Exactly two years ago, Link to Poland was launched.
The portal’s founder and CEO, Mariusz Soltanifar, says of the development of the portal over the past two years: “From the very beginning, the site gained positive opinions for its innovative approach to promoting Poland around the world, as evidenced by the incoming editorial emails with proposals of co-operation or of patronage of various events, from both Polish diaspora and Poles living abroad, but also foreigners seeking information on education, business or tourism in Poland. This growing interest from many organisations, the media, businesses and individuals, has translated into the dynamic development of Link to Poland, which thus becomes a multiplier for the organisations involved in the promotion of Poland in the world”.
Examples of such activities are the media patronage of the events organised by the The Foundation of the Polish Promotional Emblem „Teraz Polska”. Krzysztof Przybył, president of the foundation, emphasises that “Link to Poland is a true compendium of knowledge about Poland, which was lacking on the Internet. Clear graphics, interesting topics and a passion for creating Link to Poland convinced us to strengthen co-operation. Since the beginning of this year, we have published information about the activities of the foundation, under its own user account, which Link to Poland offers to any interested company or organisation. We are aware that, through the medium of Link to Poland, our actions are more effective and reach an even wider audience.”
Among the first 10 countries from which Link is Poland has recorded the highest visits to the site over the past two years is France. Aldona Kałuża, owner of the PolskaPROject and editor-in-chief StrefaPL, and permanent resident of France, appreciates the innovation of Link to Poland and encourages other organisations to co-operate: “The world press writes about Poland, and ultimately also of its development and potential investments. We are at the right time for a wide and positive promotion of Poland. This is the time for promotion.
“Meanwhile, despite being much needed, few among the flood of promotional projects link global action, modern information and visualisation. As a modern and – because it is presented in several languages – globally understood portal, Link to Poland promotes Poland and Poles. Launched recently, it has already created its own network of contacts throughout the world. When I first saw what the portal proposed and how it looks, I thought ‘Yes! That’s it! A modern communication tool, a thought-action strategy, creative, and open to editorial contacts’. If the Polish promote something today, it is vital to have projects such as Link to Poland. In creating new mini-portals, information platforms, exploring the same subjects, it is worth taking a look at how Link to Poland works. Invest in a good, proven concept and help it develop.
“On the French side, Link to Poland is already a leading partner for the portal StrefaPL. I hope this is only the beginning of our cooperation, and that everything interesting and good is yet to come! Poles in exile cannot just open shops and businesses, but it is also great to communicate and promote their own country! Link it to Poland, good luck in the next stages. StrefaPL is with you!”
While it is true that Link to Poland was founded in the Netherlands, its subject matter is not restricted to any geographical framework. Poles are scattered around the world. Iwona Kozłowska, head of the Department of Curriculum Programming in the Department for Cooperation with Polonia and Poles Abroad, in a response to a question about the statistics concerning Polonia and Poles abroad, said they are encouraged to “look into the Atlas of the Polish presence abroad on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. It is a compendium of the Polish presence and activity in the world and through maps and short texts and aggregated information, shows the presence of the Polish diaspora in all its parts, allowing you to capture the diversity of the global dimension of Polish emigration. It is based on the texts contained in the ‘Report of Polonia and Poles abroad’, and the results of a consultation carried out within the framework of Foreign Ministry support in 2012-2014. Another source, separate from the report, was updated information from the Polish consular and diplomatic institutions that maintain ongoing contacts with Polish organisations operating on the territory of their missions, based on a special survey done in 2013. ‘Atlas’ is a project of innovation and development. Our plans, in this regard, are extremely ambitious. That is why we are very keen on co-operation with the Polish community. We value opinions expressed in this regard on ‘Atlas’. We are open to any suggestions and tips,” she said.
In „Atlas” there is also information on sports organisations. Link to Poland supports them and is the media patron of many sporting events, attracting thousands of participants, giving an excellent opportunity to present Poland abroad. Marcin Sieroń, president of the Foundation White Eagles, said: “Link to Poland shows perfectly the different institutions and the scope of their activities among the Polish community living outside the borders of our country. The portal has been with us since the very conception, and our two-year collaboration has yielded results. Information on our initiative, which is to promote Polish culture among Dutch society by organising many sporting, integration or music event, reaches a wide audience. Thanks to Link to Poland for two years a great co-operation, and we look forward to more such anniversaries.”
Sporting events are not only limited to Poland. For those who do not yet know it, The World Polonia Games encourages Poles around the world to return to their homeland.
Andrzej Kempa, president of the Association “World Polonia Games – Polonia Austria” and the editor-in-chief of the information service “Polonia Sports” and who is permanently resident in Austria, said: “Thanks to Link to Poland, we have a wide multilingual informative overview of the events with the participation of Poles abroad as well as within the country. Congratulations on a well-executed, dynamically developing project. I know that it would not be possible without the expertise and strong commitment of the editorial team. I wish you continued success!”
