How to Approach Crypto Journalists
Knowing how to approach crypto journalists is a skill and a rare one at that. Public relations for that matter - much like sales - remains a dark art, one that seems to many to be almost magical.
With so much focus on marketing for blockchain-based projects seeking to raise funds through an ICO or simply looking to push into a more traditional, closed markets, the general appetite...even craving...of media attention is profound.
That's why having at least a basic understanding of how to approach members of the media, in this case crypto journalists, is key. Whether or not it makes sense to hire a PR firm for your project, these are some important points to keep in mind.
Rule #1 - Think about THEIR readers
This rule is not necessarily specific to crypto media, but to media in general. Journalists write for their readers. Their readers buy newspapers, magazines or read online - they are the consumer.
So before you do anything about reaching out a journalist - think to yourself "What are his/her readers interested in?"
In many cases, you will quickly come to the realisation that what you consider "news" or "interesting" really wouldn't be of general interest to that journalist's audience. So---don't approach him or her! Period.
The upside of this is that you won't burn yourself by badgering a reporter over a story he or she will never be interested in covering. Following this simple rule can ACTUALLY set yourself up for success later on when you DO have something interesting to share.
If you didn't make a pest of yourself before, you are more likely to be heard at the right time.
Rule #2 - Think about THEIR paycheck
Sounds greedy, doesn't it? But wait - this rule isn't about that at all.
Most journalists do not make a fortune. Some do rather well, especially if they combine writing with public speaking or end up writing a book. However, in general being a reporter means you won't get rich.
Now - for crypto journalists, this is a problem. Why?
Simply because over the course of the last year or so, many, many people have gotten filthy rich in crypto. But journalists haven't necessarily profited themselves. In some cases, they are restricted by their editors from investing in crypto, at least to a certain degree.
So what is a substitute for money? Fame.
If a crypto journalist isn't going to get rich quick, he or she will most likely at least want make a name for him or herself. And this is done, of course, by making big headlines with big news, often based on inside scoop.
Again - this may apply generally to all reporters, but it is especially true when connecting with crypto reporters.
If you want to help a reporter feel appreciated and rewarded, you must - absolutely must - provide him or her with information that can help them "make their mark." Yes, this is ego-building to a certain extent, but everyone is human. And this is the way the human brain works.
So you must always remember to think first and foremost about "the winning terms" for the journalist you are approaching. How will this help him or her look good? What does the reporter stand to gain? Will this make him or her more well-nown?
Rule #3 - Positioning is everything
Positioning (and to some extent messaging) is the practice of "placing" your company's service offering (product or service) in some generally understood context - by comparison, by contrast, by evoking certain emotions (graphically or musically). All of this "positions" your company in people's minds and (hopefully) makes it easier to remember you later on.
Why is positioning key to approaching crypto journalists?
Well, first of all, because not all "crypto journalists" are reporters in the classical sense of the word. Many are bloggers or developers with their own YouTube channel or well-known figures from the original blockchain/Bitcon/Ethereum community.
The result is that these "crypto journalists" may or not be technical by background. Or he or she may be a strong voice as a reporter at a certain publication - but only for the particular blockchain that he or she personally likes. After all, prejudices die hard.
So - when you go to reach out to a "crypto reporter" you should pay close attention to how you want to communicate your project. Be sure to do your positioning research beforehand.
Are you talking to someone who has a history in the Ethereum community? Position yourself in relation to this fact.
Are you building a completely new blockchain? Don't bother approaching journalists who are obviously closely-linked to established incumbents.
Remember - positioning is key.
Needless to say, the stronger the positioning, the more likely it is that your approach to a journalist will be accepted.
Strong positioning usually means:
- a strong similarity (Example: We are the Google of real estate data.)
- a strong contrast (Example: Our platform will completely eliminate the need for banks.)
Remember also that you must follow your positioning with substance, not just empty claims. And be prepared to change quickly in tone and style when approach each journalist individually.
With these simple tips - your next approach to a member of the media should be much more successful.
If you'd like more support and help with media relations, public speaking events and/or the pesky reporters etc - feel free to be in touch!