As an international marketing and media communications agency, we are frequently asked what the differences are between doing business in the U.S. versus other markets. To help foster a better understanding of communications in an interconnected, global marketplace we decided to ask our Associate Agencies to share some the common practices and unwritten rules surrounding media relations in their respective countries.

Kicking off this in-country series today is First Public Relations, a communications agency based Warsaw, Poland. We started by asking. . .

Q: How many media markets do you cover in your country?
A: We cover only one – Poland.

Q: And what are the languages of that market?
A: Polish.

Q: What is the most important business media outlet in your market?
A: Definitely Rzeczpospolita, a Polish daily newspaper. They sell 55,214 copies daily.

Q: What is the most important newspaper in your market?

A: Based on circulation figures, it is Fakt daily with 308,457 copies sold daily. Fakt is a tabloid style, daily newspaper.

Q: What is the most important trend in your local media landscape today?
A: Nonlinear TV. The biggest online portals like, and invest more and more in video content trying to compete with linear TV and video on demand services. All three are preparing to launch their own TV channels at the end of this year. We are witnessing a renaissance of video right now!

Q: How do journalists in Poland prefer to be pitched?
A: Email- an annual local study on relations between PR pros and journalist revealed they still prefer to be pitched via email (76%), and as second option via phone call (60%). They treat social media as a source of information, but do not necessarily like to be bugged by PR pros via social media. There is a group of journalists, especially those writing about technology, who are very active on Twitter and can easily handle a company tweeting out latest news to them instead of sending a standard press release. Journalists definitely stress that pitches should be based on their respective topics of interest. In other words, send them pitches based on what they have written about lately.

Q: What is the biggest mistake you can make with journalists on your local market?
A: Although Poland is known for its right to authorization, demanding authorization of whole articles or pieces instead of only the parts where client’s comments or answers are featured (in case the piece is not an interview entirely devoted to one person) is a big mistake. Another mistake can be rewriting parts of text for journalists.

Q: What is the reputation of PR practitioners with journalists?
A: In general journalists perceive PR professionals as a necessary evil. Sometimes journalists will learn to appreciate PR professionals if they have had a longstanding relationship with them, have worked for a particular company or client for some time, or have been in a particular branch for a while and done well.

Q: Do journalists usually speak English?
A: Top media journalists and younger journalists mostly speak English.

Q: What are legal or professional code restrictions to media relations practices? For example, in Germany there are a lot of restrictions on giving gifts to journalists.
A: In Poland we have two ethical codes of conduct for PR professionals created by branch organizations. Both forbid the guarantee of results, especially if they depend on autonomous decisions of editorials or sign agreements in which the agency’s fee would depend on number of publications published. They forbid paying or offering any financial or personal benefits to journalists for publications. No activities that would corrupt media! They do allow giving gifts to journalists but their value cannot exceed the amount of around $28. We are allowed to buy advertising space but anything that is published within this space must be clearly marked as a advertised or sponsored message.

And that wraps up our Q and A session!

A big thank you to our associate agency First Public Relations for providing us with this valuable information. First Public Relations was the first professional communications agency established in Poland after the fall of communism. It provides both public affairs and public relations services. For over a quarter of a century it has worked for multiple industries and international corporations gaining expertise in fields such as defense, aviation, energy, healthcare, real estate and tourism & leisure.

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