Cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, blockchain, are two of the youngest industries that exist today.
Beyond their infancy status, they mark the world’s entrance into a fully digitized sector – but, with the blockchain PR buzz of the last 3 years officially being over, companies within the space now need to show the true value of their offerings.
Obviously, we’re over the ICO craze of 2017 and 2018, but we are seeing a renewed wave of interest for raising money from the crowd. The difference is now coin offerings are maturing, and as DeFi booms and institutional investors dive into crypto, a rising number of blockchain startups are looking to gain traction. – Motti Peer, CEO of Blockchain PR Agency ReBlonde
Did you know currently, a total of 5,392 cryptocurrencies exist today? The space has clearly become saturated. Therefore, gaining media attention and swinging into the public eye through public relations, *pre-launch*, of an ICO, IEO, STO, or whatever it may be that you are offering is extremely important.
If you want to avoid getting drained out by the competition, that is.
Public relations can be the very thing that helps make or break (from the lack of it) your blockchain company, yet it tends to be put on the radar late into the game.
Fear not. It is better late than never and I’ll share why it’s so important plus some blockchain PR techniques you can begin implementing immediately.
Crypto & blockchain PR techniques to consider
Even though the industry is in its infancy and has yet to be globally regulated and adopted, blockchain technology in particular has made its mark. We are seeing this technology being used in sectors like health care, automotive, government, retail consumer goods, and more. Cryptocurrencies in particular are also expected to see some major changes in 2021.
Simply put, once an industry starts to mature, the use of public relations becomes increasingly important for the businesses within it.
Mastering blockchain PR requires some patience, but it can be simple enough to get started if you know what you need to do.
Speaking from experience, a customized approach is good once you’ve got the hang of it. Till then, don’t eliminate any tactics from your toolkit. Prioritizing where to begin first is key.
Set up an online newsroom for your blockchain company
Start with what you have access to: owned media. Having a website is a must, but there’s one more web page that can help you master blockchain PR: an online newsroom
Unlike actual media coverage, it’s where you completely control your own narrative and decide what to make public. It’s also a go-to place for all journalists, influencers, and even your clients who are curious about your company news and relevant press materials.
But, in order to get attention, whether it be consumer traffic or media coverage, both your newsroom and your website should be optimized for search engines.
Think about it this way:
If a reporter is looking to gain insights on new companies within the blockchain space and googles “most innovative companies in blockchain,” you’re going to want to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) for that reporter to see.
Start by having the newsroom under your own domain, leveraging Prowly’s newsroom SEO settings, and integrating quality keywords (such as innovative blockchain) throughout your PR content – including press releases.
Create press releases (with a 28-day media cycle in mind)
Press releases remain essential to the media industry. No wonder: when written and distributed properly, press releases are a great way to spread the word about any venture. Plus, many journalists consider them to be verifiable information put out by companies.
There are two main techniques when it comes to distributing press releases, and it’s no different with blockchain & crypto PR:
- Automated press release distribution (via newswires)
- Manual press release distribution (via PR outreach tools like Prowly)
No matter which option you choose, keep in mind that the media likes to see companies put out content, that is earned or paid, every 28-days. This is known as the 28-day media cycle.
Take, for example, a blockchain company that puts out information once every 6 months versus another that is actively sharing content or gaining media attention on a monthly basis.
If you were a reporter, which company would you be more likely to write about?
This blockchain PR technique may seem like foreign territory but there is a method to the madness. Essentially, the information shared in a press release must follow a sequence:
- Come up with a headline that can truly grab attention and indicate what the press release is about.
- Consider adding a subheading that will encourage the readers to keep reading.
- In the first line of your press release, aside from the date and location, provide a summary of what, who, where, when, why, and how within a short line or two.
- Then, expand on the details of the announcement.
- Include the social proof that explains why this news should be taken seriously.
- Feature quotes from key individuals like a company’s CEO.
- Add a standardized boilerplate and contact details at the very end.
Remember that press releases should be newsworthy, eye-catching, and contain only factual, relevant information. Otherwise, it might be difficult for you to create any buzz at all.
Pitch blockchain journalists
Keep in mind that media relations is a long-term game. Having an online newsroom and publishing your press releases is a great place to start, but you also have to get more proactive and pitch blockchain journalists if you want to see the results of your blockchain PR efforts.
You won’t master your golf swing first day on the green, and you won’t win over the media with your first media pitch. In fact, it’ll probably be “several media pitches in before you score a win.”
Don’t let this discourage you but rather prepare you for what’s to come if you want to be successful at pitching top blockchain journalists. On a positive note, once a relationship has been built it can be maintained by ensuring there is a continuous value exchange.
Provide original and valuable content angles to blockchain journalists or reporters you’re in contact with on a regular basis. One way you can go about this is by offering thought leadership pieces you have written that align with their beat (also known as topic/category they choose to write on).
Ensure your thought leadership pieces are:
- Backed up with facts and statistics
- Provide value and are well-written
- Sent to the media as a short-pitch with a solid explanation as to why it would benefit their readers.
Do not “overpitch” just because you want to be written about! Try to be useful instead.
The truth is, blockchain is still a poorly understood field. By helping blockchain journalists educating the public, you can not only get precious media coverage but also familiarize your target audience with the technology and your business.
Where to find blockchain journalists, then?
Basically, blockchain and crypto companies should target journalists at media publications that will actually want to make that blockchain PR buzz happen for them.
It is commonplace to want to be all things to everyone, but you can’t. Neither can your company be interesting to all media publications. In fact, within your niche, you may provide interest to just a select few at first.
That’s not a bad thing, in fact, it can be a great thing, but it is important to identify who should be on your media list.
You really have to hit the crypto vertical and get coverage in publications like Coindesk, Cointelegraph, and BitcoinMagazine, in addition to the usual mainstream suspects. This is where you’re going to find people with bitcoin and Ether already in their wallets, and that means people that will actually be willing to get involved with your project. – Motti Peer, CEO of Blockchain PR Agency ReBlonde
When you think about it, there are three main verticals essential to the success of blockchain companies. Motti Peer mentioned crypto already, but according to him, it’s also important to get tech publications—after all, most blockchain startups created impressive technologies to power their products.
Then, of course, there’s the business and finance vertical. Whether they like it or not, the vast majority of blockchain startups are fintech companies, and getting their name into the likes of Forbes and Fortune is important for name recognition and raising funds.
There are pre-built media lists and databases which can decrease the amount of time you need to spend on researching and finding the right target media contacts. Try Prowly’s Media Database, for example.
Media coverage can easily position crypto and blockchain companies like yourself as key experts in the industry, and bring new leads without spending a lot of money on advertising.
Mastering blockchain PR
With time, as your ability to run PR campaigns, do PR outreach and level up the full PR playing field grows, other strategies will become important in order to fully leverage all that PR has to offer. The list of blockchain PR techniques includes, but is not limited to:
- Getting mentions and coverage in both print & online publications
- TV & Radio exposure (broadcasting)
- Paid press release distribution (newswires)
- Media outreach
- Social media buzz
- Various forms of content that attract attention (blogs, videos, long-form articles)
- Paid campaigns and sponsored articles
If you have doubts, you can always turn to specialized blockchain PR agencies like ReBlonde for help.
One thing is certain: always strive for meaningful, long-term relationships with top blockchain journalists, no matter if you decide to go solo or hire an experienced blockchain PR firm. This should pay off for your company in the long run.
Cover photo by Austin Distel