To say that 2020 was special is like saying nothing at all. The pandemic has verified whether what companies, institutions and public figures say about themselves coincides with reality, or exists only in the realm of visions. Last year tested our adaptability, our knowledge of new technologies, our productivity, but also our empathy with our customers and team, and our business agility and savvy. Like many other teams from different sectors, we went through difficult moments that made us even more aware the fact that a team is made of people, and the most important thing is #teamspirit.
Last breath of old normality
At the beginning of the year, our CEO, Łukasz Wilczyński, was a speaker at the Silesian Science Festival, where he talked about space technologies in every home. As most of our followers know, Łukasz is a real influencer and promoter of space, which was described by Ewelina Zambrzycka-Kościelnicka in the article Martian from Kielce. How a historian created Polish rover mania. With our thoughts in space, yet not space cadeting, out of the corner of our eye we were following the development of the pandemic in China, and the organizer of the prestigious tournament for walking and flying robots – European Robotic League – joined the group of our clients. With our usual enthusiasm we started to communicate the games, which were to be held in June in Poznan. However, it won’t be a major spoiler if we say they didn’t take place. Fortunately, the organizers envisage to resume the games next year
All hands on deck!
That’s how the hard lockdown caught us, so we rolled up our sleeves and…:
– we switched to working fully remotely, which we continue till today;
– we implemented MS Teams system as a teamwork center;
– we introduced Friday (virtual) coffee;
– after the lockdown was implemented, the company ensured weekly lunch deliveries for us and our families;
– we carried out research in our network on new technological solutions being implemented worldwide;
– we were co-initiators and executors of pro bono campaign: Covid Challenge, implemented in cooperation with Crisis Information Center of Space Research Center, Polish Academy of Science (PAN) and Polish Center for International Aid. The goal of the Covid Challenge was to find effective and easy-to-implement solutions to the most urgent problems of pandemic health care: shortages of medical equipment, aids and other appliances, personal protective equipment, and safeguards. The effects of the campaign are available on project website.
– we have added a special offer to Planet Partners services: Set up your business in the new reality. The offer for the time of the pandemic includes, among others, crisis management, digitalization and optimization of marketing activities;
The phrase “I sit at home and do nothing” expired in 2020!
There is no point in sweetening and icing the reality by saying that everything was a piece of cake for us. No. However, we rose to the challenge and even in the most uncertain period, we managed to win new customers. In May, e.g., we started cooperation with the waterdrop brand, which we launched on the Polish market. Within six months, content about this manufacturer of microdrinks and designer accessories (including glass and steel bottles) was published in leading lifestyle magazines. However, the main channel – both for sales and building brand awareness for this brand is Instagram and cooperation with influencers. Careful selection of influencers matching the brand value only seems an easy task. In fact, as Kasia Matczuk (PR Executive) admitted, entrusting communication to people who are able to gather a community of several dozen or several hundred thousand people is a huge challenge, responsibility and a lot of unforeseen events, which we – obviously – are ready for!
Cooperation with illustrator Anna Rudak resulted in the first “Polish” bottle of waterdrop
The most cosmic agency in Poland
September was once again marked by one of the world’s largest space and robotics events: ERC. The organizers of this event moved heaven and earth to make the Martian robot competition and accompanying events happen, despite the pandemic. This year’s edition was carried out in a hybrid formula, with the use of technologies enabling remote participation in the competition. An American remote management system and mobile vehicles provided by a Polish start-up were used to create an innovative platform for the competing teams to enable them to control the robot on the Martian track in Kielce. It’s the first solution of this kind in the world! Chapeau bas!
Our hands were also full of work – an event like this needs a proper communication setting! We used plenty of technological facilities such as streaming in social media or a professional virtual commentary studio in the person of Piotr Kosek from Astrofaza channel (another cosmic influencer!). We managed to reach over 5 million people through media alone.
What’s more, our long-time client: SENER Polska, for whom it is critical to build the staff of the national space sector, not only was once again a partner of the ERC, but also the initiator of the special award: Best Design Award.
Multiple clients in one event? We believe our role is to “connect the dots” by leveraging our network of contacts and opportunities to excel in supporting our clients’ goals. After all, we are the most cosmic agency in Poland! Working for clients in this area gives us a great chance to be part of the most innovative sector in the world.
