By Melissa A. Vitale
When scrolling online these days, you cannot escape another meme, headline, or tweet about blockchain, cryptocurrency, bitcoin, or a new service switching over to blockchain technology through an ICO, or initial coin offering. From the finance sector to the health-care industry, businesses are eager to adopt blockchain technology for its encryption and potential for customization based on business needs. If it seems like there's a new ICO daily, it’s because there practically has been since the start of the year. Brands looking to adopt blockchain technology haven’t just crowded the space; they’ve oversaturated it. Not that long ago, bitcoin and blockchain were buzzwords that only your tech-savvy cousin used; now, it seems like everyone has a “token.”
So many brands are drinking the crypto Kool-Aid because it’s an exciting technology. It currently lacks stringent regulation from most major governments (and judging from how slowly the U.S. government is grappling with Facebook’s data breach, it will be months, maybe years, before Congress gets around to looking into any possibly adverse effects of blockchain). Companies are quickly jumping on the crypto bandwagon for the security and convenience it offers their customers and client base, not to mention the potential of automatizing and personalizing the platform.
Well-backed ICOs are seeking the help of digital marketers and public relations agencies to catapult their ICO to bitcoin heights. A PR campaign for an ICO can help establish the credentials of the names behind the currency, garner industry recognition for disruption, and reach interested investors and potential customers. Because of the crowded space and the range of marketing, advertising, and communications strategies available in this rapidly growing industry, not all ICOs are a fit for a public relations campaign.
Below, Melissa A. Vitale Public Relations rounds up the questions to ask before considering a public relations plan.
Digital currencies can operate on different blockchains, with Ethereum and Hashgraph being two of the most talked about beyond bitcoin. Depending on the blockchain that hosts your token, there may be more journalists tracking trends, growth and predictions, specifically at top-tier news outlets.
Is there an executive voice that needs to be heard?
Some ICOs are integrated into an established brand that’s already thriving, and some are meant to modernize outdated business models. Whatever the reason, usually there’s an insightful, newsworthy executive spearheading the strategy whose expertise would intrigue the media. ICOs that launch with no concrete purpose or direction, or without a team of executives passionate about the technology, typically do not excite news outlets.
Do you have big names or industry leaders behind the brand?
Unfortunately, blockchain and cryptocurrency are two fields of “fin tech” that are flooded with novices, overeager entrepreneurs, or amateurs hoping they have discovered the next big thing. If the partners and voices behind an ICO have a degree of industry recognition (either within finance, technology, or the industry they are adopting their coin for), they will stand out among the recreational investors.
Are you one of the first in your industry? Do you have an interesting story to tell?
While you certainly will not be the first company to adopt blockchain technology, you may be one of the trailblazers in your industry or sector launching a coin for a specific role or purpose. Even if there are a few competitors in your exact space, you can still attract media attention to your ICO, so long as you have an exciting or trendsetting brand story. A consultation with a professional publicist can asses brand appeal and target storylines.
Are there investors onboard?
Although typically not a make-or-break aspect of an ICO, well-funded tokens can typically focus on aesthetics, social presence, branding, and internal thought leadership, rather than just purpose, through a blog or press page, in addition to a full-scale media campaign.
Can you compete against well-groomed competitors?
Whenever you scan visuals depicting the explosion of ICOs hitting the interwebs, you will notice how few competitors you would have had if you had launched your ICO two, three, or up to five years ago. Now, many of the biggest industry names and brands are into the crypto craze, and if a protégé of Warren Buffett’s offers a coin even remotely similar to yours, he or she will interest the important journalists, unless, of course, your coin outshines theirs. The one thing that the media love more than big names is an underdog story. So how do you compete? Success stories and impressive or unexpected data-driven results are the foundation on which a publicist can build a compelling narrative.
If your ICO is ready for public relations, get in touch with us today.
In a rapidly moving industry, only a consultation with a professional publicist working with cryptocurrencies can assess whether your ICO is a fit for a public relations campaign. To learn more about rates and to schedule an introductory consultation with Melissa A. Vitale Public Relations, visit: https://www.melissaavitale.com/consulting.html
Relying on a proprietary strategy, storytelling, and strong relationships across the media industry, Melissa A. Vitale Public Relations delivers full-feature results for clients. For examples of work please visit: https://www.melissaavitale.com/in-the-news.html
A public relations agency specializing in brands and startups across plant and intimate wellness