The rise of blockchain has been nothing short of meteoric.
According to a recent report from Research and Markets, blockchain market size is projected to grow to USD 67.4 billion (£49.1 billion GBP) by 2026.
But in spite of promising numbers like these, blockchain businesses have their work cut out for them when it comes to positioning their brand in the marketplace, and ensuring the value of their products and services doesn’t go unnoticed.
In what is a new, volatile and uncertain market, strong PR is vital to the success of blockchain firms.
Unfortunately, due to a unique mix of challenges and market conditions, blockchain PR is also especially difficult.
It takes a specialized approach in order to achieve blockchain PR success. Read on to understand why.
Blockchain PR has a duty to educate
Despite repeatedly being the global hot topic, Blockchain technology is still very much in its infancy.
As such, blockchain itself remains a poorly understood subject.
To many, it is still a concept that is abstract or difficult to imagine.
And if something is challenging to articulate, it’s challenging to buy into from an investment perspective.
To secure buy-in from prospective partners and investors, blockchain businesses need to do more than simply communicate the value of their products and services—they also need to educate their audience and aid their understanding of the technology itself.
A strong blockchain PR strategy is one that informs and educates an audience, and in doing so, establishes the brand in question as a trusted authority on the subject.
The challenge of skepticism
Public perceptions of blockchain are fragile to say the least.
One minute it’s hailed as a fintech revolution. The next, declared a danger to the world’s entire financial infrastructure.
For any blockchain PR strategy to be successful, it has to distance itself from sensationalist narratives that undermine its value.
Skepticism around blockchain is already rife enough. And for a potential investor or client to be convinced that a blockchain venture is worthwhile, they need to trust you, and feel assured that the rewards of your offering outweigh the risks.
Seasoned blockchain investors meanwhile will need a good reason to partner with you over someone else. You need to communicate what that reason is—and make it convincing.
The main thing here is, when it comes to crafting your PR activities, don’t overhype and don’t overpromise. People will see right through it.
Instead, aim to do these two things in your PR approach:-
- Speak about the value of your business or service offering in real, measurable terms, and avoid overly technical jargon.
- Recognize that blockchain represents a huge change for a lot of people, and respond to those concerns in your messaging.
Mastering these two points is key to overcoming hesitancy and skepticism among potential investors.
Lack of marketing availability
Other factors that make blockchain PR all the more important are the restrictions and regulations around marketing certain blockchain-driven products and services, in particular cryptocurrencies.
In March 2018, Google banned all crypto-related advertising, meaning that the usual avenues of search engine optimization and paid media were not available to crypto businesses looking to raise awareness of their brand offering.
While Google has been continually reviewing and relaxing its policies around advertising cryptocurrency products and services since then, it’s still a difficult area.
As of August 2021, Google Ads account managers for cryptocurrency wallets can run PPC ads—but this only applies to cryptocurrency wallets based in the US.
There are other caveats too, so if your blockchain business revolves around cryptocurrency or blockchain finance, it’s worth taking a look at Google’s latest policies.
Limitations on digital marketing mean that there is greater onus on your PR activity to actively raise awareness and generate leads, as well as build your credibility in the market.
So you’ll need a well-thought-out, multi-faceted PR strategy in order to fill the gaps in your communications.
Blockchain PR can suffer from saturated stories
The fundamental premise of blockchain technology is inherently inspiring.
It’s transformational. It’s disruptive. It could potentially lead to entire markets being reshaped, reinvented and reimagined.
But there’s a problem with this narrative—it’s been done to death.
Most media outlets have heard the same story many times before, and you won’t get coverage from them by simply repeating it.
To capture the interest of key media outlets and secure coverage in influential publications, you need to position yourself as the protagonist of your own story—not a 2D character in a played out sequel.
Ask yourself, what is unique about your blockchain project? What differentiates it?
Perhaps there’s a compelling, real world use case for your offering. These stories tend to get very healthy media interest.
Patientory for example has received strong media coverage thanks to the ways its blockchain technology is helping to address many challenges in the healthcare industry—from patient data security to medical supply chain issues.
Failing that, announcing genuine partnerships with known companies will provide a significant coverage boost, while adding some credibility to your name.
The heightened importance of crisis communication
The blockchain market is highly volatile.
As such, having a crisis communications strategy is far more important for blockchain PR than for your typical venture.
For every blockchain business that might boom, there’s another that might bust. And sometimes, the only difference between them is how they act in a crisis.
No one puts a crisis communication plan together in the hope that they’ll use it, but the ramifications of not having one can be catastrophic.
In a new and uncertain space like the blockchain market, failing to communicate effectively with stakeholders when disaster strikes can cost you your reputation, your customers, your investors, and your revenue.
So put the time in to develop a thorough crisis communication plan. Then put the time into ensuring everyone understands their role in it—whether that’s reaching out to stakeholders, preparing a press statement, or leveraging relationships with the media.
Why Blockchain PR requires a specialist approach: Key takeaways
- Despite its monumental growth, blockchain is still a new and uncertain market; strong PR is vital to securing fruitful business opportunities and keeping investors and stakeholders at ease.
- As blockchain is a poorly understood subject, and skepticism around it is rife, PR is also key to building trust. Businesses must aim to aid understanding of blockchain technology, while positioning it as a safe investment.
- Taking the time to carefully craft your PR communications will always prove worthwhile—whether that means creating a story for target media that is genuinely different, or preparing a crisis communication plan.
Want to get some help in blockchain PR? Get in contact.