How Crypto Projects Can Shape the Media Narrative around Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

Samantha Yap
Jun 19, 2019 · 4 min read

The unveiling of Facebook’s plans for its new global digital currency, Libra, is a massive opportunity for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies to shape the media narrative around this industry at an important turning point. It’s a chance for companies already in the space to shout about what they’ve been building for years to a mainstream audience.

It’s also the responsibility of the crypto industry to evaluate this news and provide productive and informative insights about what Facebook launching a global coin means for the world, or how cryptocurrencies work in the first place. That includes highlighting the benefits cryptocurrencies can bring to the world’s 1.7 billion unbanked people — but the public also needs context, potentially including the ways Libra may not entirely fulfill the potential of blockchain technology.

To raise awareness about your own work and influence the way the entire world sees your nascent industry, it’s important to think strategically about how you want to shape your company’s messaging.

Here are three approaches to get your angle presented:

1. A balanced view

Presenting the pros and cons of Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency will be useful at a time when the world is just starting to make sense of crypto, and can help position your team as credible thought leaders in this industry.

To start, ask yourself what you really think. Many are committed to the idea that blockchain and cryptocurrency can protect individual privacy and provide a balance to government power. Is that your stance — and will Facebook as a central organisation launching a global coin do that?

On the other hand, players in the industry have been constantly striving to drive mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, so is Facebook the solution everyone’s been waiting for?

2. Validate and Educate

While most of the mainstream world only notices Bitcoin when the price makes big moves, discussion of Libra should focus on crypto’s values and promise.

Facebook’s aim to “reinvent money” and “transform the global economy” with Libra will validate the goal and mission of many projects in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. In fact, Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system has been on the path to reinventing the global monetary system since 2009, so Facebook’s mission is actually in line with Bitcoin’s core values.

Relevant companies should come out and speak in support of this goal, which they’ve been pursuing for years, and take the opportunity to educate users on their own solutions. Different companies have different approaches to how technology can be used to meet a mutual goal. It’s important to note that being in support of a goal or mission could also involve critiquing another company’s solutions.

3. Present a Counterview

If your company has a better solution to Facebook’s Libra offering, then come out strongly to show why your ideas and product are better.

For instance, the Libra blockchain is pseudonymous, not anonymous, which means Facebook could collect user financial data. In this case, privacy coins are best positioned to speak out about the serious implications this has on people’s right to privacy. It’s also important to drive home that Facebook doesn’t have a strong record on the privacy question, from its business model down to specific abuses of its system.

For many projects, it would be good strategy to detail why using an open-source cryptocurrency which focuses on the privacy and security of financial transactions is the better solution.

The Libra whitepaper also revealed that Facebook is launching a second token via a Security Token Offering (STO) — the “Libra Investment Token” (LIT). While this legitimises the use of digital securities and this method of raising capital, LIT is only available to Libra Association members and accredited investors.

What sets the security token industry apart is that it democratises access to investment opportunities and Facebook reserving the purchase of LIT to accredited investors only does not serve this goal.

STO companies should look for ways to insert themselves in the media narrative to explain to investors what the potential implications are and how it could impact the future of legacy securities as we know it.

Get your voice heard

Coming up with a messaging strategy and angle is just the first step. To shape the media narrative surrounding this story, you’ll need to get heard by the editors and journalists that are covering it.

Standard ways to do this include pitching reaction quotes to media publications who are looking for thoughts, writing an opinion piece fit to be published on a news site or offering your talking points to a longer form media outlet like a podcast or youtube show that will likely cover the topic as a follow-up.

To execute these key strategies effectively requires a strong network of media contacts and knowledge of the right journalists to go to with the information you have to offer them. It also goes a long way when journalists are already familiar with your brand and ongoing media relations building helps with this.

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If you would like to work out how to best position your company message around this and are looking for a motivated team to execute a media strategy for you feel free to check us out at www.yapglobal.com.

You can also contact me via samantha@yapglobal or on Twitter @yapglobalteam.

YAP Global

Insights from the YAP Global team at the intersection between quality journalism and meaningful cryptocurrency, blockchain & fintech projects.

Samantha Yap

Written by

Founder & Director of YAP Global (Yapglobal.com). Journalist at heart. Previously @channelnewsasia.

YAP Global

Insights from the YAP Global team at the intersection between quality journalism and meaningful cryptocurrency, blockchain & fintech projects.

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