Proposal “CORETEAMPR1018“ (Completed)Back

Title:Core Team Public Relations (October)
Owner:glennaustin
One-time payment: 215 DASH (23504 USD)
Completed payments: 1 totaling in 215 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2018-09-17 / 2018-10-16 (added on 2018-09-08)
Votes: 724 Yes / 92 No / 9 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Core Group October 1st Funding Proposals
DCG is submitting 5 funding proposals for the October 1st budget cycle:
1) DCG Comp (Developers & Operations): $325,000 (here)
2) DCG Comp (Administration): $100,000 (here)
3) DCG Comp (Bus Dev / Marketing / Cust Support): $75,000 (here)
4) DCG Business Development: $160,000 (here)
5) DCG Public Relations: $40,000 (current proposal)

Note: Over the past 2 months finance has worked on managing, calculating and optimizing our tax liability. We identified a number of opportunities to lower our tax burden during that time and validated those opportunities with tax experts. We developed legal arguments to enable certain tax treatments of assets and transactions that lowered our estimated tax obligations. Ian Rawluk, who recently joined the finance team, was instrumental in driving the effort over the finish line.

As a result of these efforts, we will not need to submit a 3rd tax proposal related to the first quarter of fiscal 2019. We expect our current tax funds to be sufficient to cover us through both fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019.

This Proposal
This is cross-posted from here

Background
Public Relations is one of the key parts of the marketing function within Dash Core Group (“DCG”). The purpose of this activity is to gain media attention for Dash, help shape the messaging around Dash, and enhance the public perception of the project. In Q4 we plan to further increase our public relations efforts by expanding into the Spanish speaking market, while simultaneously reducing our overall costs.

In the past, we have worked with several PR companies, and since July 2016, we have been working with Wachsman PR exclusively. Their contract expires at the end of September 2018, and we intend to renew it for Q4 2018 should this proposal be funded.

A report detailing Wachsman’s results is published in the forum https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/pr-status-report.40461/. The third quarter has been our best quarter to date, and August has been our best month ever in terms of media placements, by any metric. Wachsman has worked to get Dash into recently elusive publications such as CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph. Recent coverage in both publications resulted from Wachsman’s outreach efforts in the spring and an in-person New York City media tour coordinated by them in June, during which Ryan Taylor met with reporters in person. They have also achieved prominent features in Forbes and Business Insider, several other mainstream business publications, and our first mainstream television appearances on Fox Business in May and Nasdaq in August. Jesse Platz (Wachsman PR Director) and Fernando Gutierrez (Dash Core Group CMO) did an interview with Dash Watch to share additional information about our PR efforts and Wachsman’s roles (link here).

In parallel to the Wachsman efforts, we would like to hire a second PR firm that focuses on the Spanish speaking market in LatAm, in line with DCG’s recently communicated strategy to focus on opportunities in that region. Certain media engagements that originate with Wachsman end up in Spanish speaking media, but their focus is the English speaking market and we believe there is value in developing local media relations across LatAm.

Both PR firms will coordinate so they can amplify each other’s work. Also, given Wachsman’s knowledge of the project and the work they’ve already done with project messaging, the second (LatAm) firm should be able to get up to speed quickly.

What does this proposal fund?
This proposal funds two different companies:
1) Wachsman PR, for the English speaking market. Due to recent Dash price declines, and given our long-term partnership, Wachsman has agreed to cut their fee by 50% for Q4. This means they will be charging $7,500/month instead of their usual $15,000/month. We want to publicly thank them for their effort to accommodate Dash during this difficult budget environment. This new price, given the amount of work they perform for the network, is most likely a money-losing proposition and we recognize they are agreeing to this because, besides being a provider, they are true believers in Dash with a partnership mentality.

2) TBD firm for LatAm. We are considering several options, but first we want to confirm that the network views this planned expansion positively. If this proposal passes, we will negotiate a contract during the month of September so the newly selected firm can start work in October. From the preliminary due diligence we have performed, we believe we can engage a high-level firm in the LatAm market for approximately $3,000/month.

