BCMA Global Lockdown Content Showcase: Best In Class - Poland

Vincenzo Piscopo, Head of Branded Content & Originals at Ciao People

As part of the BCMA Global Lockdown Content Showcase, we have created a series of interviews conducted by Rebecca Allen, BCMA Global Board Director, with the key people behind the campaigns that were voted 'Best In Class'. 

We hear from Malgorzata Skonieczna, Director, Public Policy/ Government Affairs and Communications, Central Europe for PepsiCo

Please can you describe your role at PepsiCo?

Being the Public Policy/Government Affairs & External Communications Director for Central Europe I am responsible for the reputation of PepsiCo and its brands across the region covering Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Baltics. I am also responsible for government and regulatory affairs.

Can you explain what the Poland Assistance Programme was about?

When COVID-19 hit Poland we knew we had to take action to support our communities and customers through these very challenging times.  PepsiCo Poland launched the Poland Assistance Program in two stages. Initially we provided community relief support such as the delivery of over 48,000 meals to medical staff and also to the elderly who were particularly isolated during the lockdown.  This was done via organized social initiatives, such as #wzywamyposilki, and through our own delivery channels alongside our partners, AmRest (owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King brands in Poland), Glovo, a food delivery company, and the Legia Warsaw Foundation.


In addition to food deliveries, a grassroots employee initiative was put in place which involved a donation of $200,000 by The PepsiCo Foundation (the charitable arm of PepsiCo) to the no. 1 charity specialising in supporting Polish medical establishments – Wielka Orkiestra Swiatecznej Pomocy (WOSP). Through the donation we were able to provide specialist products to better equip medical personnel with PPE and devices. Our employees in Poland had any voluntary donations matched by the PepsiCo Foundation, generating a total fund of $24,000.


PepsiCo Poland also wanted to support our foodservice industry partners who faced new barriers to trading due to lockdown so we donated over 1 million bottles of Pepsi to hospitality, restaurant and catering customers which they could use as freebies with takeaway orders.   


The total value of all support offered by PepsiCo Poland during the lockdown amounted to approximately $1.5M US.


What value do you think this provided?

Our main aim was to support those in need and a major priority was ensuring people had access to nutritious food, which made sense for us to lead on as one of the largest food and drink manufacturer’s globally.  Following the donations we completed an evaluation of the Programme to better understand the needs of our selected social groups so we could tailor to the evolving situation.


As the programme progressed we learnt that collaboration with third parties enhanced the process and was relatively easy and smooth.  Our team also showed that they wanted to be committed and engaged in providing the aid. 


What feedback did you get from your partners?

We received extremely positive feedback. Our partners praised our engagement, approach and ideas, as well as the smooth organisation.  But we couldn’t have done it on our own as we needed our partners’   know-how and expertise in delivering aid and ensuring it reached those most in need.


What audiences beyond the partners were you engaging?

Predominantly our focus was on our partners, however we also engaged broader audiences through traditional PR as well as SoMe postings and video clips, on both our own and our partners’ social media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram.


We received around 40 media articles generating over 4.5million media impressions and an  advertising value equivalent of over $300,000.


Do you have any plans do you have to develop this idea further?

There are plans to continue the support further, as we see a second wave of COVID happening in Poland. 


Are there any future content campaigns you can tell us about?

COVID-19 has shown us how important resilience in our food supply chain is.  This could be under threat if we don’t take action now on sustainability whether that means taking action to address climate change or plastic waste. You can expect to see more campaigns around promoting waste segregation and recycling among children in the coming weeks and months as we step up our effort on packaging waste.


Finally, do you have any advice for other brands in this area?

The advice for other brands would be to stick to your DNA and your core values. If you pursue these, you will be able to devise meaningful campaigns which have positive effects on your target groups. In addition to the recognition you receive, you will be making real-life changes while getting the impact and rewarding results.