Zelensky in front of Parliaments: “The goal? Also stay updated »

If it is obviously about securing support – and in particular military support – from the West and encouraging tougher sanctions against Russia, it is also about“stay in the news, to arouse interest in a war that is beginning to last”, explains the teacher. There was also something historic about this speech in the House on Thursday.“It is relatively rare for a leader of a country at war to express himself in this way”recognizes Barbara De Cock, stressing that new technologies help the plan of the Ukrainian president.“It’s hard to imagine, 15 years ago, a president at war so easily affecting so many countries…”

The Ukrainian president also knows that his speech will be broadcast on the national media and that it will reach a wider audience.

A boost also for Belgian politics, according to Barbara De Cock:“Zelensky is considered by many today as a heroic leader, who remained in his country at war, and politicians like to associate themselves with this type of person.”

Personalize the speech

Ace of communication, Volodymyr Zelensky also cares about personalizing each of his speeches. Evoking 9/11 in the United States, the Berlin Wall in Germany, Verdun in France, Ypres in Belgium.“Referring to the local context helps to arouse empathy. Especially since Ukraine had the great disadvantage of being an unknown country in Western Europe at the beginning of this war. Comparing with the painful events experienced by these countries to which he is addressing, he is trying to convey the impacts of the war in Ukraine, he is making an effort to create a connection with the country, hoping that this country will strengthen its supportbehind.”

For Barbara De Cock, Zelensky’s communication strategy has worked quite well so far.“But any strategy carries risk and we saw that with the incident outside the Israeli parliament where the parallels with the Holocaust were not appreciated.”

Although the Ukrainian president usually thanks the help already provided in his speech, he also appeals to responsibilities and underlines the lack of action.“It could backfire. And at the same time, he’s aware that you always have to ask for more than you want to get…”A way also to reassure your people.

Dennis Alvarado

"Total social media fan. Travel maven. Evil coffee nerd. Extreme zombie specialist. Wannabe baconaholic. Organizer."

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