First of all, when you, as a founder, clearly understand what you want to get from the project itself. In principle, nothing new, as usual in any business. You should think about PR when:
● an investor is needed
● you need to attract an additional audience
● you need to restart the project or introduce additional services to the market
● strong employees are needed, that is important to convince of the prospects of the project
– Strengthening brand strength, goodwill endurance and strengthening the reputation of the project and its team is needed
PR coupled with a strong product and well-functioning teamwork can bring good results: increase investor interest, attract an audience when entering a new market, and motivate strong professionals to work for the company. If you have a high-quality product that is beautifully packaged and growing sales figures, you probably wondered how to build an effective PR strategy and optimize work in this area. In principle, I consider it a mistake to believe that the basis of the added value of any cryptocurrency is a high-quality PR campaign. Many who dive into the world of tokens, ICOs and cryptocurrencies really do not represent the essence of these things, therefore, due to the virtuality of assets, they mistakenly believe that they are worthless without PR. A high-quality service, product, technical impeccability, and consumer demand must always stand behind a crypto project. PR for a bad product is a crime against the market and innovation. When the quality of the product is obvious to the market, the PR campaign only adds additional value to the product in the eyes of the market and consumers.
The hype around the crypto industry is directly converted into income and investment. Previously, the industry held on to the interest of early adopters, but now that money has entered the industry, a battle has begun for the client and his money. Promotional campaigns are structured in the same way as campaigns in other areas. To promote the project, a team of marketers is now required who will purchase pr-articles, negotiate with publications, wind up views and comments, set up banner ads, and write suitable content. What you can see now in the PR and marketing services environment:
· PR managers rarely care about the status of the site for placement, few people ask for statistics, cases, referral links, etc., most agree or not to the announced amount without asking for segmentation of services according to the price list to see unnecessary tools for which they are charged pay
· Agencies generally take on any projects without even conducting an elementary DD of the project and its team. Therefore, only the owner of the media platform reflects what he will be promoting: a scam or a normal project, and he himself does not always pay attention to this. But when on the same site around a decent project there is a bunch of scam ads, the decent project itself gets a reputation as a scam.
· Now there are many PR agents on the market without agencies who do everything on their own and collect their own database, often they are intermediaries, which makes the service more expensive, but at the same time it is impossible to check the reliability of their contacts and confirm the existence of such working connections
· It is believed that it is better to work with media platforms directly. However, now we can observe a fantastic rise in the price lists. Nowadays, there are more and more situations when intermediaries, thanks to many years of working contacts and agreements, show prices much lower than the sites themselves will show you directly.
· Due to the rise in value, today you can increasingly observe barter transactions — for a media platform, for example, a team will write an article, and the platform publishes it for free. But where there is no payment for the work of professionals (in this case, the content manager or copywriter, quality usually suffers again). Total savings should not harm the quality, as a result, this will hit the reputation and image of the project. In this case, followers will get only empty advertising messages.
Then we come to the conclusion that a successful PR strategy is built on two fundamentals:
· the company, its goals, objectives and products
· target audience
The task of the PR specialist in this case is not to sell profitably, but to submit the project, so as to satisfy the interests of the subscribers of the media, blog or consumers of the project’s product. To achieve this, you need to formulate brand messages, and then understand the editorial specifics of key publications, understand how they reflect the agenda and which headings you can get into. Understanding the problems of the industry is necessary not only for the PR specialist, but also for the founder of the company: it helps to stage sharp public speeches, to more widely assess the tasks of the business. In fact, the founder should lead his community as a papacy, and not stuff it with annoying advertising calls. PR tools may differ depending on the category of business, but are usually always used:
1. Press releases — Publicly significant news about the company, which is based on an informational event (for example, the announcement of annual revenue, the launch of an innovative product, the announcement of research results on any issue, information about an event, etc.). Send no more than two releases a month, keeping the rule: less is more. And it is worth working with those media platforms that show solid increases in traffic and viewing to their platform. The most important thing here is not to turn the press release into a spam virus.
2. Blog columns on behalf of the founder of the startup on a topic that reflects the activities of the company. An effective tool for increasing expertise and improving reputation. On average, you can publish from three to five columns per month. It is also worth posting with them on your social media accounts.
