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Author Topic: Press center on the website - looking for volunteers  (Read 3664 times)
Mike Hearn
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March 22, 2013, 09:08:47 AM
 #1

Over the last few years many of us have been amazed by the variable quality of Bitcoin press coverage. Some journalists really understand what this is all about and go deep, others simply regurgitate whatever was already written or seem to deliberately search for a negative spin.

This has not been especially surprising to me, because in my time working at a large software company I've seen how press stories get written. There is a really strong reason why all large corporations have a dedicated team of PR staff, and it's because helping journalists write good stories is a full time job. In this case by "good" I mean, accurate and balanced, not necessarily product-pimping positive fluff.

Bitcoin does not have any dedicated PR people, nor should it. But we can do the next best thing by providing a really good self-serve press center on the website. My ideal press center would have:

  • The "we use coins" video, along with the original MPEG-4 sources suitable for embedding straight into TV feeds.
  • High quality, re-usable art assets. The pictures from Mike Caldwell of his coins are superb and widely used, recently there was a beautiful 3D rendering of a Bitcoin posted to reddit. There were some nice pictures from the Berlin "Bitcoin Keiz" of happy shop owners accepting coins, etc.
  • A list of previous articles that act as exemplars - articles we feel hit a particularly high quality bar. Again that doesn't mean rambling hyperbolic fluff pieces on peoples blogs, it means articles in mainstream publications that were fair and balanced.
  • An FAQ just for the press that skips most of the technical detail and responds to talking points that we see come up over and over again (the "crash" of 2011, what about crime/drugs, who is satoshi, who is using it, etc).
  • A very brief description of future applications and benefits of the technology, along with possible impacts on society, for instance reference to the EU banking crises and how Bitcoin allows people to reduce their dependence on banks. I.E. something for journalists who want to write more thoughtful longer term pieces or find a new spin to an article they're writing about the ongoing mainstream financial problems.
  • A set of quotes attributed to developers and key stakeholders that can be copy/pasted into stories, so in case a journalist can't/won't get in touch with a real person for their story they can still quote people.
  • A small group of people, distributed around the world, who are able to give quotes and quick interviews to people at short notice. We already have a mailing list for this but I think it's not mentioned on the website anymore. Although it sounds insane, my company has a 24/7 PR team that works in shifts because stories frequently get written and published in a matter of hours. If you don't respond to their emails in time, the story goes out with something like "The Bitcoin Group had no comment" which sounds shady. We already have some people who routinely give out relatively mild, non-extreme interviews and quotes (Gavin, Stefan/justmoon, etc) but getting a bit more organized and reliably responsive would be good. It can be as simple as promoting the existing mailing list a bit more.

Thanks to Saivann we have a spiffy new website that already goes into detail on Bitcoin's many benefits. I think the press center could be a new section at the top (either next to or replacing enthusiasts).

I can't do all this myself because right now I'm heads down on shipping the next round of SPV performance improvements, but I'll start looking for volunteers soon. If you want to take part, please let me know! You can either send me a message here, post a reply or email mike@plan99.net

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March 22, 2013, 12:59:03 PM
 #2

Somebody's going to kick me in the balls when they read who I feel could take on this task--Mathew N. Wright.
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March 22, 2013, 01:13:49 PM
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Somebody's going to kick me in the balls when they read who I feel could take on this task--Mathew N. Wright.

You can do it yourself:


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March 23, 2013, 05:47:48 AM
 #4

Sounds awesome to me so far!

I have the previous mailing list email, as it's one of the rare things I didn't keep because I intended to ask what to do about it. So if it's actually used, we can put it back and it would be very appropriate.

I think that we should think twice before removing the "Enthusiasts" page because it's pretty unique, in the sense that this is the only page that really focuses on the ground-breaking world changing nature of Bitcoin. Other ones are more "use-related". But that doesn't mean it cannot be merged with medias, that depends on what it actually looks in the end. Space is not an issue, as we have enough space to add it as a seperate link if needed.

I will see if I can contribute some ideas others than the actual list (which is pretty good). At the very least, I can help integrating this in the website.


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Mike Hearn
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March 23, 2013, 04:20:51 PM
 #5

Let's call it Press, as that's more obvious and specific (also Media is a singular word, it can't have an s on the end).

