[Grant Application] Transform Group's Proposal

Please find our proposal here:

We are very happy to see a proposal from your great company. Before we decide, we have a few questions about the type of work you would be providing.

We are aware of PR Newswire and have an account with them (and pay roughly $250 per release).

  • We would like to know how the Newswire relationship you mention in your proposal differs.
  • In our experience, newswire releases haven’t been as impactful as the headline numbers suggest. We would love to know what you would do differently and please highlight any success stories.
  • Additionally, it would be great if you could provide your viewpoint on this article discussing the specific value of PR Newswire releases. We are very interested in your expert opinion. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304383
  • Additionally, can you break down the costs for your service in more detail (ie personnel costs to draft releases, personnel costs to market releases across media providers, costs to publish articles through the Newswire etc)
  • Lastly, can you discuss any KPI targets you plan to hit over the 6mo period?
  • For example, 1-2 top tier publications per month (crypto: Coindesk, theblock, finance: cnbc, bloomberg, forbes etc) , 10,000 views for a particular release etc

Our newswire covers the full North American circuit (US and Canada) for GlobeNewswire (a PR Newswire competitor - there are three major newswires who basically all go to the same places), plus global Internet. We would be happy to compare what you’re actually getting for $250 per release, as it may be Internet only and not go to many journalists. If it’s close, we will equal their price point within the package.

We structured this initial grant proposal to make it understandable to the community members, but we are happy to modify it according to the true needs of the community. Michael Terpin started both the company that became GlobeNewswire (in the 1990s when it was partnered with NASDAQ and backed by Sequoia Capital) as well as Transform Group, which has worked with more than 150 token companies and foundations, including Augur, Dash, Ethereum, Gnosis, Golem, Lisk, Neo and many others. We can provide a link of automated coverage per release, but it takes proper messaging, writing and follow-up prior to putting out the release to get success stories beyond SEO and search engine views.

Sure, he’s correct in terms of newsworthy topics (and I’ve known Jason for many years - his product is mainly a way to format your individual pitch letters to media). For big news, I feel it’s malpractice to send out something substantial on a wire without first pitching it “under embargo” to the outlet(s) you’d like it to appear. You can research and try this yourselves, but it’s always better to have an agency who already knows the reporters well (they not only take our calls and emails; they proactively call us asking for what’s new and for quotes from our clients on hot topics). For releases that have minimal news value, the value is mainly the SEO and views you get on Google News and other outlets, plus the occasional small outlet picking it up because they don’t care about getting it afterward - this is rarely the way to get picked up by CoinDesk; it takes relationships, pre-pitching, proper messaging and timing. We have multiple clients in CoinDesk every month.

This proposal was a starting point. It sounds like you’re more interested in having a handful of impactful pieces hit about ICON vs a lot of press releases that get minimal pickup. That’s typically what PR firms call a “full-service” campaign that we normally charge $25k+ a month for in normal times - although in these times, we are very flexible and it all backs up to how much news you have that we can message to be picked up by CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, TechCrunch, Wired - and how creatively we can position you to be quoted in Reuters, Bloomberg and places that broader-based traders read. Some services we offer as an agency are time intensive - like ghostwriting opinion pieces for you like we regularly get for clients of ours in CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, even TechCrunch and Forbes. On the other hand, a very cost-effective item is to have us looking on a daily basis to get you quoted on breaking news stories, e.g., this CoinTelegraph article uses our clients as the source of four of the article’s entire eleven quotes. We’ve had clients regularly quoted in Bloomberg, Reuters and other top-line publications through this process. Press releases should not be the only component of your PR go-to-market strategy, but it’s the most familiar to companies, so we start the conversation there.

You can either continue to use your current PR Newswire package or we can match the price and charge you $250 in ICX for the full North American circuit plus Internet. The remainder of the budget would be based on the hourly rates of our team; the typical person on the team bills around $250 (this includes senior staff in the average), so you’d get about 200 hours over the six months if you stayed with PR Newswire - or deduct $250 per release if you wanted to include some of the distribution originally proposed. We are happy to rewrite the proposal with more of this full-service PR agency language included.

If we can tweak this proposal to add more follow-up and fewer press releases, we can aim at an AVERAGE (it won’t happen every month and it depends on news) of 1-2 top-tier publications in crypto and finance, and we provide a coverage report that estimates views (not every publication shows views for each story).

Here are some examples of current and very recent clients - with much smaller market caps than ICX:

Presearch (498k views in about six months, including Inc., Observer, RT, TechCrunch, TheStreet and ZDNet)

Temtum (392k views in under six months, including Fox News and three stories in CoinTelegraph, and with CoinDesk pending)

Aeternity is in the CoinMarketCap 100 and we’ve worked with them on a project-by-project basis since their early 2017 ICO. This report is just for the past six months (1.1 mm views across 140 stories, including six from CoinTelegraph)