There is an article on the Bitcoin wiki that might provide some help when trying to describe Bitcoin:
Amir of Bitcoin Consultancy wrote up a great resource:
Online media gloms onto any sensational news development, whether it be a positive or negative development. That's what they get paid to do! People who aren't deep into the technology field then will llikely learn of Bitcoin first from the media. So as a result many will have preconceived notions about bitcoin based on what they've learned from the media. This past week they learned about the reddit forum where stripping for bitcoins occurs and the stories put out by the media were not favorable to bitcoin, of course.
And of course, there was the obligatory story about SR of the ZOMG! type that seem to appear about at least once a week somewhere in the world.
But the media isn't going to make or break bitcoin ... so for now, whatever happens happens and is water under the bridge.
Because bitcoin is not an organization, has no marketing department and no team of people working on how to best communicate what Bitcoin is to the world, the message each individual receives will likely vary based on which source is spreading the message to them.
When reading a blog post about bitcoin, the reader might feel the author has a libertarian slant and is trying to push an agenda. That's probably not something untrue.
When a visitor to a bitcoin-based website sees an amateurish web and graphic design of the site and concludes that it looks like it was done by a programmer who is unskilled at web and graphic design, that's probably not something that is untrue.
When a new visitor to this forum asks how to buy bitcoins with PayPal and gets lambasted for even mentioning that evil, six-letter word, that visitor might feel the experience was unprofessional. That's probably not something that is untrue.
Because bitcoin is not an organization, I don't know what will cause any of this to change (just yet). Some of these things are getting proper attention on their own so at least we are heading towards improvement. The UI in the bitcoin-qt client is an improvement over what the -wx client had. The websites of the exchanges are improvements in both form and function over their earlier incarnations.
We know what works though. Look at Bitcoin mining, for instance. That too has no organization, no marketing budget and no team of people guiding it with any authority (other than merit). But it has become an impressive industry and ecosystem in its own right. It has done so because there is an economic incentive to do things right. There's about $1 million a month going to miners and they've built up to that level or more (actually, way more).
Look at the level of interest in the mining forum (evidenced in 160297 posts) versus the handfuls of threads spread elsewhere in which the topic is how to do ecommerce with Bitcoin. Merchants don't see adding bitcoin ecommerce as something that will bring immediate economic gain so it will be an uphill battle to try to organically attract interest to that function.
Use of bitcoin as a currency used widely in commerce is something that must materialize or Bitcoin may not ever reach the lofty goals its speculators currently see as it having the potential to reach.
When short-term speculators give way to longer term investors with tens of millions of dollars of funds on the line, a few million spent towards projecting a proper image for bitcoin may not be a bad use of additional funds.
But why start too soon? Coins are being flipped at $5 today and in about 200 days the daily issuance of new bitcoins will drop in half, so building a concerted effort now to project a positive message is likely viewed as something premature.
Their thinking might be that restraint now will only make the eventual ascent to come be something even that much greater to savor.