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Poland’s New Ways of Public Diplomacy


Beata Ociepka

This book analyzes when and how Poland implemented public diplomacy. The author explains it as a form of external political communication of governments conducted in cooperation with non-state actors to position the country internationally. The Polish case illustrates how a mid-size country in Europe attempts to impact the public opinion formation abroad while implementing soft power tools. Since 2004, when Poland joined the EU, the country has used public diplomacy to inform the world about its achievements. Poland’s public diplomacy has been strongly oriented on Europe and shaped by geopolitics. It integrated transmission and network models of communication. The Polish model reflects the relevance of public diplomacy domestic dimension and the focus on foreign politics on memory.

«The book (…) is the first monograph analyzing contemporary Polish public diplomacy written in English, being at the same time a methodologically sound piece of research, based on extensive primary source research.»

Professor Andrzej Mania, Chair of American Studies and the History of Diplomacy and International Politics, Jagiellonian University

«An excellent case study of public diplomacy. Ociepka systematically analyzed the Polish utilization of key public diplomacy instruments including cultural diplomacy, branding and Twiplomacy, and properly placed them within historical and theoretical contexts.»

Professor Eytan Gilboa, Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University

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4. Messages and Images: Translating Poland with Key Messages and Logos


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“Poland. Come and Complain” is a channel presenting amusingly Poland and the Polish culture. It is based on what the Poles like to do the most – complain. “We’ll answer all the questions that you’ve always been afraid to ask your Polish friends. We believe that it will make you understand us a little bit better. […] Like it here? Great! Come and join us! Want to do some complaining yourself? Do not hesitate; upload your picture and/or video and join the complaining mania now!” (Poland. Come and Complain. YouTube. July 1, 2015).

4.   Messages and Images: Translating Poland with Key Messages and Logos

Although European media saw Poland in 2013 as a success story and a “green island”14 in the sea of slowed-down economies, Poland’s Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM), the main institution responsible for Poland as a cultural brand, launched a campaign “Poland. Come and Complain” (#comeandcomplain). The aim of the campaign was to present Poland’s achievements since 2004, but in a surprising form in short films. The authors of the concept decided to confront Poland’s success story with the way in which Polish people comment on it. IAM portrayed average Poles, young and old, an academic, a businesswoman, a taxi driver, and a successful computer specialist, who complained about Poland’s success. The films intentionally built their messages on this contradiction. As foreign visitors often observe the Polish inclination for complaining and misunderstand it by taking these complaints seriously, IAM undertook an...

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