Petr Pavel’s communication style will be more authentic and open, says expert
Petr Pavel has just been sworn in as the new Czech head of state. While the president’s role in the Czech political system is largely symbolic, the way he communicates and presents himself to the public is all the more important, says expert on strategic communication Denisa Hejlová. I spoke to her just a few hours before Pavel’s inauguration to discuss his communication style:
“The role of the Czech president is very different from for instance the US presidential system. Communicating with various stakeholders and various people is one of his main tasks and a very important part of the presidential role in Czechia.
“The president inherently sets the standard in many intangible values, such as: What do we stand for? Who are the Czechs as a nation? How should we behave? Who should we support? What should we not do? So I think this is very important.
“The president can also talk about various societal problems, such as security and international relations, but also domestic problems, such as social problems or inequalities.”
What can we expect from Petr Pavel’s communication style based on his campaign?
“So far from what we have seen from Petr Pavel we can say that probably his communication is going to be much more informal than the communication of the former president. He is quite authentic and very straightforward.
“He is not a polarizing person. His communication style is not aggressive and it doesn’t interfere with international policy, as was the case while president Zeman was in power. Zeman was sometimes in straight contradiction with the domestic foreign policy line.
“So we can expect that the communication style of Petr Pavel is going to be more authentic, maybe more informal, more polite and definitely more open.”
What is the significance of the inauguration ceremony?
“The inauguration ceremony dates back to the 20th century, so it is not that old. However, it is still a very important ritual with a mostly symbolic role.
“Just like any other ritual we have in life, it is important for the people to symbolically start a new term. It is also important for them to show their support for the president and enjoy the ceremony as the start of a new era.”
So can it give us a glimpse of what Petr Pavel’s five years in office will be like?
“Definitely. The inauguration ceremony has been prepared so as to show support for and involve a lot of Czech companies and producers, for example the people who created the pen that will be used in the ceremony. So the symbolism and the support for the Czech economy displayed, especially small and mid-sized enterprises, is very important.”