In addition, we are requesting $8,500 to serve as a buffer to account for the potential fluctuation in the price of Dash. The total amount of this proposal is $40,000.

Requested funding is as follows for the October 1st budget cycle:
· 210 Dash for Public Relations ($40,000 USD @ $190.5 per Dash)
· 5.00 Dash proposal reimbursement
Total: 215 Dash

Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future public relations expenses.

Show full description ...

Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

Submit comment
 
0 points,1 month ago
Dash Watch September 14th 2018 video interview with
Jesse Platz (Wachsman PR) and Fernando (Dash Core CMO) about Dash Public Relations
https://youtu.be/0PXD2vRUcmk
Reply
0 points,1 month ago
voting Yes
Reply
2 points,2 months ago
I'm reading the comments here and all of them appear to be saying no. Therefore why is this funding request passing? A large number of masternodes are voting YES in these projects without leaving valid reasons why they voted yes. Which raises the question who owns those MN that are voting yes? Can the DCG that own MN vote on their own proposals? Do DCG members own large numbers of MNs and is are they voting on their own proposals - is that ethical even? Evan Duffield himself said at a DASH conference that he did not feel it was ethical for him to own MN and to vote on proposals and so he did not hold MN any more. Have the other DCG members also followed this example?

When other MNOs see a large number of votes then "Social Proof" kicks in and other MNOs vote simply because many other MNOs have voted. However I feel we need to vote based on if WE think it is a good use of funds and not simply because many other MN have voted yes.

I notice a large number of votes go in for DCG projects when the DCG proposals are posted - then it slows down and then towards then end it speeds up again with large numbers of votes to push the proposals through. No other funding proposals seem to follow this type of voting pattern. Others show a steady increase in votes over time.

My opinion the PR for DASH core is not fulfilling its role as PR that we need for the DASH network at this time but it does help DCG take work away from them so they can focus on the development work.

I think more PR articles should be focused on South America however from the lacklustre performance from past core PR efforts in my opinion we should definitely not be voting in another proposal to extend South America PR run by Dash Core group.

In my opinion DCG should have submitted a separate proposal for South America PR so we could have voted"no" on that and I would have voted "yes" to DCG normal Core PR so that it keeps the work off the developers until such time as we can replace DCG PR with one that can fulfil the needs of the network.
Reply
0 points,2 months ago
Probably the reason for the proposal passing despite a few negative comments is that most people simply don't comment and those who oppose normally are more vocal than those who support. That is true here, but also in many other places. Most businesses would be bankrupt if the percentage of negative reviews over positive ones corresponded with the satisfaction of their clientele.

Of course, this is just my hypothesis, I can't prove or disprove that people in DCG control only a reduced number of masternodes. I believe that is the case, but no way to know for sure in crypto.

As for the ethics of people voting on their own proposals (not only an issue with DCG but will all proposals), I've seen many arguments about this, both pro and against. I see no issue. In any democracy, you can vote for yourself. Not letting you vote on what you believe to be the best option would be really weird and an unacceptable restriction of rights. Also, there is no way to enforce.

Evan said he would not be running masternodes because he didn't want to be able to influence the network, but that his personal choice and it was done by someone whose circumstances and amount of coins are not comparable to anybody else.
Reply
0 points,2 months ago
@fernando thank you for your comments.

If you take a look at this proposal:

https://www.dashcentral.org/p/DASH-MERCHANT-VENEZUELA-STAGE-2

you will see the great majority of the people posting have positive comments with only one comment asking a question to better understand the proposal. So far I do not see any actual positive comments in this DCG PR proposal. Nearly all comments here are negative as far as I can see at the time of posting - there is only one neutral comment and that person (non MNO) does not even comment on anything substantially positive of inspiring about this proposal they just say in effect saving on PR costs is not good. That is not exactly a positive comment.

Why is it the DASH Merchant proposal which is full of positive comments from different MNOs and this proposal is full of negative MNO comments yet this proposal has more positive votes DCG = 606 Yes Dash Merchants = 569 Yes ?

