Crypto brands are facing a media crisis
When it comes to crisis and reputation, the world of crypto hasn’t had the easiest go of it. Many people across the world are advocates of crypto and its underlying technology, blockchain. By contrast, the mainstream media are extremely wary of crypto and not entirely without reason.
Crypto, like any burgeoning technology, is still perfecting its infrastructure. Unfortunately, over the years, crypto brands have found themselves tumbling from one media disaster to the next. In March 2022, Ronin Network, the blockchain that powers the biggest web3 game, Axie Infinity, suffered a $625 million hack. This was not the first time that a blockchain network has fallen victim to a large-scale exploit and the mainstream media were quick to latch onto this.
To make matters worse, this week, the crypto market suffered its biggest crash yet. Terra, the third largest stablecoin in the cryptocurrency market and its reserve asset, Luna, completely collapsed. Not only has this latest development unnerved investors and rocked their faith in crypto, but it is another example of crypto volatility which will only drive further demand for the crypto space to be regulated.
Crypto companies must start taking PR seriously
Being unregulated and largely decentralised in nature, crypto brands do not operate like traditional companies. Part of the attraction and appeal of the crypto space is that it is nothing like the centralised financial sector. Many crypto companies run their operations as a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO). With this completely autonomous setup, there is no central leadership but instead a group of people who come together, vote on company decisions and are only bound by a few rules set by a smart contract rather than a governing body.
While it is commendable that crypto brands have forged their own way of doing business, given the increased criticism and scrutiny being faced by the industry, the time has come for crypto brands to emerge from the shadows and engage proactively with the media.
In the early days of crypto, when it had not yet captured mainstream consciousness, it was perhaps understandable that organisations paid little attention to PR. However, the massive explosion of NFTs and their huge popularity among normal consumers has propelled crypto into the spotlight. In a relatively short space of time, crypto has shifted from being a niche space where only the most tech savvy understood its potential to becoming an attractive, alternative investment vehicle for millions of people around the world. However, crypto’s thrust into the limelight has now caught the attention of the mainstream press who have scrutinised it heavily as they naturally would.
By entering the mainstream space, there is now a new responsibility for crypto brands to become far more purposeful and effective with their PR. Although the wider fluctuations of the crypto market are outside the direct control of many crypto brands, it doesn’t mean that crypto companies should not have a PR plan in place to help protect their reputation and communicate effectively with its community.
So where should crypto companies start?
Media train spokespeople
One of the staples of any effective PR plan is having the best spokespeople to represent the company. In most cases, the CEO or another C-level executive is put in front of the media to clarify a company’s position or communicate its message. However, not every CEO or Director is natural in front of the media which is understandable – dealing with the press is a very tricky exercise when it comes to saying enough but not saying too much.
It is important that crypto companies have media trained the most senior executives in their organisation. Journalists are known to ask questions to purposefully unnerve spokespeople. Therefore, media training is crucial to ensure that spokespeople, who are representing the crypto brand when they speak to the media, are appropriately trained to avoid any media mishaps which might damage a crypto brand’s reputation or cause it problems.
Have a crisis plan
Crises are bound to happen, and they can happen at any time. Even if the crisis in question is not directly the fault of a crypto brand, if an incident has occurred which threatens to bring a crypto brand into disrepute, then a PR crisis plan should be deployed to help mitigate the damage.
Having an effective crisis plan for such PR disasters is strategically smart as it avoids any situation where chaos and confusion will lead to internal panic. A strong crisis plan will detail key spokespeople that will be called upon in the event of a crisis, what will be said and what the standard protocols will be. By having a comprehensive crisis plan in place, crypto brands can rapidly respond to any crisis by communicating its position immediately and taking control of the narrative before the media does.
If you’d be interested in discussing how our team of Crypto PR experts could support your business why not get in touch today.