There are multiple aspects of public relations and here are the conventional ones that start with the ‘action’:
1. Media appearances and interviews
2. Thought leadership or industry leadership
3. Placing content in popular media outlets
4. Internal communications
5. Managing relationships & perceptions
6. Crisis communication management
However, for iSEE.mk, and In essence, PR Is about managing expectations, feelings, thoughts, and actions regarding your company.
PR is about people. Consumers. Regulators. Goodwill.
How to properly conduct your PR?
Best practices are to start with the end goal in sight. What do you want to do with it. Getting a media quotation from Forbes or Business insider has never been easier, but what is the use if rarely who sees it? Then, would you compromise your brand story to get media attention? Would you accept interviews from media outlets that cater to demographics hostile to your business (like ultra-religious media outlets against weed or LGBT-centered businesses)?
Case study: Brand | Core message read by the subconscious
· Apple | Excellence in rational thought and profit optimization
· Tesla | Saving the planet by the price of personal sacrifice
· Google | Empower and educate, yet be fair, since recently
The sheer size of the behemoths mentioned above makes them newsworthy. However, the brand message is a mixture of their founder’s dreams and its management’s values, moderated by the products they sell. It is the same for big and small companies. Smaller companies have less management to rationally mediate between the dream and the reality of the market. Hence the troubles of the ‘good intentions’ of Tesla’s founder.
However, it is the brand you start with whenever you want to do something. It is your Self screaming its nature and purpose to fit the world to its image. As you grow up, you realize that adjusting yourself comes at a price of freedom. But the lack of freedom that rationality brings, to bring home profits, often brings stability & peace of mind. You need to find a sustainable balance.
Having money is better than not having them.
Having them in the bank, really, rather than as shares-backed collateral, is what brings ease & peace at night!
If the compromise is too steep and if it strands you in a flawed country. If the compromise of your freedom is death. Then no rational person would take the deal. He will wait or escape. Stay free.
Companies that already turned profits found a balance. If you haven’t already and you still struggle as a startup or even as a Unicorn, your Self is out of its game already. Reality won’t adjust to it. You would have to accept deflation of your market valuation.
What does PR have to do with it?
PR is the story we tell ourselves first, it is the reflection of the founders’ Self. The “Me” behind the Vision and Mission. The Alpha and Omega of every company. If you do the story wrong from the onset, likely you will become the next Uber, WeWork, or Tesla. Stranded in a flawed story fueled by good intentions that would sooner or later, have to implode to its previous market cap, losing money of investors.
But who cares? The money at Vanguard and Fidelity are from your parents anyway and they will die sooner, right? We have no responsibility for their financial lack of reason. Let’s bankrupt the world and squander money away on unsustainable valuations and “Fairytale business models”. If you lose your parent’s house, instead of inheriting it, while your company goes bust forever, and you live on the street, it doesn’t matter. Right? You can emigrate to North Korea and be a communist!
So. The stories we tell ourselves mean a lot. They are not just PR — they are the strategy. They are the reason for employees feeling hyped or depressed every day. The criterion of your investors to support you, the reason for the public to adore you. And PR starts with your Self.
Who are you? What is your PR story?
If the story is based on a lie, you will create damage. It may be a lovely journey. You would learn and perhaps even (l)earn a lot. But it may not be profitable! And in 10 years after incorporation, profit is most that matter! You will have to surrender your dream to reality.
Apple might buy Tesla?
Is your Self-story, leading you to profits? Or to face reality?
This is the initial PR we tackle at iSEE.mk
iSEE.mk is making everything better since 2010. It is probably the most committed boutique marketing agency in the world offering a wide range of marketing services ranging from marketing automation to public relations and search engine optimization.
iSEE.mk is registered in London while it has supreme battle-tested contractors around the world. As an agency, for all of its clients, it also has a native iPhone App to follow campaign progress and as a free perk, to follow all internet mentions of your company.
When Larry Page invented the Page Rank, as simple as it is, its goal was to organize information on the internet based on perceived relevance by the audience. The most linked-to content was marked to be the most relevant one. This was inspired by the peer-review process where quotations (paper mentions) are seen as “academic gold” and the source of ‘academic worth’. Google would index the websites and store keywords. Then when users looked for keywords websites that matched these keywords would be ranked by the number of links to it.
