5 Reasons Crypto Projects Need PR During Downturns | Entrepreneur
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During an economic downturn, companies will cut costs, tighten their belts and pull back. It’s ingrained in human DNA, because those who didn’t adapt didn’t survive. But whether personal or economic, it is not enough to shrink or hide.
The data is there. Research proves that those who maintain — or even increase — their PR spending do better in times like these. They are also best placed for the best moments. Some of the biggest changes in crypto have come in bear markets. For those able to take advantage, there are opportunities in lean times.
Related: How to Use Public Relations During a Recession
1. Don’t Cut Your Signal When Navigating in Rough Waters
For those who react to such times as if it were truly a crisis or an emergency, the last thing you want to do is reduce ties with the world. Cutting off public relations at such times is a bit like being stuck and ignoring the radio or the flare sitting next to you. Public relations professionals are a lifeline – a crucial resource to tap into, not save for another time.
It is at these times that evolutionary pressures come into play the most, such as “survival of the fittest”. This includes the concept of “adaptation”. It may not be enough to sit still until the storm passes, relying on previously accumulated “fitness”. It is a time when selective pressures are exerted, sorting out the reactive and dynamic from the complacent. And this process can be brutal, rewarding only a few.
2. Make sure the glass is half full
It can also be a time when it becomes necessary, due to market pressures, to relay bad news to the public. These may include forced price increases, downsizing, longer delivery times, etc.
The dissemination of such messages carries a reputational risk, in particular by giving the accidental impression of going broke. Public relations professionals can help navigate with strategies and storylines that deliver difficult messages within larger contexts that emphasize more optimistic long-term positioning.
Difficult messages can be delivered in the context of milestones, positioning the information within a larger context of development and progress. As always, care should be taken to avoid hypocritical and contrived language. But such well-crafted campaigns in these times can ensure that the “glass” is at least considered half full.
Related: Why Maintaining a Strong Media Presence Is Key to Success During an Economic Downturn
3. The opportunity to increase “share of voice”
Much more than crisis management and sweetening difficult pills, public relations can open up opportunities in times like these. Bear markets and recessions trigger cuts to PR and marketing budgets, which reduce industry noise. For those happy not to cut, this is an opportunity to stand out, with much less effort than usual.
The additional association for your audience is that, unlike your competition, you are delivering the message of getting strong. It’s your chance to leave a lasting impression, leapfrog competing stories, and establish your project as an industry leader. As others scale back their PR efforts, journalists will also be on the hunt for content.
Like the “cash is king” strategy of those investors who avoid taking positions when prices are high and conserve cash for market declines, PR can also go much deeper at these times. . At such quiet times, with no change in spending or PR strategy, a project or company’s share of voice (SOV) instantly increases as competitors cut costs. These moments are opportunities for those who are more willing, or better placed, to adopt proactive tactics.
4. Brand loyalty repels the bear
Crypto projects in a bear market are likely to lose some of their followers who may sell their currency and disappear. This poses many problems, including low liquidity. To retain supporters, long-term brand loyalty must be established.
Building and maintaining a community of supporters is one of the best strategies for overcoming slowdowns. Just look at the Ethereum online community. Even when the token value dropped or the dev team missed crucial deadlines, the community remained strong. Hiring a PR team to build and maintain such a community can be vital to surviving bear markets, as well as optimizing at other times.
Ensuring your brand protection means being smart about budget changes and being open to variations from the usual strategy. Public relations is actually an economic strategy to maintain relevance during downturns. While public relations and marketing are often lumped together, the distinction then becomes crucial. Public relations can produce earned media, for example, rather than the paid media of marketing. Sacrificing PR at these times means shutting up in front of your audience, potentially also sacrificing essential lifelines of trust and brand loyalty.
Unlike advertising, earned media is an evergreen investment, potentially living well beyond the bear market, perhaps for years. Those who maintain PR at such times tend to not only survive the downturns, but emerge stronger than their competition when the good times return.
Related: How Great Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Win During Economic Downturns
5. The data is clear
Although it may seem counterintuitive, companies that maintain their PR investment during downturns, even those that increase it, tend to be the winners. There is also a lot of research to prove it.
Those who cut costs more than their competitors have the lowest probability (just 21%) to outpace rivals when times improve, according to recession research published in a 2010 Harvard Business Review article. The same study shows that 9% of companies emerge stronger than ever from these times.
In other study (Field & Binet, 2008), researchers have found that cutting budgets can help preserve short-term profits, but it comes at a post-recession cost to brand and profits. Once again, they found that it is these growing investments that are best positioned to achieve long-term profitability, gaining a greater share of voice against their competitors.
A measured and balanced approach
It’s easy to get attention in a bull market, but bear markets sort the wheat from the chaff. Good public relations professionals are qualified to provide vital coverage at such times. This is when the public most needs to hear about the projects.
The decision to reduce, maintain, or increase public relations efforts during these times should be based on careful analysis of the project’s financial condition, market position, and long-term goals. An adaptive and measured approach that balances resources with the need to maintain a strong brand presence has proven to be the best strategy in difficult times.
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