The right (ad wrong) way to do Web3 public relations


While PR has always been a core aspect of marketing, it’s different in Web3 and blockchain, especially in the post-Terra and FTX world.

Bluntly, sentiment among mainstream media and audiences related to crypto is overwhelmingly negative. Despite NFTs having a market cap of nearly $20B and GameFi tokens $5B, major publications are unlikely to publish news related to individual projects, chains, or tokens besides Ethereum and Bitcoin.

PR targeting the smaller public segment who already know about blockchain, on the other hand, presents the reverse problem. Web3 is an echo chamber, and breaking through the noise of positive news and product updates is hard. This kind of PR looks like a more extended version of community management, in which you expand your net to communities beyond your own.

Is there a way to do Web3 PR correctly?

PR in Web3 vs. Web2

Before diving into the specifics of PR in the Web3 and crypto industry, it’s important to understand how it differs from PR in Web2. In Web2, most PR efforts are focused on traditional media outlets like newspapers, TV, and radio. While these channels are still relevant in the Web3 and crypto industry, your outreach must be more specific.

To illustrate these points, let’s take a look at 2 mid-grade news items from the last few weeks. We’re referring to projects and news less significant than BTC or ETH, but not 2-person NFT collection launches either. Who covered them?

1. Klaytn burn

As we outlined in the April GameFi report, Klaytn briefly became the largest chain for GameFi users, seeing an influx of [$xB] overnight. It is now the 14th largest chain by TVL. On April 19th, they burned half their supply — equivalent to US$1.3B.

The move is massive for the Klaytn ecosystem and also a sizeable tokenomics case study for the broader crypto industry.

While the event received comprehensive coverage in crypto media, the only publication outside the industry was Tech In Asia. That’s because Klaytn is Singapore-based, and the outlet focuses extensively on this market.

Key Takeaway: Web3 marketers should look at specialized publications (either regional or related to their project’s mission) and find writers who have previously covered blockchain. Your outreach should tie your news event to the publication’s editorial objective, not just the merits you believe it has within the crypto space.

3. zkSync launch and growth

One of the most highly-anticipated scaling solutions, zkSync, launched its alpha mainnet one month ago and at times already surpassed Polygon’s zkEVM in TVL. No major mainstream outlets covered the news. However, it got featured in several prominent publications like Bezinga and Yahoo News as syndication. Furthermore, other smaller projects could piggyback their PR off of this news.

This piece was published by an NFT infrastructure project, Idexo, but ranked first on the news page.

Key Takeaway: If zkSync couldn’t get organic media for its launch and rapid adoption in the industry, you’re going to have a hard time as well. Do what Idexo did, and use syndication services (paid or unpaid) to get coverage. These include AMBCrypto, Cryptoslate, Coinrivet, and traditional wires like — as in Idexo’s case — PRNewswire.

People don’t care about crypto

It’s more difficult to get organic media coverage in crypto. Luckily, social media online communities play a much more significant role in shaping public perception in the space than in others — it’s community-driven.

As a result, businesses need to be much more strategic in their PR efforts, focusing on building relationships with key influencers and engaging with the community, rather than publishing one-way messaging.

Paid PR in Web3

Paid PR has always been a part of the marketing mix, and it’s no different in the Web3 and crypto industry. Many businesses in the Web3 and crypto industry will pay influencers to promote their products or services on social media or in online communities.

As mentioned in the example above, this can be an effective way to get your message in front of a large audience. To summarize the findings above, here’s how to increase your chances of your paid PR getting more coverage and views:

  • If you are a new project, tie your news to a more significant event in the industry

  • Target specialized, but large, publications by shifting the angle away from crypto (make it regional or mission-based news), and this is critical for earned media too

Earned PR in Web3

Earned PR, also known as organic PR, is when businesses receive media coverage or other forms of exposure without paying for it directly. In the Web3 and crypto industry, earned PR can be a powerful tool for building credibility and trust with potential customers.

One of the most effective ways to earn PR in the Web3 and crypto industry is by participating in online communities and engaging with influencers. This can take the form of answering questions on forums like Reddit or participating in Twitter chats. By providing value to the community, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and earn the respect of key influencers.

Another way to earn PR in the Web3 and crypto industry is by sharing your knowledge and expertise through speaking engagements or guest blogging. By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you can attract media attention and build credibility with potential customers.

12 Tips for PR in the blockchain industry

  1. Understand your audience: Before launching any PR campaign, it’s important to understand your target audience. This will help you tailor your message and choose the right channels for reaching them.

  2. Build relationships with key influencers: Influencers play a huge role in shaping public perception in the Web3 and crypto industry. Build relationships with key influencers by engaging with them on social media and participating in online communities.

  3. Stay up-to-date with industry news and trends: The Web3 and crypto industry moves fast, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and position your business as a thought leader.

  4. Monitor your online reputation: In the digital age, your online reputation can make or break your business. Use tools like Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your brand and respond to any negative comments or reviews in a timely and professional manner.

  5. Create high-quality content: Whether it’s blog posts, videos, or social media updates, creating high-quality content is key to engaging your audience and building your brand. Make sure your content is informative, engaging, and adds value to the conversation.

  6. Leverage social media: Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your brand and engaging with your audience. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for your business and invest in creating engaging, shareable content.

  7. Use data to inform your PR strategy: Data can provide valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not in your PR strategy. Use tools like Google Analytics to track website traffic and engagement, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  8. Don’t be afraid to take a stand: The Web3 and crypto industry is full of passionate, opinionated people. Don’t be afraid to take a stand on issues that matter to your business and your audience. This can help you build a loyal following and establish yourself as a thought leader.

  9. Be transparent: Transparency is key to building trust in the Web3 and crypto industry. Be transparent about your business practices, your team, and your goals, and be willing to answer tough questions from your audience.

  10. Invest in relationships, not just transactions: In the Web3 and crypto industry, relationships are key. Invest in building long-term relationships with customers, influencers, and other key players in the industry, rather than just focusing on short-term transactions.

  11. Embrace the community: Finally, remember that the Web3 and crypto industry is a community-driven space. Embrace the community and engage with your audience in a genuine, meaningful way. This can help you build a loyal following and establish your business as a trusted player in the industry.

In conclusion, PR in the Web3 and crypto industry requires a unique approach that combines traditional PR tactics with a deep understanding of the online communities and influencers that drive the industry. By focusing on building relationships, providing value to the community, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and news, businesses can establish themselves as thought leaders and earn the trust and loyalty of their target audience.

This piece is contributed by Footprint Analytics community.

The Footprint Community is a place where data and crypto enthusiasts worldwide help each other understand and gain insights about Web3, the metaverse, DeFi, GameFi, or any other area of the fledgling world of blockchain. Here you’ll find active, diverse voices supporting each other and driving the community forward.

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