Clients that change the world
The last quarter of 2020 brought a real abundance of new clients! At the beginning of October we started cooperation with realme brand. This fast-growing smartphone manufacturer is slowly shaking up the Polish market, as evidenced by the award for best debut in the prestigious Tech Awards poll. The realme slogan Dear to leap brings responsibility, so it’s the second product premiere, which we supported, that proved that the brand has the courage to break the schemes written in its DNA. We invited Paweł Warzecha, Mobzilla – one of the leading experts on technology, and Klub Komediowy (Comedy Club), which recently became famous for its parody of the Apart commercial. That’s how Long and beautiful realme product launch was created. Working for a client from the new technology sector means not only living on a constant ASAP, but also an opportunity to co-create the latest trends, which is nothing new for our super team consisting of Natalia Malinowska (PR Specialist) and Michał Chrobot (PR Consultant).
We also won a tender to operate the Future Industry Platform. We manage the media relations and social media channels of this initiative which was created to strengthen the competence and competitiveness of companies by supporting their transformation towards Industry 4.0. The mission of the Future Industry Platform is extremely close to us! We have been embedded in Industry 4.0 topics for years, owing it partially to our long-time client, digital transformation leader Webcon.
Another new Planet client is IBC Solar, a global supplier of photovoltaic systems. We needed such an injection of (green!) energy to say with full responsibility: our clients change the world!
The report 20for20, summarising 20 years of Aptiv Technical Centre in Kraków, is also a proof of that. Aptiv is another technological giant, who we have the pleasure to work with. The report guides us through the most groundbreaking moments of the company’s presence in the capital of Malopolska in an extraordinary way. The title and concept of the report (20 reasons to be proud) were identical to the outdoor campaign. For other clients, like GMV Innovating Solutions – Poland’s largest IT company specializing in the space sector and a leading provider of intelligent transport systems, we carry out regular media relations activities. The company’s experts appear in Rzeczpospolita, Focus and industry media – space24 or transinfo.pl.
At the end of the year, an American software producer Hyland, which opened its Central European office in Katowice in 2020 joined the group of Planet’s clients. The employer branding campaign designed and implemented by us appears on specialized portals targeting programmers, in news and business media, as well as in the local news channels and urban space of Katowice. Last year Hyland recruited over 40 people fully remotely, and the most important value is hidden in the phrase results and people over processes. Can we be any prouder of our clients?
Hyland billboard campaign in Katowice
Our people, our power
Last but not least: changes in the team! The last quarter was full of new faces (and heads!) in the team, not to mention plenty of promotions this year – Aga Mrozowska and Gosia Karwicka jumped into the positions of Project Managers.
In September Michał Chrobot, a PR expert specializing in new technologies communication joined us as PR Consultant. Michał was reluctant to describe himself in three words but the ladies from the team say that he’s intelligent, funny and talkative.
In October our team was powered by two juniors (Junior PR Executive, to stay with our corporate nomenclature). Weronika Weimer says she is cool-headed, persistent and responsible, and Gabriela Pliszczynska – resourceful, frank and good-hearted. We also managed to find a company handywoman, i.e. Office Assistance, Alicja Dusza (cheerful, intelligent and helpful).
We finished our summary of 2019 with a sentence: In Planet Partners we don’t keep pace with the times – we are far ahead. And you? Are you ready for the new decade? Older and wiser by a year of experience we may confess: we were right and we were wrong. We are ahead of the spirit of the times (we introduced remote working in the distributed team model many years ago). At the same time, despite our strong setting in digital transformation or futurological themes, we had never expected this new normality to look this way so soon. Hong Kong, Ohio, Madrid, Brno – are just a few of our clients’ head offices. We provide service for them from Krakow, Warsaw, Poznan, Bydgoszcz and Pinczow. The advantages of 2020 undoubtedly include the fact that the whole world is at your fingertips, and the only obstacle to international work is… the time zone difference!
After a year, we feel stronger, more in tune and responsible for each other. We are grateful to our clients for confidence they have in us and for the fact that together we can persevere to create honest and responsible, often joyful and certainly intelligent communication. Just the way we are.