Modern-day public relations is rife with controversy and companies giving the green light to their agencies to get the word out through any means possible.
While this generates short-term hype, through the form of striking up a conversation, it runs contrary to the principle outlined by the father of PR, Edward Bernays, who said it’s a two-way street where you should listen to your audience as well as feed them information.
What Not to Do
Firms would do well to learn from Facebook’s mistakes. Instead of opening up a dialogue with an audience who have been steadily alienated by sweeping changes and ruthless exploitation, Zuckerberg chose to go on the offensive. Blaming the media for ‘selective’ reporting to make him look bad was a very ill-advised idea, if he even deigns to take advice.
The reality is a fast-growing tech company will often struggle to keep up with privacy concerns and, in absence of a sustainable model that doesn’t exploit personal data, will eventually face the existential question: how do we continue to serve our user base and keep them happy while tracking their every move across digital spaces?
Many companies in the crypto space have an opportunity to rewrite the script. They can tell potential customers their data is not needed or even wanted, simply their time, attention and investment to access a product or service which delivers without any strings attached.
This changes the customer journey entirely. A successful public relations operation in crypto involves building a lot of trust, then showing why the saleable good is worth buying into.
When people see a figurehead such as the CEO on media outlets give an honest appraisal of where they see the tech going, what challenges may be faced and how we might arrive at the best desired outcome. That’s powerful because it stimulates the information need for the type of audience you want: engaged and interested people who buy in for the project and not the pump.
Rock star executives thrive in this environment because they have the knowledge to meet these unanswered questions and speculate in a measured, rational manner. All the while building their own profile and raising the status of their company.
Meanwhile, potential and current users get content with value that contributes to their understanding of the space and this helps motivate them to join the wider discourse. Then they can ask new questions.
Crypto Moves Fast
If we thought the digital age was already moving at breakneck speed, then cryptocurrency and blockchain is sending us into the stratosphere at double-time. This necessitates a nuanced approach.
What do you do when an audience is technologically capable and can smell a rat in an instant?
First and foremost, you cover all your bases. Deliver a product or service without any sketchy or dodgy elements and which does what you say it will. Secondly, you master the public relations side of things and demonstrate your skin in the game is substantial and show that aside from your own product or service, you truly believe in the crypto space for its potential.
Thought leadership is key. Proving a deep understanding of not just the tech but its social implications really helps. Remaining agile allows for this two-way conversation to flourish over time as you address each new hot topic and touchpoint as it arises.
Good publicity in cryptocurrency relies on your audience knowing you are a good actor who is trying to bring good things to crypto. The rest is made evident when you deliver on your promises.