Google business model revolved around providing people what they seek. To retain its market position, it had to provide the most valuable elements to its users in the fastest possible way. Once people would see how this algorithm works, they would start abusing the system to reach the top of the page not by providing value, but by satisfying what the algorithm was looking for. Over time, Google was updating its algorithm so that there is less room for cheating.
Regardless, spammy links and traffic, robots that spam forums, automated scripts that create a false impression of relevance, has become the mainstream norm in most of the SEO community. An entire industry based upon a lie; a perceived knowledge of how the Google algorithm actually works. The fact is, no one outside Google really knows.
However, there are some timeless valuables that would resist changes across time, as long as there is capitalism and Google is a private company.
Here are the ‘timeless’ facts:
No pyramid schemes, endless linking to forums, or tweaking of on-site SEO, will make you reach the top at certain keywords unless you stick to three main things that keep Google’s dominant market position regardless of its algorithm that is kept secret. The algorithm may change, but the business model behind Google won’t. And these three things are the cornerstone of it. Add to this the fact that it takes some time to build a reputation on Google, you wouldn't want to see most of your efforts dumped because you did not focus on the main, timeless valuables but focused on an ephemeral hype.
Here is what we believe to be timeless with Google:
Here is a comparison of methods used to reach the same goals as standard SEO vis-à-vis iSEE.mk SEO’s strategy:
At iSEE.mk we care about making everything better. Thus, it is clear that we do SEO so much differently we don’t usually call it SEO. We call it PR, not Page Rank, as it was Larry’s initial idea, but Public Relations.
From the iSEE.mk room of hidden knowledge.
iSEE.mk is making everything better since 2010. It is probably the most committed boutique marketing agency in the world offering wide range of marketing services. It is registered in London while it has supreme battle-tested contractors around the world. As an agency, for all of its clients, it also has a native iPhone App to follow campaign progress and as a free perk, to follow all internet mentions of your company.
Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO) are the new game in town. After Security Token Offerings started showing up, it was clear that the investment needed to raise crowdfunded capital far outweighs the costs compared to conventional fundraising for all projects that ARE NOT NATIVE to the blockchain.
This means that anything that is NOT a platform or an EXCHANGE, would not have the incentives to raise cash from the blockchain community unless it is outright money laundering. Now, this has slightly changed with the introduction of IEO.
IEOs are a way for companies to list before raising capital, in order to raise capital. Established exchanges such as Binance have enabled anyone to apply to list on their exchange even though they haven’t finished or in some cases, started their public fundraising.
What does this mean?
Exchanges where people already trade digital assets is where investors are, each day and each minute there are trades happening, and adding a token on these exchanges, whether it is a security or a utility token, means it sharply targets the digital assets investors’ market!
Many followed Binance’s example and established their own Launchpads, and hence, the birth of a new fundraising category, IEOs! However, don’t get hyped.
Here are the constraints and benefits from raising capital on established crypto exchanges/
1. Already targeting liquid markets with digital assets investors
2. Being among the few that gets the attention of investors
3. Having an established player guarantee the validity of your project as most exchanges do deep due diligence
4. Sharing part of the IR responsibility with another investors relation’s team
5. You can list part of your offering, let’s say 15% and not 100%, depending on your needs
1. It has limited funding potential. You cannot expect to raise $232 million or more only on one exchange. You have to plan an additional budget for successive funding rounds.
2. There is a limited amount of liquid exchanges in the first place and most slots for IEOs are already allocated. Getting a spot often requires deep pockets.
3. The negotiating power is on the side of the exchange if you don’t have a killer branding. This means that you may also need to give heavy referrals fees.
What are your options?
Regardless of your choice of STOs or ICOs, IEOs are platform-dependent and require more careful networking and lobbying at liquid exchanges. In short, everyone can set up ICO and an STO, but only exchanges can approve an IEOs.
To get an approval for an IEO, you first have to have an STO or ICO ongoing or good connections to an exchange’s owner/management. Most IEOs are STOs/ICOs that have captured the imagination and pockets of exchanges, and perhaps, didn’t even plan an IEO in the first place but it became opportunistically lucrative down the road.
How can TSM Global or other marketing agencies help?
1. Exchanges always want new investors on them. By escrowing an advertising budget we can confirm to exchanges, let’s say of 100000 EUR – 500000 EUR, you will increase your likelihood of obtaining agreement by an exchange. The simple reason we can show them our planned ad strategy that will bring our client investors while it will bring more recurring clients to the exchange as well.
