The number of projects hiring blockchain marketing and PR firms is growing. And it’s little wonder given how crowded the landscape is: even the most switched-on observer can occasionally feel overwhelmed by the continual conveyor belt of new products, services, and token sales. Companies who can cut through the noise and make a memorable impact with their messaging are few and far between, but they tend to share the same philosophy when it comes to recognizing the value of good PR.
Hiring a traditional PR firm to raise awareness of your token-collateralized loans or customized nodes isn’t the way forward. Why? Because they come from a completely different world and crypto is an alien language to them. Blockchain PR differs in numerous ways from traditional PR, with the main divergence outlined below.
It’s more complex
It should go without saying, but the inherent complexity of the blockchain world calls for some degree of expertise. Employing a PR agency who might “wing it” simply isn’t worth it. Time that would otherwise be wasted explaining, clarifying, and coaching a PR agency that’s new to the blockchain world could otherwise be better deployed. With the right team in place, you can get right down to business.
A tech-savvy audience
This point concerns the audience to whom you are pitching your content (magazine and web editors, for example, podcast hosts, YouTube channel owners), as well as the end readers whom you’re hoping to engage with. Whatever materials a blockchain startup disseminates, it must strike the right tone and meet the approval of interested parties – otherwise it’ll sink without a trace. All in all, a PR team who are familiar with the industry stands the best chance of making your content sing.
It should also be noted, incidentally, that many blockchain projects, particularly those concerned with the issuance of digital tokens, simultaneously raise money from sophisticated financial investors (venture capitalists, family funds, retail traders) and members of the general public. As such, any PR agency handling coverage for a client in the crypto space must be conversant with the needs of everyday consumers and experienced, accredited investors. If they aren’t, they’ll fail to convey your message to either.
A greater emphasis on network-building
Good PR is as much about network building as anything else. That’s why the best PR officers have editors on speed dial. In the world of blockchain though, you need very specific media contacts – the kind who know their APIs from their ASICs. The sort who can make a crypto story go viral. It’s not just editors either; blockchain PR execs should be in touch with investors, venture capitalists, podcasters, conference organizers, policy-makers, developers, consultants. Anyone and everyone who might serve a function in the telling of your story.
In traditional PR, agencies tend to represent clients whose identities are, if not always well known, at least verifiable. But that’s not always the case in the crypto world. Some project teams (those developing privacy protocols, for example, or untraceable cryptocurrencies) are spread far and wide and either anonymous or pseudonymous, like Bitcoin’s enigmatic creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Occasionally, such a shadowy team might well require the services of a blockchain PR agency. Doesn’t happen much in the real-world, does it?
The need to understand ‘crypto culture’
There’s no getting around it, crypto is a culture. A counterculture, in fact: anti-government, libertarian, curious and obsessed with innovation. It’s also rife with jargon, memes and in-jokes: farming, food coins, Hide the Pain Harold, Gym Friend, flippening – you get the picture. The blockchain world couldn’t be any more different from the strait-laced world of traditional finance, and so any PR team working within the space needs to get up to speed, fast.
Payment in crypto
Not all blockchain clients will ask to pay their PR team in crypto. But some will insist on it. As they see it, they’re doing their part for the industry and introducing outsiders to the beautiful world of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. Certain startups might even attempt to pay you in their native token/shitcoin.
Blockchain PR is, in a sense, the wacky cousin of regular PR. Anyone working in this industry better know their Pete from Pomp and be a networking god, because that’s what the job demands.