So why should a city like Kraków need a proper business newsletter?

So why should a city like Kraków need a proper business newsletter?

So why should a city like Kraków need a proper business newsletter?

The simple answer is: because, until today, there weren't any, improbable as it sounds. No newsletters, no effective, dedicated, regular ‘Business & The City’ communication platforms (whether in English or Polish). The fact that over the last 6 years alone, one of the city’s business branches (international business services) has grown from 16 000 employees in 2010 to over 50 000 employees, by early 2016, making Kraków No. 1 in Europe for three years in a row, has proved an important catalyst of a process that should have started in earnest more than a decade ago. So, yes, July 4th, 2016 officially marks the launch of a much-needed, joint, ASPIRE-and-THE-CITY, initiative. Here's why...
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The Silo Effect

The two worlds (city & business) have so far lived and operated, to a large extent, apart, perhaps deliberately keeping mutual inter-dependence to the bare minimum. As a natural consequence, both sides had to put up with limited understanding of each other’s realities (both strategic and operational). In effect, at the level of perception and mutual sentiment, stereotypes would often prevail over sound facts, resulting in significant opportunities being lost for making Kraków’s international brand much more powerful and better positioned strategically among the various business, technology, even cultural-and-film-industry stakeholders, where Kraków has long located its high self-esteem. In other words, the calibre of the capital (and investors) that could have been attracted to the city over the last decade at least (given exemplary, targeted communication stemming from clear vision and strategy, as opposed to the usual abstract puff of most documented undertakings with a word 'strategy' or 'innovative' on top) would no doubt have been far more impressive. The reasons behind the 2022 Winter Olympics campaign and the way of handling the 'air problem' in Kraków stand out as perhaps the most obvious testimonies to the above.

The need for wise, strategic communication on the so far uninhabited ‘Business & The City’ frontier, is a long standing one. While it might seem relatively easy to identify benefits of joint, intelligent communication (both internally, i.e. city to its key stakeholders, and externally, i.e. city to targeted stakeholder groups at national/global level), all that has been achieved to date leaves plenty of scope for positive tectonic shifts in this vast, notoriously underrated territory. Public administration and business (especially international) can be likened to two people who refuse to understand, let alone recognize the fact, that they come from different countries and therefore speak very different languages and represent different (at times ideologically opposing) mindsets and backgrounds.

Why care in the first place?

As far as place marketing goes, positive word of mouth (not only in the eyes of thought leaders) has no competition, whether for tourism or business development. Imagine a simple scenario, one of thousands, where CEOs or heads of marketing (esp. those who have never been to Poland, let alone Kraków), working for any of the Fortune 500 companies and operating from San Francisco, Shanghai, Dubai, Beijing, London or any other global business metropolis, plan to organize a major continental conference for their key customers and business partners, within a broader, regional/continental division. Surely, most of them would not even be aware of Kraków’s unique blend of attributes, the quality of event infrastructure available, nor the city’s wonderfully nuanced, cosmopolitan business, cultural, academic and networking environment. Most of them would likely see Kraków as simply too small a city to even consider for anything meaningful, in their companies’ grand scheme of things.   

To take another example, whenever global players experience genuine hospitality (towards investors, innovators, R&D centres, start-ups or manufacturers), through both strategic support (by helping companies establish their presence in a city, facilitating access to hard data, relevant statistics, legal support, and most importantly perhaps, making them instantly feel part of the city’s key business networks, i.e. becoming part of a community that has all the hard facts and impressions about what it’s like to run a business in a city like Kraków) and symbolic gestures, like hosting investor press conferences in the City Town Hall (or other municipal landmarks), proactively helping investors with early media relations and branding efforts, etc.

Old habits die hard...even on a date as symbolic as July 4th

Apart from technology, eco-friendliness and traffic optimization, what does it really mean when a city calls itself 'smart'. Among the many definitions, one seems to stand out above the crowd: truly great cities know where they are heading and never cease to improve their understanding of how to best get there! They allocate resources and know-how proportionately to wise, strategically-defined requirements, and communicate accordingly, with clarity and unrelenting focus. Kraków is not yet on this path. In some respects, not even close. It is a city of uncommon beauty and charm, walking hand in hand with parochial, pseudo-conservative self-delusion. It's an old elephant who occasionally indulges in dreams of being a gazelle. 

Today's joint publication of BusinessPoint, however minimalist and symbolic in content, opens a new chapter in an effort to bring Kraków's key development stakeholders closer together, to unite them around the city's most important challenges and development goals. Above all, to make them speak the same language, one permeated with a genuine sense of pride and sense of belonging. Once this approach is set in motion, a lot will change for the better.

 

Links to BusinessPoint:

Here's the link to BusinessPoint, as published today by Kraków's City Hall:https://krakow.pl/aktualnosci/201748,32,komunikat,newsletter_dla_branzy_biznesu.html

And here's another, published by the BusinessPoint's exclusive partner (ASPIRE - Association of IT and Business Process Services Companies):  https://www.aspire.org.pl/businesspoint/

 

 

Published by:

Łukasz Cioch, Director Communication & Public Affairs @ASPIRE


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