The tech marketplace is evolving at an exponential pace. When it comes to the crypto and blockchain spaces, the scene’s volatility requires a project’s PR team to be able to react at lightning speed to changes. Having an agile approach to public relations is crucial to ensuring your ability to maximize your company’s coverage in top-tier publications.
Have a PR plan baked, but sprinkle in lots of flexibility
Waiting until your launch date to think about PR is a recipe for disaster. Founders need to work early on to develop a plan for their PR efforts. Several months in advance of a launch, a startup should align its PR outreach plans with its company roadmap, developing a “long view” of the next six months to a year. Although the crypto scene moves crazy fast, this doesn’t mean you should just wing it as you go. Put a plan in place and work within it, recognizing that both internal and external factors may necessitate adjusting timelines.
When it comes to internal issues, product development rarely goes as expected. Having a plan thought out will ensure that your PR team is ready to go when your product is. However at the same time, on the external front, market conditions change fast, so you need to be able to quickly adapt to new conditions.
Unless you’re quick, you may not be able to claim the early-mover position, or the marketplace might be over-saturated when your product is ready. Additionally, global events can cause you to hit the pause button on announcements. For example, no one could have predicted COVID-19, the Terra crisis or geopolitical conflicts, but every tech company has to be able to quickly switch gears in response to global events.
Revisit and align messaging in response to market changes
Every crypto or blockchain startup needs to have key messages that talk about the company’s value beyond one specific function or feature. For example, NFTs were hot for several months, but the market has definitely cooled, and journalists are less interested in stories about new drops. An agile PR team will help a startup evolve its key messages so that the company is always reaching out to the press with the most relevant angles and stories. At the same time, these messages need to be updated on the project’s website and social media as well.
There are a million and one projects and pitches out there, and you need to stand out to rise above the noise. Your website and social media profiles are part of that. If you have outdated text on a site full of generic stock photos, you will lose out. Consistency throughout all of your own digital assets needs to be a part of your PR plan.
Become part of timely conversations with thought leadership and commentary
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From the start, your public relations efforts should focus on cultivating relationships with journalists who cover not only the crypto and blockchain industries, but also the broader tech, business and mainstream publications. Having these relationships in place is the foundation upon which all your other efforts can be built.
Reporters frequently seek out expert insights to provide depth to their articles, so connecting with journalists opens up opportunities for your project’s founders to answer questions and provide commentary on timely topics. It’s important to respond to journalist requests quickly, as they are likely also getting input from other leaders in the space. The sooner you are able to provide a reporter with the info they need, the better your chance of having your quote included in the final article.
An agile approach to PR also requires staying on top of what people are talking about on Twitter and the web in general so that you can come up with timely angles for stories as well as respond to requests from journalists for commentary on specific topics. Contributing thought leadership pieces on timely hot topics is a great way to maintain visibility for your startup, especially when you are between news announcements.
Streamline internal review processes
If you want your PR team to be able to act and react quickly, you need to have clear review processes. Who needs to look at what to give their final approval? Are there certain texts that don’t need to be approved or that can be pre-approved? Whether you’re using an external agency or an internal team, there should be a clear line for approvals. PR teams need to know how long to expect an approval process to take for press releases, thought leadership articles and commentary for reporters on deadlines.
Even though crypto moves quickly, you cannot expect to send a press release to journalists a few days before an announcement is scheduled to be made. You’ll still need to plan ahead and be respectful of reporters’ time. Journalists receive hundreds of pitches each day and need time to see yours. There is nothing you will be able to do to hurry them up, so you’ll need to be flexible. While it’s great if your internal team can approve a press release quickly, when you are pitching an exclusive story to a journalist, you need to recognize that publications and reporters have their own timelines.
Agility helps you ride out any storm
When COVID hit, our worlds were turned upside-down. When crypto crashed, many projects had to cancel announcements. Being flexible is very different from functioning ad hoc when you are trying to maintain market relevance in turbulent times.
Having an agile approach to PR will help you maximize the results of your press outreach efforts. While it’s crucial for crypto and blockchain projects to have a baseline strategy in place to guide them as they move forward, this strategy needs to be a living document that can evolve week by week, and even day by day, based on market conditions and unforeseen global events.
Founder & CEO of award-winning global PR agency SlicedBrand, Ayelet Noff has successfully led PR for thousands of tech/crypto companies.
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.
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