A case of a Medium Blog: The Ukrainian View

As a PR Army, we started working on the information front from the first day of the full-scale invasion and we needed a place to publish all the heart-breaking stories of Ukrainians in occupation and life-assuring stories of our defenders. 

My colleagues and I used our knowledge of the Medium platform to start doing it without barriers.  

How it started 

We started publishing stories on the Medium platform as it was the fastest and cheapest way to do it. Medium is a social media platform where anyone can share their thoughts, ideas, and stories. 

We noticed that a bunch of obviously commissioned propaganda articles promoting anti-Ukrainian narratives started to appear on Medium, through a fairly simple entrance threshold. It was clear who orchestrated those articles. It was worth working on, because the readers of Medium are far from the Ukrainian agenda, and the rule “first come first served” applies here. So, the decision was obvious – we needed more Ukrainian voices in English, and we had to act immediately.

Some of our first stories:

At first, we had the support of the Medium editorial team that helped us to promote separate stories.

We managed to spread a word about the war among the Medium community which counts millions.

There were several stories that worked marvels and helped us to move forward to the next chapter in our work – creating The Ukrainian view. 

How The Ukrainian View works now 

For many decades and even centuries, the Ukrainians have been silenced due to constant invasions, repression, oppressive regimes and Russian propaganda that created a negative image of Ukraine and Ukrainians. 

Some of the stories are written by coordinators and volunteers of the PR Army:

Most of them are collected from the Medium authors and outside experts, writers, eyewitnesses:

We’re not aiming at the amount of subscribers, our goal is to make these stories seen. The Ukrainian View helps us to promote Ukrainian speakers on other platforms, make translations and interviews. For example:

  • War is peace”, a brilliant article made by the author Ivan Shovkoplias about modern Russian wars and occupations, was taken by a prominent Ukrainian media Ukraїner and has been translated into different languages 
  • Sergei Cherkes, who told the story of occupation of Melitopol, became a speaker for some of the interviews in media
  • An expert column about Azov was translated into Italian and taken as well by Ukraїner and translated into more languages 

Pros and Cons of Medium 

Before The Ukrainian View, one of my colleagues and I had a pretty explicit experience in working with Medium for tech companies and IT service providers. Here are several advantages I would like to emphasize:

  • Medium’s audience is 135M users in the world, 25% of them are from the US. Unlike many self-posting platforms, Medium’s audience is comparably active.
  • Medium’s audience is mostly educated, solvent and progressive people of the middle class, mainly in the field of IT, tech, creative industries, etc. For some products and niches, Medium can be a great opportunity to reach your target audience and generate leads.
  • Medium is the easiest way to publish guest posts. Also, it has a prevailing amount of content on tech, self-growth, productivity and entrepreneurship topics so if you’re working in one of those fields, Medium is a great place for gaining new audience and content distribution. 
  • There are already blogs on Medium, they’re called “publications”. For several articles, no need to create your own, it’s better to apply your stories to existing blogs with the relevant audience. For example, my article “UX Writing” was published in UX Collective and got viral because it was a perfect fit for the audience. In general, if your article really resonates with the audience, it can end up in the publication’s newsletter, or even become a feature in a certain topic or get into the digest that the Medium team sends out to its readers.
  • You can adapt your articles for Medium publications with an already collected audience, no need to write new ones every time. For example, in one of my tech content projects, we took our guides and changed it according to what is more relevant on Medium. Basically, if the guide covers a topic from different sides and for different audiences, we pick up one direction and follow it in our Medium version. 
  • Articles on Medium have a good rank on SERP, help to boost your SEO and even bring leads if the article appeals to the pains and needs of your audience. 
  • You can publish articles on behalf of the team members for developing their personal brand. 
  • On Medium, you always remain the sole author of your content. Even if you have added an article to a publication, at any time you can change it, remove it from the publication, or add it to another. This is your article and you decide what to do with it.

There are several cons which do not suppress the positive sides:

  • No possibility to have different language versions
  • Lack of flexibility in the UI of the blog
  • Difficulties with adding authors and stories as everyone need to register on Medium and publish articles themselves
  • Some publications put the articles behind a paywall. For the author it can be a good thing because it’s a possibility to earn with your writing. For simply spreading the information, better choose publications without paywalls (this is what we do with The Ukrainian View).  

The Ukrainian View is made and supported by the Ukrainian volunteers from the PR Army: writers, journalists, experts in different fields from the war affairs to culture and history. 

Donate to the PR Army and submit your Medium articles. 

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