It was only in 2017 when the people around the globe began to really take notice of cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, blockchain, after BTC’s price hit an all-time high of close to $20,000. That same year, we’ve seen prominent figures in the space like Roger Ver being interviewed left and right by the mainstream media about the hard fork in August 2017, resulting in the emergence of Bitcoin Cash.
Today, we have yet to hear more about the developments and growth within the blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the traditional media unless it’s about the volatility of the crypto prices. On the third day of Block Seoul conference, a panel of media and PR practitioners discussed the role of mass media and marketing to spread the message about the blockchain industry.
Bitnewstoday’s Alina Belkovskaya stated that traditional media seem to not have criteria on how to estimate what is important in the space. “They (mass media) just really don’t understand what they are talking about when they are talking about blockchain, cryptocurrencies and so on,” she said. Belkovskaya observed that they don’t know what influences the market. Lauren Bisell of Immutable Industries added, “I think the way that blockchain has been portrayed in the media is it’s kind of renegade, it’s kind of like a little bit on the fringe.”
“I think it’s really important for us to address what the pitfalls have been in PR and marketing for our industry, why adoption is not happening faster,” said moderator Brittany Kaiser of Bueno Capital. She said that education should be part of the industry’s communication strategy.
“Education is very important for this industry. An education in the form of a mission,” said Henry Liu, former Facebook performance marketer and now with Yeoman Capital. Liu added, “I think for all the other people that are not in this room that want to understand what we’re doing we need to tell them about why we’re doing this.”
Decentrix Media co-founder Marc Scrapa explained the role of mass media in this education process. “Utilizing mass media is something that’s inherently important to spread the message of what we’re doing,” he shared. Day One Ventures’ Masha Drokova suggested for the industry to tell more truthful stories. She added, “I think we need to do much better work simplifying everything we tell about blockchain so mass audience will understand the benefits for them.”
For Belkovskaya, it’s not about the simplicity of the message being sent by the movers of the industry. She claims that the industry marketers and PR executives send the same suggestions, tell the media the similar thing—that they will all change the world. “It’s about being different. Nothing is new. Nothing is news-worthy. Why should I write about you?” she asked.
What’s clear, however, is that blockchain is no longer a niche industry. According to Kaiser, “We should be working with the traditional industries that we are trying to disrupt. We’re not going to replace traditional industries were going to provide them with the technological solution to improve what they’re already doing. So I think that’s so important to really delve deeper into.”
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