Though one might not guess it based on some of the rhetoric on the web, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are complex and challenging initiatives that put a range of business processes to the test… Beyond having a compelling project offering, clear communications and good advisors, any company seeking to raise money via a token sale can benefit from strong earned media coverage. The trouble is PR is hard. Doubly hard when you factor in the number of ICOs happening these days, the cynicism around token sales in the media, and the fact that the nature of an ICO means there is a very narrow window of time in which media can drop and impact the bottom line. Want to find out how to crush an ICO’s PR, then read on.
Here are 5 tips to help you crush the PR around your ICO
1) Pitch the product and project, not the ICO. The fact you are doing an ICO is obviously big news to you. It isn’t to anyone else. When you pitch media you are best to focus on the initiative(s) the ICO will fund. The media aren’t going to be impressed by the mechanism but the planned outcome and the problem your project solves. Having a prototype is critical, even if unpolished it strengthens your story, and demonstrates that your idea is more than a concept.
2) Press needs to drop pre ICO. Between 80 and 90 percent of tokens are sold on the first day of an ICO. You’re likely going to offer a huge discount on tokens to those who buy on day one of the sale. This means the best time for press to drop is in the 2 weeks before the ICO opens. While no one can force media to publish in a specific time frame you need to adjust your PR outreach plan to try and make this happen. Press that drops late is worth exponentially less.
3) A mix of press (often) makes all the difference. This may be an obvious point but we see too many ICO teams ignoring mainstream media. Strange given the amount of mainstream outlets writing about crypto. An article in a legacy outlet can bring significant value. Moreover, many smaller crypto outlets will either follow on mainstream coverage with pieces of their own or simply syndicate content. The best media coverage is always that which allows a company to connect with its audiences. In our experience for an ICO that usually means some legacy media and some crypto focused outlets. Be sure you target both and have media assets that can serve each segment.
4) Your ICO roadmap needs to be clear and credible. Media cynicism of ICOs tends to center around delivery. It’s incumbent upon any firm launching an ICO to provide a crystal clear roadmap and refer to it in any interactions with the fourth estate. Be prepared to speak to your security measures and your plans around regulatory approval.
5) Stress the team and advisors. Due to the credibility gap around ICOs reporters are concerned about the team behind a project. This underlines the importance recruiting a solid advisory board pre ICO. It also necessitates a core team whose competencies strongly suggest they can deliver. Journalists who cover ICOs are almost always concerned with an ICO team’s bios. Messaging around this needs to be super tight. Don’t begin media outreach until you have this in order.
Crypto Coin Dude would like to give a shout out to the authors of this great guest post – please see below:
The Authors: Jackson Wightman, Allison Aitken and Borjana Slipicevic are partners at Proper Propaganda, a PR agency that helps technology companies craft and spread their stories.