At the time of writing all comments in this proposal request are negative with only one neutral posting and no positive supporting comments?

If MNOs primarily feel motivated to post with a negative comment then why isn't the Dash Merchant proposal also full of negatives like this proposal? At the very least there ought to be a healthy balance of positive comments, constructive comments and some negative comments for a healthy debate.

If you take nothing else from this post consider that the sentiment is that the PR activity so far by Wachsman is not fulfilling the role of the network for promoting the wonderful work that DASH is doing. The articles are... well, Boring. We want to see more inspiring PR articles showcasing the work that is being done in Venezuela and in Colombia and how that is changing people's lives. There are so many opportunities to get in great stories of how DASH is giving hope to people in Venezuela for the first time in history the people have control and ownership of their own money. Businesses that were giving up hope are now becoming revitalized again. Why aren't more of these stories getting out Fernando? Why are we publishing boring PR articles such as DASH sponsoring Arizona State University etc? People don't give a damn about that - why? because it's simply * not inspiring*? Who cares about news about sponsoring ASU compared to stories that are giving hope to people where they had no hope before.

The crypto market has largely lost the dream that crypto can do what it was supposed to. And then there DASH in Venezuela. These stories need to be told. We need the world to see what we are doing in Venezuela world wide Fernando. Real life stories. People who had no hope, failing businesses that are being turned around because of DASH. This is the type of PR we need in my opinion.

We want to see more PR stories that highlight DASH is making breakthroughs in countries where it is making a real difference to people's lives and to highlight WHY DASH is able to do that (governance, treasury and instant send) If DCG are not able or willing to provide those types of PR stories can you inform us so we know where we stand.

I appreciate there are some elements of the DCG PR that are essential namely maintaining the website content. And that fact that Wachsman are taking work away from DCG so you can focus on what you need to do that is non PR. I get it. So I guess we have to take the good with the not so good. If we want the website maintained I guess we have no option but to fund that but also realise we have to fund PR activities that we really don't want to have to fund because its not fulfilling the role of raising the DASH profile and highlighting the best features of DASH in a consistent and ongoing basis. It's more like maintenance PR.

I will vote yes for this proposal simply because I know the website has to be maintained but if I had the option to vote out DCG PR activities other than maintenance of the website I would do at the moment. I hope this feedback is of some value. I hope DCG Marketing listen to this message. We need many more stories about how DASH is making real positive life-changes to people's lives. If you don't know where to get these stories perhaps reach out to speak with the Venezuela team leaders and see if they can do a call out to their mailing lists to ask people to send in their stories of how DASH has improved their businesses and their lives. See if these people want to be interviewed and start building PR stories that will move people. I'm sure they can help.
Reply
3 points,2 months ago
Voting no.

I don't believe this proposal should be represented as apart of the DCG budget. If DCG keeps paying selected PR firms directly from the DCG budget then there will be no incentive for other separate PR related proposals.

Direct competition between proposals would naturally keep prices low and transparency high. We should not have to be grateful to any one firm for lowing their standard fees and we should not have to ask how the proposal funds have been or are going to be used.
Reply
3 points,2 months ago
I agree with this. Let Wachsman present themselves to the network with their accomplishments with their own 5 dash. I'm sure the level of service would greatly increase. Whatever the relationship is between DCG and Wachsman, it appears to be very comfortable.
Reply
1 point,2 months ago
PR companies don't work in a vacuum on their own. They need to work in tandem with a team of people involved in the project. They should not be coming to the network directly because they would be promising things they can't deliver without someone else. That is the case for Wachsman, but also for the firm working with D-A-CH Embassy or the one working with Dash Force News. The PR firm is a tool in a bigger plan, it needs to be integrated.
Reply
1 point,2 months ago
Can we get a short list of things Wachsman has actually done in the past period? I feel this is kind of data that will help us better evaluate this proposal.

