Economic trade between Israel and Poland is growing. In 2020, Israeli exports to Poland were US $197.68 Million, and imports from Poland were US$889.42 Million according to The United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.
The Polish Ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, has noted: “Strengthening and deepening economic ties between Poland and Israel is the most efficient way to further mutual understanding and to build a better future for incoming generations. Polish and Israeli businessmen and businesswomen are audacious, perseverant, creative. They are not afraid of taking risks. You could hardly find a more appropriate match. Let us make this bond even more robust.”
To better understand how Israeli companies can enter the Polish market, I turned to Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting.
What makes the Polish market an attractive place for Israeli companies?
Poland has, for some time, been a hotspot for companies across Europe, specifically within the technology arena.
Poland was the only EU country to come out unscathed after the 2008 global financial crisis, which means that its economy remains robust while the market is still far from saturated. Currently, in Poland, EU funds are spent not just on developing infrastructure to support solutions but also solutions themselves, which allows for the development of innovative Israeli ideas and creativity within Poland.
What should Israeli companies know about the Polish market?
Israeli companies should really research the business eco-system in Poland. In 2018, Technology Minister, Jadwiga Emilewicz, made it clear that the country was actively encouraging Israeli entrepreneurs to create R&D centers in Poland and this continues now.
What is your strategy for companies entering the market?
Since 2018, Israeli companies have been able to take advantage of a tax cut for R&D initiatives in Poland which offers some great opportunities. My strategy would be to merge VC funds with Polish government support to achieve success.
What are some common mistakes that companies make with PR in Poland?
How can they avoid them?
Firstly, Poland is a relatively conservative country — many brands make the mistake of using controversial or ‘near the knuckle’ content in their PR which usually doesn’t go over too well. Polish people tend to be refreshingly straight-talking and, so, PR messaging should mirror this.
One of the biggest — and most common mistakes is the scattering of generic press releases with the expectation that a journalist will have the slightest bit of interest in them. This is painfully old school and will usually only succeed in getting your name blacklisted. As with anything else in 2021, in order to gain a journalist’s attention, communications need to be targeted and personal, and written in a way that allows for indirect quotes. This is important as it’s extremely unlikely that a press release will ever be published in full in any publication or outlet.
Another common clanger is the reliance and overuse of authorisation — quotes should never be rewritten or paraphrased but published in full.
The Polish media tends to have an inherent distrust in British journalists for the simple fact that they can be a little ‘cavalier’ with facts and figures. In the Polish media, objective, verifiable data from a reliable source is King and should be respected at all times.
To avoid mistakes, it is important to understand the difference between a journalist and a notary public. A journalist’s job is to represent the audience and to therefore cut to the heart and the truth of a story and communicate that in the appropriate manner. In Poland, journalistic integrity is still very much alive and kicking and, so, needlessly sensational or incorrect content should be avoided at all costs.
As a Polish ex-pat based in London, UK, how do you maintain a presence on the ground in Poland?
I come to Poland often. I also work closely with associates and partners in Poland. Mike Sadowski, CEO at Brand24, and Jarosław Kacprzak, PR Manager at Future Processing are especially insightful. Michał Suski, the co-founder of Surfer, a Polish content intelligence tool, is a friend of mine, too. I find his knowledge incredibly respectable and we often work to our mutual PR benefits.