Effective communication and PR are unmissable growth engines for new and existing Web3 projects looking to amplify brand awareness, foster community engagement, and secure investor confidence.
There are thousands of Web3 projects across different blockchain networks, each with a story, vision, and service to offer. Good PR strategies shine a light on a project’s key differentiating factors, showcasing its strengths and unique value proposition to the Web3 community.
However, not many projects pay attention to the importance. Some projects often get caught in the “build it and they will come” trap. They dedicate immense resources to developing complex protocols, intricate tokenomics, and cutting-edge dApps, neglecting the crucial aspect of building trust and understanding with potential users.
Cryptopolitan recently interviewed Anouk Morin, a Web3 PR expert, on the role of PR in Web3, why it matters, and how both existing and new projects can adopt effective strategies to stand out in the burgeoning Web3 industry.
Can you tell us more about your role and experience in PR and Web3?
I am Web3 PR Lead at Ditto PR, where my role as a communication specialist revolves around helping raise awareness for crypto and emerging technology projects. I accomplish this through strategic initiatives such as thought leadership, content creation, announcement strategies, media training, and fostering ongoing relationships with top-tier media outlets.
Anouk Morin, Web3 PR Lead, Ditto PR
My journey into the world of crypto began in 2019— I quickly got fascinated and very interested in the industry. I was already in the field of PR and studying to get my Master’s, and I made a deliberate switch to specialize in crypto PR. Over the years, I have collaborated with a diverse range of clients within the industry, including DeFi protocols, wallets, interoperability solutions, NFT platforms, and DAOs.
My work extends across foundational announcements, product launches, proactive thought leadership, and the overall development of the client’s brand awareness in the media. I’ve also worked with big traditional companies seeking to make their mark in the Web3 space, assisting them in both project execution from a PR perspective and messaging strategies.
How do you see the role of Web3 evolving in the years to come?
In the coming years, I think that we’re likely to witness a more seamless integration of Web3 into real-world scenarios, which will drive broader adoption. Take Pudgy Penguins, for example. It started as a digital NFT collection but then got clever by bringing real-life plushies into the mix. When you buy one, you’re not just getting a ‘toy’; you’re also enjoying the benefits of an NFT, even if the tech side isn’t your main focus.
This is the kind of move that shows us how Web3 is going to sneak into our daily lives without us really noticing. It’s not just about the tech; it’s about making things that fit into what we already do. In the future, we’ll see more of these projects blending the digital and the real world, making Web3 a natural part of our regular routines.
Which specific narratives surrounding the crypto space do you believe need to be reshaped or addressed to improve public perception?
Over the past year and throughout 2022, the reputation of crypto suffered setbacks, partly due to scandals such as FTX. The problem is that crypto is often seen as the “Wild West” of finance—kind of like the frontier days with unclear rules and potential dangers. This perception makes people worry about how reliable and safe crypto really is.
On top of that, crypto can be known for its scams and rug pull, which make it seem like a risky and unregulated space. If we want more people to embrace crypto, safety is key. Both users and project creators must prioritize security from the outset, and security should be part of the messaging. It’s a fundamental requirement for a secure and trustworthy crypto environment.
To turn things around, the crypto space needs to focus and communicate on building trust and reliability. We need to show everyone that crypto is not just a trend; it’s here to stay. By making safety and reliability a priority, we can reshape the narrative and prove to the public that crypto is dependable and ready for more people to join in.
How can effective PR help change the wrong perception of crypto?
Good PR is a powerful– and underestimated– tool in reshaping the misunderstood image of Web3. There are a lot of misconceptions about PR being a machine churning out press releases and inundating reporters with emails, hoping for a featured article.
But in reality, good PR is a thoughtful long-term strategy to build awareness and credibility for a project. It is tactical, and it involves a lot of expertise. To be good at PR, you have to know your clients’ industry at an expert level and know the media landscape with your fingertips to be able to place your clients in relevant stories and anticipate the news cycle.
In Web3, establishing trust is one of the important things, as users, investors, and consumers hesitate to invest their time and money without it. Public relations allows Web3 projects to take a step back and take a thoughtful, long-term approach to how they’re perceived and how they want to be perceived. It involves deciding what aspects to emphasize, what they want to highlight, and overall, what is the main narrative behind their projects.
