a close, Warsaw uncovers its second face, turning into a vibrant cultural center with myriad festivals, concerts, mime theaters, open-air cinemas, and more.

Is PR considered an effective tool for business growth in Warsaw?
Despite being quite a young industry, PR is highly valued by decision-makers in companies. Successful Polish enterprises that have grown during the transformation period in the 1990s see they now need a consistent communications strategy to compete with new market players.

Likewise, one of the first things an international business entering the Polish market would do is hire a local PR firm and work on messaging.

Has the communications industry been affected by the wider issues with the European economy?
While some countries have been strongly affected by the unfavorable economic climate, Poland has been recording steady growth.

[According to the World Bank, Poland's economy will grow at a slower rate in 2013 than it did last year, but will still outperform most of the region.] Yet, many established companies decide to tighten their belts and cut PR and marketing spending in case the situation gets worse. Consequently, PR agencies are forced to revise their fees to remain competitive.

At the same time, agencies are seeking business opportunities and turn to new industries that are thriving. For instance, the e-commerce sector in Poland has the highest growth dynamics among EU countries and the PR industry is already tapping into the "go online" trend.

Check In

Polish Press Agency
Bracka 6/8 St., 00-502, Warsaw
Tel: (+48 22) 509 22 22
www.pap.pl

Polish Public Relations
Consultancies Association

Czerska 8/10, 00-732, Warsaw
Tel: (+48 22) 555 33 30
www.zfpr.pl

Polish Chamber of Commerce
Trebacka 4 Street,
00-074, Warsaw
Tel: (+48 22) 630 96 00
http://en.kig.pl

What sectors are experiencing the most growth?
Warsaw has been experiencing dynamic growth in luxury services and the hospitality sector. This is a testament to the ambitions of the higher middle class that is being shaped in Poland.

For example, if you want to book a table in a Michelin star restaurant in Warsaw you have to wait two months and a bottle of good wine would cost you more than in a similar restaurant in Madrid.

How are citizens using social media?
Polish people seem to have a special fondness for Facebook, which is the most popular social media website in Poland, outscoring NK.pl - a platform created by Polish students that was once on top.

Twitter does not appeal to a wider audience and appears to be used only by journalists, bloggers, influencers, and recently, politicians.

I'm responsible for communications in Poland, but I also follow social media campaigns run by my colleagues in Germany, France, and the UK, and see all these differences.

How easy is it to find PR talent in Warsaw?
There are many people who say they can do great PR, but very few can actually do it well. In addition, I have seen that talent is one thing, but deep insight into a given industry is invaluable.

What are the main challenges PR and communications professionals face in Warsaw?

The PR industry in Warsaw, and the whole of Poland, has to address two main challenges that have their roots in the relatively young history of a free market.

First, PR pros have to educate decision-makers on the benefits of communications campaigns and the long-term effects.

Second, managing expectations is a fine art and even more so in a country where many companies are launching their first PR campaigns.

What do you love most about Warsaw?
The mixture of history and modernity. It's a great place for discoverers who enjoy the thrill of finding some hidden places or stories. Warsaw is everything but obvious.

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