I'm hopeful that the guys on the email thread will contribute something soon.
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March 23, 2013, 04:23:51 PM
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Definitely would love to have an open, distributed bitcoin PR team.

Please keep me in the loop.


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March 23, 2013, 05:49:04 PM
 #7

Those were some great points and I would be very interested in helping make this a reality. (I've got some experience with broadcast & post-production crews and can call upon their knowledge of things, requested formatting, etc.. if needed)

Mike, you may include me as a volunteer.

I will begin working on some of these requests today.

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March 23, 2013, 06:29:40 PM
 #8

There is a really strong reason why all large corporations have a dedicated team of PR staff, and it's because helping journalists write good stories is a full time job...Bitcoin does not have any dedicated PR people, nor should it.

Why shouldn't Bitcoin be promoted using PR resources like any other product?


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March 23, 2013, 11:29:38 PM
 #9

There is a really strong reason why all large corporations have a dedicated team of PR staff, and it's because helping journalists write good stories is a full time job...Bitcoin does not have any dedicated PR people, nor should it.

Why shouldn't Bitcoin be promoted using PR resources like any other product?

"Any other product" tends to imply a conventional company with conventional PR resources, not an open source invention.


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March 24, 2013, 01:13:17 AM
 #10

Count me in Mike. Happy to help.
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March 24, 2013, 01:45:32 AM
 #11

There is a really strong reason why all large corporations have a dedicated team of PR staff, and it's because helping journalists write good stories is a full time job...Bitcoin does not have any dedicated PR people, nor should it.
Why shouldn't Bitcoin be promoted using PR resources like any other product?
"Any other product" tends to imply a conventional company with conventional PR resources, not an open source invention.

If we manage to throw together a team of dedicated people and the infrastructure needed I do not see a reason why we could not have a core PR team just like we have a core developer team.

I like the challenge to set up a non-corporate strategic communications team that is able to deliver what the media need and to do so in favour of Bitcoin. If that would in any way be as efficient and productive and responsive as you developers are that would be a real gain for Bitcoin and we would the first open source community that shows it can be done.

Joe




Mike Hearn
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April 19, 2013, 12:11:20 PM
 #12

And it's live!

http://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-for-press

Thanks to everyone who volunteered! Send pull requests to Saivann.
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April 19, 2013, 12:19:39 PM
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It might be an idea to ask on the forum for attractive smart people who can talk in sound bites and be available for and comfortable in video interviews. A list of possible interviewees who are knowledgeable about bitcoin and speak the local language could be irresistible to media trying to fill a slow news day.

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April 19, 2013, 12:54:24 PM
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Akka! *runs before she kills him* Cheesy
Mike Hearn
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April 19, 2013, 01:06:08 PM
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Yeah I was saying on the mailing list we used to co-ordinate this project we need more people, and people who speak non-english languages fluently.

edit: I have no idea who Akka is. If she is going to present the community in a good light and not come across as a holder of wild or extreme views, we should definitely think about getting her up there. Could Akka step forward and introduce herself?
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April 19, 2013, 01:30:19 PM
 #16

Akka! *runs before she kills him* Cheesy

Rule 30.

Also, I'm already on the mailing list.

*or is this just a coincidence and you didn't mean me?


And of course, I would love to contribute more, but I'm not an IT guy and honestly, working with github goes a little bit over my head.

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Mike Hearn
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April 19, 2013, 01:41:27 PM
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Yeah, I thought that seemed a bit of a co-incidence Smiley
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April 19, 2013, 01:45:13 PM
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Nice looking page. I'm starting to pass the link around in my (tiny) sphere of influence.

Someone will update this soon, right?... "Why did Bitcoin’s price crash in June 2011?" (from the FAQ list).
Mike Hearn
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April 19, 2013, 01:49:39 PM
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No that FAQ is deliberate. Some people do ask this even though it was years ago.
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April 19, 2013, 02:55:52 PM
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Akka! *runs before she kills him* Cheesy

Rule 30.

Also, I'm already on the mailing list.

*or is this just a coincidence and you didn't mean me?


And of course, I would love to contribute more, but I'm not an IT guy and honestly, working with github goes a little bit over my head.

Well that's embarrassing.... Either that or you're messing with me >_<

But seriously, what about the guy who was talking to the news about the Bitcoin ATM? He'd be very good I think.
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