Link to Poland also presents a calendar of events organised by our compatriots all over the world, showing an image of Poles open to the world and its challenges; mobile, visible in the region, acting on behalf of the local community, integrating with the native inhabitants of the country in which they live, co-existing with them, acting as satellites for and far from indifferent to the promotion of Poland. Events are an integral part of this calendar. One of the most visible projects in the world recently was the Play Poland Film Festival, covering not only Edinburgh, London, Oslo, Shanghai, Ottawa and New York, but also many other cities. Mateusz Jarża, organiser of the festival, highlights the ease of finding information on the portal: “The calendar of events on Link to Poland is a unique, extremely rich source of information, presenting festivals, film screenings, concerts and art exhibitions. It’s a great inspiration for Poles around the world, an invitation to co-create. Cultural organisations should feel free to inform Link to Poland of events worth noting. We will be happy to participate in them.”
Portal Link to Poland presents also Polish traditions, culture and history. Marta Lefik, the president of Pangea Network underlines: “Link to Poland is not only a modern source of information on Poland, Polish culture and tradition, but also an international platform which comprehensively introduces the initiatives and achievements of Poles in the global sphere. From the beginning, we have been committed to working with the portal and are planning a number of joint projects. The website is professionally prepared and expertly presents Poland to the outside world.”
Link to Poland is committed to disseminating information about innovative and unusual projects. An example of one of them is the travel project “The World by Bus”. Karol Lewandowski, the originator of the initiative, states with conviction that the inclusion of the project under the wings of Link to Poland led to the intended results: “It was pleasing to travel and hear that, even as far away as Australia, Link to Poland has become increasingly recognisable. Even the people that we met on our travels have heard about Link to Poland and speak very positively of it. I am glad that our trip was also presented in an interactive and modern way. We look forward to further publications. ”
It is not only Poles who can count on support for their projects, but foreigners too. Daniel Del Rosal Garcia is a native of Madrid who, with a group of friends, operates the first network of Spaniards living in Poland: Jesús García. “Through the portal, we get information to a wide audience and the media, and to other interested individuals in our project. The portal is a real link that helps to find people to work together, to reach those who are passionate about creating unique projects, and thus it allows operating more efficiently and achieving many mutual benefits.”
Companies that are increasingly contacting the editor of Link to Poland interested in promoting their products and services also note this synergy effect. One of the companies that benefited from the forms of promotion offered by Link to Poland is the freight transport company Juzwa. Wojciech Juzwa, the owner, is happy with the results and promises to extend the partnership agreement. “The modern, clear and interactive way of presenting our company allowed us to reach a wide audience. Advertising on Link to Poland improved our positioning, and our presence among the first results of a Google search brought extra interest in the services we offer. Certainly, we will continue our co-operation with Link to Poland. It is a portal that allows businesses seeking new customers to promote their products and services. I encourage others to take advantage of the offer of Link to Poland.”
Grzegorz Chęć, co-founder, recommends the different forms of promotion available on Link to Poland, and invites businesses to co-operate. “Companies that have so far benefited from our marketing campaigns were satisfied because they gained interesting work and new contacts. We meet the expectations of our customers. Promotional campaigns are selected individually to the needs of the customer and allow you to create something original for all, tailored to their needs and expectations.”
Link to Poland operates on an open formula. It is for anyone who wants to promote their projects or events, thematically fitted within the concept. Sylwia Gołębiewska, founder of the Center for Speech and Language – Speech Zone Dundalk in Ireland, notes that “at a time when we no longer have to go without access to information through the Internet, it is good to support initiatives that speak about Poland and Poles positively. That’s why we have worked with Link to Poland for the past two years. Emigration teaches humility, and is a challenge from both perspectives – going home and taking us around the world. That’s why such portals as Link to Poland should be a source of information and a bridge connecting both Poles at home and compatriots across the globe. This allows us to exchange experiences and share best practices. This also applies to the use of our mother tongue. Emigration often deprives us of the opportunity to use the Polish language actively in speaking and writing. Therefore, the proposition that children should be enrolled in school at an early age, and that attention is paid to Polonia at the same time as the correct implementation of education, is very important. For the youngest, second and subsequent languages are often a gift, but real skill in several languages depends on adults’ awareness and their support at every stage of learning. Only then we can prepare a young person accordingly and give them a good start in life. Link to Poland supports initiatives and institutions of Polish community schools, which are created to educate the young generation of Poles as citizens not only of Europe, but of the world.”
Link to Poland cordially invites co-operation with individuals and organisations wishing to take up the challenge of presenting Poland and Polish people in the world in an interactive and modern way.
Link to Poland in numbers, 2012 – 2014
1095 Published articles
87 Partner organisations
75 Media patronages
10150 Likes on Facebook
2604 Facebook group members
2886 Followers on Twitter
935 Pins on Pinterest
Link to Poland: www.linktopoland.com
Phone (International): 0031 684 978 862
Polish phone: 0048 602 466 265