3. Interviews of top officials — to organize interviews you need a strong informational case 4. Comments — Monitor the agenda related to your area and feel free to offer comments to journalists. This works after you gain recognition. The first times will be difficult and trial, but then the journalists themselves will ask you for comments. The more often you and your project are mentioned on the Internet, the higher its indexing in search queries
5. Organization of events for the press, bloggers or other key audiences — depending on the occasion.
The crypto industry has experienced so many scandals, pyramids and scams that many fans have lost confidence in crypto projects at all. Regulators don’t let you relax either. If you plan to promote your project using PR tools, then you will face the following problems:
· Does the project exist or is it just an idea? The journalist of the publication does not want to write about people and a team who only think to do something.
· Ban and restrictions on advertising on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other sites.
· Showdown with regulatory authorities: you need to be precise in the wording so that the project does not see the signs of a pyramid, does not violate the laws “On Advertising” and “On Investment Activities” of different jurisdictions.
· The PR campaign should be broad, single point articles are not enough to gain the trust of users. PR must interface with other marketing and PR instruments
· At the same time, the PR campaign should not be obvious, for example, when the same text or review with one message is published in 10 media editions. Don’t skimp on the variety of content and diversification of tools
· PR campaigns should target two audiences: experienced and casual users, and even beginners.
We can summarize a few tips from promotion specialists on how to conduct PR campaigns for crypto projects:
· correctly allocate the budget — combine expensive and more economical packages and tools
· build a strategy and negotiate in advance with sites, generate news feeds and link articles to them
· build a content and media plan, and follow it
· choose a reliable agency with successful projects behind your back or gather your own PR team that is smart enough to assess the latest trends in the crypto market
· write a lot of articles, do not limit yourself to a few custom articles in top publications, write yourself and keep your blogs and accounts on social networks
· Do not forget about unique content, demonstrate that you are an expert in the field in which you work — this builds trust and interest, creates a brand
· Tell vivid real, interesting stories, cases, successes and failures, analyze the audience, the publishing house you are applying to, select the appropriate topics and words
· all social networks must be alive, the site must work, the manager must answer the mail right there, feedback is a must-have of your adequacy
· take guest publications, press releases, and paid placements, not only in the form of texts, but also on YouTube, in groups, on Twitter, in Telegram, in Reddit, and so on as far as possible and time
· PR articles are only part of the promotion, do not ignore other tools like bounty, targeting, banner ads, etc.
· if you do not believe in your project, do not even start its PR promotion
What does a PR specialist in the blockchain and crypto industry need to understand?
1. Basic concepts and terms. You will be helped by: communication with experts, articles from specialized media, numerous blockchain dictionaries
2. Key market players: companies and individuals
3. The main trends in blockchain and crypt at the time of the project’s PR campaign. For example: bitcoin rate, legal regulation, new projects and technologies, scandals and releases, etc. Subscribing to daily newsletters will also help.
4. The level of media interest in this topic. Monitor key public and business media for publications about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Understand: how often and what they write about, how your PR campaign can fit into the context.
5. Similar blockchain campaigns of other competing projects. The number of projects always grows exponentially with hype.
6. Top Cryptomedia: Cointelegraph, CoinDesk, Bits Media etc
7. Understand the Features of Crypto Media. New media are constantly appearing: you need to monitor it regularly. They want more money than the rest of the public media. Overwhelmed with content. Coverage changes regularly: some grow, others fall. Websites actively reprint news from top media.
What will replace press releases in the future
The era of press releases is leaving us: publications that could lead you to your target audience are rarely published now. Instead of preparing press releases, it is worth focusing on creating an image of a leader in the company, where professionals in their field work. This is easier for tech startups to do than for “regular” social networks. If you offer an exceptional service, you need to establish yourself as an expert developer by taking advantage of the technological advantage of your project. Thus, you will bet on the uniqueness of the product itself. PR activity should be limited to actions that will allow you to create a certain positive image for yourself in the business and technological environment. As the “karma” of the startup and its leader grows, more and more people will learn about the service, and there will certainly be customers among them. At some point, the number of mentions of your startup by satisfied users will grow so much that the press will be directly interested in serious coverage of the project’s work. Startups usually have a large volume of tasks and limited resources. How to save time and prioritize? You can use services for PR specialists that exist on the market. Three formats are best known:
· native advertising, when a project or editorial staff writes unique content
· Press release
· and banner advertising
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Sergey Golubev (Сергей Голубев)
Crynet Marketing Solutions, vtorov.tech, EU structural funds, ICO/STO/IEO projects, NGO & investment projects, project management
When do you need PR to crypto? was originally published in DataDrivenInvestor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.