2. We can help you develop a “pull” strategy rather than a push one. In negotiations brands matter and if you have a strong brand with a strong following, you will already capture the imagination of decision-makers at exchanges. This we can do with PR, branding advisory, event organizations, etc.
3. We can apply on your behalf on exchanges that have a peer-review system and are not prone to personal referrals we don’t believe in. We believe in equal opportunities. Additionally, we can help you craft a captivating story that can increase your odds of opening a conversation.
4. We already have a list of exchanges and email databases of potential investors. So, hiring an agency that can increase your power in the fundraising round, is a negotiating chip you can use to get to a launchpad.
With the right budgets, everything is easy. So TSM does not have the magic bullet in most cases. It is you, the potential client who needs to make sure that if you happen to start an ICO or STO, you have at least the initial necessary resources to do it. Bootstrapping without any constant monthly budget to invest, is something an agency is NOT ABLE to help you with.
When would Bill Gates & Warren Buffett do an ICO?
What do you need for a successful blockchain project?
These are usually but not necessarily investors who can invest bigger amounts of money, can buy equity (convertible loans) instead of tokens or can join the projects as strategic partners who not only buy equity or tokens, but also provide some sort of services in the growth of the venture.
The seven major ways to seek funding in the private placement are:
Working with an agency like TSM would ensure not only confidentialty of your actions and knowledge of what works in practice, but also ensure impunity as if some information become public, such as that you are negotiating or doing business with one pool instead of other you would always have the option of saying it wasn’t you who negotiated the deal. It was TSM!
Tokens & coins value rest on the faith of people who buy them and use them. Entrepreneurs are like faith managers & with their projects they need to increase the faith that their coins are the ones that deserve the faith of the community.
Hence, there are many rules to be respected when negotiating with partners from the early private token sales onward. Here are some tips:
Here is how a successful ICO/TGE fundraising would look like:
Here are some of the early fundraising mistakes we often see:
Here are some important questions we answer for our paying private placement clients:
So, book us today and inquire into the prices and risk/rewards ratios of different fundraising techniques we have had the privilege to do for multitude of clients.
These founders are often required to assemble a team and begin their project with limited or no funding. Such entrepreneurs would be (in most cases) terribly wrong to approach a Marketing company under such conditions.
Why should they wait before seeking an agency?
Many successful ICOs have raised a lot of money without the help of a Marketing agency because they have their networks, valuable skills, and can turn to freelancing sites to source people with experience for small areas where they lack knowledge. Some reputable companies, like International Blockchain Consulting, have used freelancing platforms to find high-quality people for their operations.
ParagonCoin, which raised more than 170 million USD, also used freelancers at around $30 dollars per hour for most of its day-to-day support needs. Super angels such as Fabrice Grinda use freelancers for his venture capital firm and related research projects. Even Secretary Generals of international organizations such as Interpol use freelancing sites! So, it can be a cool place to get started.
It is fine NOT to use an agency if you can properly select freelancers and create a team with limited resources, at first. A team that fits the founders culturally and professionally can do the job very well. Such a strategy can also help founders save money on labor and find people that will stick with them after their ICO hits the softcap.
If you are a bootstrapping your way to an ICO, then you probably won’t be able to afford a real ICO agency (unless you’re already very wealthy). But don’t get discouraged if you don’t have the sometimes-stellar budget required by leading ICO agencies. With the right team, culture, and sweat equity in place, many have worked miracles. If you have what it takes, you might do so as well!
So, do NOT contact an ICO marketing agency if…
Instead of wasting your time, and some agency’s time as well, you should work towards creating a compelling pitch of your project idea and yourself. Dig into your LinkedIn and alumni networks, turn to pitch-promising wantrepreneurs at universities, and join freelancing sites to assemble a cost-effective team that is good enough to get you started.
Agencies are built from people who produce more value together in synergy than individually. They are comprised of imperfect individuals striving for a perfect whole. That is why many agencies charge premiums, as they believe they’re offering more than any individual by themselves.
Agencies are also more required to abide by local and international laws. They have databases, networks, memberships in prestigious organizations, collective know-how that surpasses that of freelancing individuals, and setup procedures to optimize productivity and results (capitalist vaulters!). The only real issue is that they cost more!
That is the reason why bigger companies and high net-worth individuals (HNWI) who are doing ICOs usually contact agencies rather than freelancers. It saves time, guarantees higher quality, and allows usage of proprietary know-how, know-who, and tech. Also, they can rely on legal responsibilities if they want to deduct the investment expenses from their taxes, for example. All these factors make the choice of an agency more convenient for them.