I'm a bit concerned this proposal doesn't properly represent what Wachsman is actually doing. If MNOs just see amount, and don't know everything that's involved in the PR business, it'll seem as a big amount of money spent on who know what and get downvoted. Wachsman lowering their fee is commendable and partially adresses this, but it's still hard to evaluate if we're getting enough value for the money based on only the amount.

It serves nobody if this proposal doesn't pass due to not enough transparency, simply because people are nervous about the budget and willing to cut things they view as non-essential.
Reply
1 point,2 months ago
There is a link in the proposal to a report with all the detail on Wachsman's work and all the media placements that came through them. We have also updated the proposal with the link to a Dash Watch interview in which some more detail is given.
Reply
0 points,2 months ago
Saving a bit on PR now, means losses in the future (or much slower growth, compared to competitors). Without PR activities the efforts of everybody else involved in the project will be wasted.
Dash on Coindesk or CoinTelegraph is worth this money.
Reply
0 points,2 months ago
We do have PR. All of the activity in Venezuela and other places, as well as DFN are doing great PR. The accomplishments are getting us onto the news sites, and that's the very best way to get there. How can we be sure Wachsman had anything at all to do with any of the recent exposure?

I say it's the Dash Merchant team that's responsible for all the recent headlines, when they cracked 1000 merchants.
Reply
1 point,2 months ago
I agree that the ultimate responsibility for media coverage is on the people doing stuff, be it developers coding or someone onboarding merchants in Venezuela. However, someone has to chase journalists so they cover those stories or nobody will know about them. We know that Wachsman was involved in most of the recent media attention because we work with them every day and get the questions and requests from the journalists that write those articles.

One very good example is the Coindesk article. They arranged an in-person interview with Ryan in June as part of a media tour when Ryan was in NYC. Then the journalist asked for some more info on Kuva, that we provided. Then they arranged an interview with James, the CEO of Kuva. After that, Coindesk asked for some data on Venezuela and the last of such requests was done a couple of days before the article was out.

This is not to say that there aren't other teams doing great work in PR. In the case of that same article, in July DFN pitched to that same journalist and then they arranged the interview with Alejandro and quotes from merchants.
Reply
6 points,2 months ago
I'm not sure i like the idea of Dash Core Group hiring a second PR firm and i also dont like how it got integrated in this budget proposal.
In my opinion the hiring of a second PR firm should have been put into a seperate budget proposal, so masternode owners can provide a clear signal if they want this or not.

I hear a lot of talks about having an independant Marketing / PR for the Dash community, fully accountable by masternode owners.
Hiring a second PR firm for Dash Core Group clashes a bit with that i think.
Reply
1 point,2 months ago
I think the discussion about DCG doing some (it is important to mention that we only cover some aspects of the mix) marketing is a fair one to have. However, I think that some people don't realize how much coordination is needed among the different functions and how much more difficult that would be if we split things apart.

Also, having marketing in DCG is compatible with other teams doing marketing. Dash is a global project in a cutting-edge sector and the marketing team of DCG is four people doing documentation, translations, website, social media, events and PR... no way we can cover everything that needs to be done.

As for splitting this into two proposals, I think that would be micromanaging too much and an efficient use of MNOs time. If we have marketing in DCG, we need to be able to make some decisions without a vote. We don't put to a vote each contract with a law firm or each business development contract we sign.
Reply
0 points,2 months ago
Agree
Reply
5 points,2 months ago
"The purpose of this activity is to gain media attention for Dash, help shape the messaging around Dash, and enhance the public perception of the project. In Q4 we plan to further increase our public relations efforts by expanding into the Spanish speaking market, while simultaneously reducing our overall costs."

In my opinion, the stated purpose is outside the scope of DCG's mandate. DCG is primarily a software company. Media attention, message shaping, and public perception enhancement in English and Spanish speaking markets are already being better handled by other funded groups for less money. Our DAO has already expanded into Latin America with great success. To get the best value from DCG, we should keep them focused on their core competencies, no pun intended.
Reply
1 point,2 months ago
Absolutely agree.
Reply