What are the most important considerations for projects building in the bear market to ensure success?
First and foremost, I’d say that meticulous planning and a thoughtful approach are imperative. Bear markets provide a great opportunity to step back and build something of substantial value, free from the frenzied hype of the bull market.
In a bear market, there is typically reduced competition and fewer filler projects, creating better opportunities for differentiation and seizing thought leadership opportunities. Thought leadership shouldn’t be underestimated– it is a great way to gain recognition and showcase expertise.
Every project should focus on adding genuine value to the Web3 space, as this remains the prime factor determining long-term success.
Additionally, bear markets offer an opportune time to concentrate on building a community. In Web3, we know that community is very important– it’s one of its foundations. Building a community requires time and trust to establish a steadfast following that lasts throughout the peaks of bull markets. Don’t neglect social media and participation in events and conferences to build your network and community, even during a bear market.
Why should new and existing Web3 projects adopt effective PR strategies?
New and existing Web3 projects stand to gain significantly by having good PR strategies in place. Firstly, PR is a great way to start building trust and reliability in Web3.
Having a solid PR strategy can also be a great way to attract new customers, testers, developers or even new investors. It is also a great tool for maintaining confidence among existing investors. Good PR strategies can help ensure that the project’s unique strengths and value propositions are communicated effectively to a broader audience that goes beyond the usual Web3 niche.
In Web3, perception is still key, and a strategic PR approach not only attracts attention but also solidifies the project’s position in the industry.
What are some of the unique challenges of doing PR for Web3 companies? How do you approach these challenges differently than you would approach PR for traditional companies?
To be in the Web3 space, you need a genuine curiosity and a willingness to always learn more about this industry. This holds true for any industry in PR, but it’s especially important in Web3 because it is still a new and upcoming field, and there are new things to learn continuously. Every day brings new terms and projects, and as a PR pro, you have to stay informed and on top of the news.
The Web3 news cycle can also become pretty oversaturated, particularly during bull markets. As such, as a Web3 PR pro, you always need to innovate and find new approaches that may differ from those used in Web2. For instance, some reporters seek news and information on Discord, which expands beyond the scope of traditional social media, so you need to be on top of your game there as well.
Web3 PR also involves understanding and leveraging new tools, such as X Spaces, for news promotion or using blog posts instead of traditional press releases. In essence, mastering the uniqueness of Web3, staying on top of new tools within your client’s community, and adapting your approach accordingly is essential for success.
From a PR perspective, what qualities make a project stand out from the crowd and resonate with a wide audience?
There are a ton of Web3 projects out there. Some qualities that really make a project successful from a PR perspective include authenticity, transparency, clear messaging, and a strong community.
More often than not, you will find that successful projects have a strong community and are good at open communication with their members. Especially now in 2024, after a challenging year in crypto, authenticity and reliability are more important than ever.
On a more concrete level, partnerships are also very important in the Web3 space. Partnering with a bigger name or a well-known figure within your industry, or if your project is backed by a well-known name, can really be used to generate awareness for your project and stand out from a PR perspective.
What are some of the most important metrics for measuring the success of a Web3 PR campaign?
Firstly, you could consider the extent of media coverage and mentions, along with the overall sentiment, to determine whether it leans towards a positive or negative perception.
Another metric can be to track the website traffic: Is there a noticeable increase in visits to your website? Community sentiment is also important. Assess whether the project’s community has expanded if your social media channels have grown, and gather feedback from community members.
PR is a long-term game, and the results may become more apparent over an extended period. A good PR campaign will also yield organic results in the long run.
Social media should not be overlooked, especially in Web3, and it’s also crucial to incorporate a social media strategy within the PR campaign. One effective use of social media is to amplify your content, media coverage, interviews, panels, etc. Share everything you do and make it visible!
Additionally, social media plays a key role in building and growing your community. In Web3, negative press and comments can spread quickly on these platforms. Therefore, it’s essential to use these channels regularly to communicate with your community in an authentic and consistent manner.