by Christopher Zahn
Since Bitcoin’s conception in 2009, it’s fair to say the scope and popularity of cryptocurrencies has soared exponentially. Not only have over 1,658 new cryptocurrencies emerged, but blockchain has been the catalyst for many new organisations of different business functions to trade virtually with the benefit of decentralisation. And yet, cryptocurrencies continue to be an outlier in the financial services sector, with many investors shunning the platform in favour of more traditional means of trading.
The question remains, how can the crypto industry as a whole address this gap in public perception?
The biggest challenge that crypto’s struggle to overcome without professional help is market positioning. This should be the first step in any PR or marketing strategy, yet this is something often overlooked or put on the backburner. Effective positioning not only helps define who you (or your brand) are, but who you want to reach in your marketing efforts. Once a particular target audience(s) has been established, a PR campaign can help hone the messaging necessary to reach those audiences more effectively.
Not surprisingly for such a young industry, one of the biggest challenges the cryptocurrency industry is faced with is a perceived lack of credibility surrounding the reliability and volatility of digitally traded currencies. This is likely an issue with a lack of understanding, which is where good public relations comes into play. The major bone of contention seems to be around trust. The public relations industry is renowned for inspiring trust in individuals and organisations and this is no different for the crypto space. Educating the relevant stakeholders on the credibility of cryptocurrencies and promoting transparency is likely to overcome shortcomings in negative perceptions and encourage wider acceptance.
Another significant barrier to overcome includes a general lack of awareness around the seeming elusive crypto space. Public Relations is all about finding the right target audience and then making your voice heard in that space. When applied to cryptos, this could translate into taking a particular cryptocurrency or Initial Coin Offering and then transporting it from a specialised tech or finance audience to the mainstream market. For instance, the latest crypto start-up may be mentioned in a specialised publication and gain traction within that particular market, but should that start-up secure a mention in a national news outlet, its reach could be in the millions.
This is not achievable overnight. However, reaching a significant target audience requires dedication and the momentum of the campaign should be continually sustained. Both the tech and the financial industries are known for their constant evolution so keeping ahead of the game with frequent media contributions is vital for making your message heard in a very noisy marketplace. Addressing these concerns can develop the cryptocurrency industry from something treated with scepticism and mistrust, embraced only by a minority of the market, to something openly accepted in the mainstream market.