War next door 2.

Millions of refugees, billions of euros of damages, skyrocketing fuel and gas prices in Europe. Russian-Ukrainian war causes a major global crisis. Due to its closeness to the conflict zone, CEE region markets have to face even harder blows. IdeaBank has asked a few PR agency professionals in neighboring countries about the current situation in their markets. Ewelina Wojtysiak-Sowa, Client Service Director of award winning Polish agency Made in PR answered our questions.

Ewelina Wojtysiak-Sowa, Client Service Director of Made in PR

What are companies/brands doing in the current war situation in your market? How do they react?

Polish people show interest and involvement in many areas. Governments (both local and national), business and ordinary people are united to help – food/medicines/blankets/transport/first aid boxes/most important things collections. People make places available in their homes for Ukrainians for free. There are also plenty of volunteers in Warsaw (now more than 8 thousand) at information desks and other points.

Companies and businesses do not remain neutral, they respond to the situation with huge willingness and particular measures to support Ukrainians. Just a few examples:

  • Mobile network operator involvement – eg. Play gives unlimited calls and text messages to Ukraine and Ukrainian cellular networks.
  • PKP (Polish State Railways) – from 26. February on there are free tickets for Ukrainians to use in in all economic trains (TLK, IC), second class. The service takes place based on any document confirming Ukrainian citizenship and free seat reservation taken from the conductor.
  • Retail chains withdraw Russian and Belarussian products – Netto, Stokrotka, Polomarket, Topaz, Aldi, Carrefour, Żabka, Biedronka, Rossmann & Lisek (e-commerce) which delivers food ordered online
  • ING Bank Śląski together with ING Dzieciom Foundation started a fundraiser for people harmed in the war in Ukraine – they have already gathered 3 million PLN. The bank doubles the amount up to 6 million PLN.
  • Castorama Poland allocated PLN 1 million to help Ukraine, incl. for the purchase of food, dressings or camp beds through the Polish Humanitarian Action, the Polish Red Cross, the Foundation for Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation, or the Polish Mobile Clinic Foundation.
  • Sokołów through Polski Czerwony Krzyż Podkarpacki Oddział Okręgowy (Polish Red Cross Subcarpathia) gave 10 tons of kabanos sausages (100 thousand packages), which are going to be delivered in Ukraine; they bought also first aid boxes and offer Ukrainians about 300 workplaces.
  • InPost – a logistics operator – has made available its logistics facilities and a huge transport fleet to help deliver products collected for the inhabitants of Ukraine


What is the media doing? How are the media reactions to the war situation in your market?

No communication about business/investments as long as it’s not related to the war crisis. There is widely discussed topic of disinformation – specialist on this area are invited to speak about how to avoid spreading fake news. Polish media report on the news the war in Ukraine: programme formats are being changed, there are new dedicated programmes and extra journalists. Polish media do not withdraw their correspondents from Ukraine even though some of them are at the first front line, but they profoundly observe the current situation. Information portals are working 24/7.

A few examples:

  • From 25.02.2022 12:00 there is Onet’s podcast “International report Ukraine”
  • On Thursday 24.02.2022 gazeta.pl changed the logotype on the main website channel and on the social media accounts. Editorial office joined the actions in order to support humanitarian aid for Ukraine citizens
  • On Interia.pl in the most visible place on the website there is special section with the current topics about the war.
  • Polish Radio Programme 1 – news until 12:00 are broadcasted every 15 minutes. From midday – every 30 minutes. About the situation in Ukraine. They broadcast also news service in Ukrainian language.
  • On Friday 25.02.2022 Gazeta Wyborcza printed with the traditional issue the Ukrainian flag. People were encouraged to put them up f. ex. at the windows to show the solidarity with Ukraine.

Pandemic is rarely reported, almost at all.


Can companies communicate in any industry like the crisis never happened? Is it necessary to include this context into corporate/brand communication? 

Communication is focused around the Ukraine. There is a need to include those topics to the corporate, product, social media communication. There is a need and willingness to organize collections of any type, workers want to offer their free time to help. Some voluntary services are organized. Companies are raising money to help Ukraine or specific organisations. Companies are in the process of giving job places for Ukrainians. (eg. Sokołów). Russian and Belarusian products are being withdrawn. Some companies are being boycotted because they still cooperate with Russia eg. Auchan, Leroy Merlin, Decathlon, Lorenz, Danone. People/customers show solidarity with Ukraine and share lots of posts on social media about not buying goods from the companies which are still in business relationship with Russia. There is a strong opposition.



About Made in PR

The agency, which is member of Worldcom PR Group, supports Clients for more than 10 years, turning plans into growth and success, both on the Polish market and internationally. As an experienced team with high competences, they are proud to support a full range of communication, PR and media activities. They create strategies and information campaigns as well as a wide range of uniquely targeted communication trainings for boards of directors and employees in line with the media and other target audiences. Strong points include perfect knowledge of the market, companies and the media as well as business relations among them.


Ewelina Wojtysiak-Sowa, Client Service Director

She has more than 15 years of experience in communication consulting, public relations and media. Extended knowledge and experience in managing communication for the financial, FMCG, retail, medical and food industries are her strong points. She focuses on providing strategic support and building long-term relations. In Made in PR she provides strategic advisory and supervises the team for corporate clients. She is an author of numerous strategies and PR campaigns for both Polish and international clients.


András R. Nagy

Managing Partner