Journalists Are Tired of Hearing About Your ICO
Journalists are tired of hearing about your ICO. No, seriously. They are drowning in thousands of pitches a day, and your ICO is probably the lowest on their “newsworthy” list. Crypto companies and public relations professionals repping ICOs need this wakeup call.
Blockchain ICOs have lost their novelty and having a coin offering isn’t enough to gain coverage. Public relations is getting harder for ICOs. This is the time for real PR professionals to prove their salt.
No, I’m not suggesting that crypto companies halt their media outreach (although some journalist may enjoy the reprieve). But crypto PR professionals need to get smarter about how they engage media.
If you want coverage for your ICO, consider a more mature approach to public relations. Follow these tips:
1) You don’t need a press release for everything.
Ah yes, the infamous press release. PR rookies will tell you a press release makes media. This is not true. Press releases serve a singular purpose – to share news. If you don’t have news, your press release is just noise.
Too many ICOs misuse press releases to saturate the newswire and elicit quick low-tier coverage. That is lazy PR. It may serve your instant gratification itch with a repost here or there, but ultimately it has little impact on awareness.
When you pitch incessant press releases with innocuous updates, eventually you kill media interest. Then, when your ICO has legitimate news, journalists ignore it or write it off as spam.
2) Tailor your pitch.
Media pitches aren’t about you. They are about appealing to the journalists’ needs and audiences.
You probably aren’t going to get top-tier media coverage generally shilling your company vision. You need to tailor your pitch to fit each journalist individually. Know what topics they cover and at what depth. Crypto journalists may delve into the technology component of your pitch and want technical information. However, the mainstream media is far more likely to benchmark your company against existing rivals, Bitcoin, or trending news like market volatility.
- Go after industry verticals when possible. You are far more likely to receive coverage if you can position your ICO as a disrupter and then quantify that disruption by industry.
- Use numbers. What percentages or values stand out in your story? Will you be tackling a $6 trillion problem? Is this an issue that impacts 75 percent of Americans?
- Be compelling and concise.
A good pitch should be timely, relevant and … dare I say it … newsworthy! Take a controversial stance, say something compelling and then back that statement up with solid metrics. That’s the way to a journalist’s heart. Your ICO doesn’t need to be the focus of every pitch. Look at what is happening in the world and determine how it relates to your product. Be a thought leader and a resource, not just a marketer shopping for coverage.
3) Contributed content is your best weapon.
You won’t always have company news. That’s all right. You don’t need a steady stream of company updates to stay relevant. The industry is constantly spouting new topics of controversy and opinion. Use this to your advantage. Create your own content and build your brands voice.
Most publications appreciate perspective pieces. Instead of just leaning on your blog for commentary, shop your content around.
Contributed content is useful, but there are a few rules you should follow:
- Don’t shill – contributed content is not a platform to market your project. The notoriety of having a team member featured is coverage enough.
- Don’t be too technical. Readers have a low threshold for intellectual masturbation. Say what you need to say in layman’s terms and don’t dally in the weeds.
- Be brave. Don’t have a wishy-washy voice. Take a stance and really push your perspective. No one wants to read a centrist’s perspective that lacks conviction.
Overall, remember that good PR takes time. Right now, many ICOs are fighting for coverage. It is natural to feel the panicked rush to get coverage. Pause. Take your time and develop a strong media strategy. Craft meaningful press releases, pitches and content. Ultimately, your patience will pay off with significantly more and better coverage.