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Insights from a Ukrainian Communications Professional 

Syntax recently welcomed Galya Matkovska, a Ukrainian who moved to Canada because of the Russian war. Matkovska brings new perspectives and experiences to the table, offering our clients more creative and effective communications. 

Here are some facts about Ukrainian marketing and communications you might not know:  

  • In Ukraine, higher education isn’t seen as critical before starting your career. Instead, the best way to grow professionally is to start working. That’s why you see people with the title Chief Marketing Officer by age 27 or Head of Digital Marketing at 22.  
  • Ukrainians are a digital-first nation, and Ukrainian marketing is exceptionally modern. Ukrainian charities have been ahead of the curve, fundraising through QR codes for years. Many services have great mobile apps. Print is dead, but the TV industry is still strong.  
  • Instagram is the primary social marketing channel for all (not LinkedIn or Twitter), even for professionals. Matkovska had an Instagram blog about her career before coming to Canada. 
  • Ukrainian government communications have changed immensely since the revolution in 2014. Ukrainians expect more authentic communications from government officials, departments and national companies. Gone are the platitudes and catch-phrases seen from post-Soviet politicians. Increasingly, you’ll see official accounts posting memes, jokes, and emojis to deliver a message.  

Social media graphics from the official pages of the Minister of Health of Ukraine Dr. Ulana Suprun.

  • This change has attracted a lot of young people to government communications teams. Matkovska joined the Ukrainian Minister of Health’s communications team at age 21.  
Matkovska with the Minister of Health of Ukraine Dr. Ulana Suprun, Chief of Staff and members of the Minister’s communications team 
  • Ukrainian companies are very focused on customer experience and brand touchpoints. They want to be a Lovemark, which is a concept created by Kevin Roberts that refers to a marketing positioning strategy based on generating an emotional bond or connection with consumers. The idea is to build customer loyalty and differentiate from other brands, which means customers expect a ‘wow’ experience from flower shops, coffee shops, bakeries and beauty salons.  
  • Ukrainians have a powerful “cancel culture.” One bad mistake or abusive joke can spread quickly on social media and become a major issue for brands. 
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Galya Matkovska

March 24 | 2023

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