So, when you should hire an ICO agency?
There is also a third option. You can download Telegram and join any open groups where you can ask for ICO services. This will result in hundreds of offers coming your way from entities that are half agencies, half freelancers, or some percentage of the two combined. Close your eyes, give it some thought and choose the ones that you think are best. This might be a question of luck! Beware of Telegram offers, however, as half of them (especially the YouTube reviews) are probably scams!
If they are so different, will Blockchain “companies” grow faster? Not if they do not ditch their socialists models.
The global nature of the blockchain markets and its democratic openness towards almost every investor who makes her own decisions without the need to move to New York or Singapore to be in the center of the investment frenzy, has attracted many individuals from all parts of the planet.
The minimal investment amounts of 1 USD or less on some ICOs, have made the market open for people with smaller incomes. Is it better for those investors to spend money in casinos, or on innovative projects that might change the world?
However, the core morals of blockchain seem to be working against it in the long run regarding the speed of the growth of the token economies. The unique cultural essence of blockchain start-ups that are giving a lot to investors inhibits their growth. The reason is that many blockchain start-ups, blinded by the spirit of the community have become socialist self-management communes without the libertarian part! Capitalism knows private incentive and rewards founders with salaries, not just equity. In the case of the blockchain, the majority of teams only get tokens as compensation.
Imagine if companies from the old conventional economy just gave shares to the management team instead of salaries they can use to buy goods with, and only give those shares in the first years of business. Then, the only way for founders to survive and still work on their blockchain start-up is to sale part of their stakes (tokens) in the companies to whose growth they need to contribute. Would founders be more motivated if they own fewer shares in their companies? Of course not!
Thus, the one minor obstacle to the better growth of most blockchain companies is the inability or reclusiveness of many founders and blockchain investors towards the imposing of code that is rewarding the team on a monthly or annual basis indefinitely or while they serve the blockchain smart contract development. The community can also participate in establishing these rewards with smart contracts and voting, but rewards from which founders can live conformably have to exist nevertheless, to prevent the team to sell its tokens that should serve as a motivation to grow the economy to the benefit of all participants.
So, in order for the blockchain revolution to work, founders need to be rewarded properly at least to the level of successful founders in the conventional economy. Less socialism, more libertarianism!
From a guy who helped founders raise more than $280 million
*there is a difference between a coin and a token. For the sake of simplicity we would use the term “coin” instead of token onward
Why will ICOs rule or NOT rule the world
*How to Initial Coin Offerings raise millions without giving equity?
There are more ways this is done usually, as coins or tokens can be different from one another, but here is one standard way. The coins offered are for a certain utility or something that will be automated and that the users can access. Think of medical records that are accessed via a blockchain making sure they are protected and accessible globally at the same time. Every time someone uses this medical blockchain network, she or he needs to buy the coin that allows this network to function. The more people use the network the more its coin value increases.
The reason why when more people access their medical files on the network the more value of its digital coins increases is that they also exist in limited quantities! Hence, there are capital gains for investors just like with stocks. For coins usually there is no interest or dividends, just ownership of the currency used in a small economy. Companies can still take fiat dollars and euros for providing services of their network, but usually they need to convert them to their coins/tokens! Once they do, the value of the tokens increases!
Case study example
Here is how a medical chain blockchain database startup raised money.
The startup sold 30,000,000 coins at an average price of 0.8 USD per coin.
First, they sold at a discount of 40% in the private placement and the first week of the pre-ICO that was opened only to whitelisted investors who could invest at least $20,000. Then, they sold the tokens at a discount that was decreasing with every stage of the initial coin offering while reinvesting part of the money into marketing!
So, if they gave 20% discount on average, does this mean that the cost of capital was 20% too? I don’t think so! No. The blockchain venture got fiat money in return or around 24 million USD! Given they did not give high cash rebates but only token discounts, they cash COC for the fiat part were below 5%. The token discount was around 20%.
However, once they listed on exchanges the price of their token was already 20% above the highest selling price in the ICO! So, imagine that. The company did not raise just $24 million USD – < 5% discount. It also got 30% of the tokens in circulation and 20% of tokens for the founders valued at about another $14 million USD! Additionally, half of the buyers of their tokens were considered future users of the platform and not speculators.
The total cash investment of this amazing team? Around 40,000 USD! However, they were high-quality founders which is sometimes awesome.