In the ICO world, building trust is everything, and that means PR is everything. When trying to attract major buy-in ahead of presenting a tangible product, positive, thorough press in reputable, widely-read publications can build the kind of reputation you need to launch your new currency into the stratosphere.
So, you need the right PR team on your side. Here are some questions to consider while vetting and selecting the right token PR agency for your ICO.
1) Have they repped other ICOs?
ICOs are unique animals with unique conditions and needs. There are specific strategies that yield successful ICOs and it takes experience to develop a plan of attack. Knowing the right reporters at the right publications, which niche outlets attract hard-core investors, and when to roll out coverage, are specific skills that only come with practice and exposure in the field. No matter how well-known a firm may be, their preparedness and experience handling ICOs in particular should be the top consideration.
2) How did their past clients fare?
PR is about impact, not about numbers. It’s not necessarily about how much coverage a company gets, rather the right type of coverage in the right places at the right time. Has the PR agency helped successful ICOs in the past? Were the ICOs valued in your target range? Check out the agency’s client list and do your research – if you google these names, what kind of coverage comes up? And were their ICOs successful? Better yet, look at ICOs you admire with the kind of results you desire and find out who’s repping them – that agency should be at the top of your list.
3) Do they ask you a lot of questions?
First of all, any legitimate token PR agency will have a lot of questions for you, too. Not all ICOs are made equal, and top agencies would not represent a company that is not totally above board. So while you’re vetting agencies, know that you’re being vetted right back – or should be! A PR agency that doesn’t have a list of their own questions should put you on alert.
And once you do select an agency, they’ll have even more questions for you! This is a good thing. PR professionals need to hear your story and about your product in your own words, to get a feel for your style and point of view. They can’t show you off to the world if they don’t first intimately understand your company and your vision for your company, so be patient, and share your passion!
4) Are they aware of the latest trends?
The tech space is changing all the time. Trends are passing by as quickly as the summer months in Alaska. Your PR agency should be well aware of all of the latest news, reports, opinions, and trends in your industry in order to maximize your coverage and build a strong strategy. We have seen AI, social media, robotics, and most recently blockchain, all go through major shifts in very little time. PR professionals are curious people, ready to quickly adapt and act to any situation.
5) Do they listen to your needs?
While we all think we know how to do our job better than others, as service providers, PR professionals must listen to their client, just as companies must listen to their audience. A strategy built to attract customers is very different to one built to attract investors. Knowing if quantity is more important than “quality” is also an essential point to keep in mind. A strong relationship between client and PR agency is developed through clear and strong communication, and a good understanding of what needs to be done in order to secure the kind of coverage that you need to achieve your goals.
Bonus tip: Be ready to collaborate
The best and most fruitful PR relationships are true collaborations. A strong agency will have amazing skills when it comes to messaging, timing, leveraging media contacts, etc. But they won’t have the specific technical expertise about your product that you have, and you also have your unique perspective as an entrepreneur in the space to offer to your campaign. By partnering with one of the top tech PR firms, you are bringing a new key player to your team, and that’s how you should think of it: a team. Even the best receiver in the world can’t score a touchdown if you don’t pass them the ball.
So make sure to ask these questions, keep lines of communications open, be ready to share your thoughts, experiences, and know-how, and your PR team is sure to be a winning one.