Proposal “official-dash-newsroom“ (Closed)Back
|Title:||Official Dash NewsRoom [Communications / PR]|
|Monthly amount:||205 DASH (14639 USD)|
|Completed payments:||no payments occurred yet (3 month remaining)|
|Payment start/end:||2020-03-15 / 2020-06-12 (added on 2020-03-11)|
|Votes:||847 Yes / 124 No / 13 Abstain|
Requested funding is as follows:
3 month proposal
203 Dash per month ($15,000 USD @ $73.70 USD per Dash)
5 Dash proposal reimbursement
Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future expenses and marketing efforts.
What is the main objective of this proposal?
To improve Dash's communication and media outreach in an official capacity by bringing public relations (PR) efforts in-house. We need to fill the void after Dash Force in terms of international outreach with translated press releases with support for key strategic languages. The network currently doesn't have Dash News, nor a PR firm and this must be resolved promptly as business development teams and partnership announcements depend on external coverage and media support for press releases.
Who is the team behind this proposal?
This initiative and proposal is led by Mark Mason who will be directing media and PR efforts on behalf of the Dash network. It will be a joint collaboration and working partnership with Dash Core Group CMO Fernando Gutierrez, Dash Core Group Marketing Manager Michael Seitz. Also, the team will include translators and freelancers.
We believe creating an online newsroom as a trusted reliable source for journalists on the Dash.org domain is the best long-term strategy, and we sincerely hope the network will support this proposal so that we can continue to professionalize Dash by creating positive change and delivering results.
“I'm very excited about this proposal. For a long time now, several DFOs have been increasing our collaboration in order to obtain better results and be able to tackle bigger projects. Bringing PR in-house is a long-desired goal, and I can't think of a better way to do it than with a cross-DFO collaboration with Mark Mason. I am sure that we'll get increased exposure for Dash in the media, and serve our international communities much better than we are now.”
Statement from Fernando Gutierrez Dash Core Group Chief Marketing Officer.
What does this proposal fund?
⦁ Build a custom branded newsroom for Dash.org
A custom built dedicated newsroom solution content platform to be used in combination with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software which allows us to organize, publish, and solicit earned media opportunities from announcements we report on. Create press releases including translations supporting key strategic languages.
⦁ Bring Dash PR efforts in-house for announcements and communication.
Organize and expand media contacts, create targeted media lists, use CRM tools to pitch more effectively to media with personalized emails and have the ability to track and measure results, which will improve the PR internal team’s work. A dedicated PR Customer Relationship Management solution and media discovery tools will enable us to work as a decentralized team operating in different time-zones to achieve better coverage, more influencer engagement, and build stronger media and partner relationships.
In the past, the Dash network paid for several PR firms to do this work (Transform PR, Wachsman PR, and Shift PR), in coordination with DCG and other teams. This approach had mixed results, but, in general, the observed effectiveness was declining, mostly because journalists in crypto publications trust less in PR firms than they did in the past.
Other teams, like Dash News, also worked on outreach, but they had difficulties derived from their lack of official status.
⦁ Creation of press materials for journalists and publications to use and improve official Dash social media communications posting more original content.
Improve brand awareness with the creation of a Press-Kit for the media with free downloadable resources for journalists to use including high-resolution images, logos, media, headshots and executive bios with branding guidelines and support. Graphic files will be attached with every press release to ensure publications use the correct logo when reporting on Dash. We will also be creating content for official Dash social media platforms incl. graphics, videos, infographics and for partnership announcements.
⦁ Track and measure performance with analytics.
We'll measure PR results with analytics modules to assess press release performance and monitor our email content and drive insights to perform better. We'll be observing contacts’ data and behavior: email opens, clicks, bounces, and more metrics.
⦁ Original video content for official Dash YouTube channel.
This will include interviews on partnership announcements and AMA sessions with Ryan Taylor that will be broadcasted and multi-streamed live on the official Dash Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin accounts as well as YouTube.
What is a newsroom?
An online newsroom (also known as a pressroom, mediaroom, press center or media center) is a website, web page or site section that contains distributable information about a corporation or organization.
The trend of newsrooms is on the rise and has become the online industry standard for press and media relations.
Here are a few notable examples:
Why do we need a newsroom?
An online newsroom is an essential piece in a modern digital communications strategy. As traditional media outlets continue to decline, journalists and publications are seeking original story ideas and communication directly with the source and are visiting newsrooms more than ever. Newsroom will be used in conjunction with a dedicated Public Relations CRM and Press Release distribution management system that will help optimize workflow increasing productivity and coverage in the media while also helping Dash.org rank higher in searches improving SEO and domain authority.
With Dash News defunded, and currently no external PR Firm funded by the network, Dash needs a professional solution and a long-term strategy for an official announcement outlet, team and tools to report on Dash announcements. This is currently a problem for business development teams and for the international community that needs to be resolved asap. We also need a press release announcement section that can be offered to partners in a negotiation, and a reliable source for those who want to follow Dash easily. This is especially true for people who don’t speak English since in other languages coverage is more scarce.
By doing this on Dash.org domain, we also solve some of the problems Dash News had from lack of “official” status. Media outlets are much more likely to cite and report on Dash announcements when it is published directly from the source. Many cryptocurrency media outlets viewed DashNews.org as a rival publication not an official outlet. This meant by using Dash News a publication independent from Dash Core Group and Dash.org as one of the main communication vehicles to report breaking Dash news and to publish announcements in many instances hindered our reporting coverage results on external media outlets. As editorial teams don’t want to report on yesterday's news and they do not wish to cite and create articles from what they viewed as a publication competitor as the source.
What will the Dash newsroom look like?
This is a photoshop mock-up image and is only for illustration purposes as proof of concept. The final result and look of the newsroom may change. The mock-up is included in the proposal so the network can get a feel and better understanding of what the solution will look like.
Please see following link for a full-page mock-up of newsroom: https://imgur.com/8xcE8y8
How does the media feel about newsrooms?
A 2020 report by tekgroup surveyed journalists on what they want in an online newsroom.
97% of journalists say that an online newsroom is important.
96% visit online newsrooms at least once a month.
40% visit every day.
98% like to receive information via email alerts.
Less than 3% of journalists use wires (press releases via paid newswire distribution)
How do we plan to do this?
We will expand and improve our PR efforts and strategy by utilizing dedicated top of the line PR software tools to optimize and professionalize our coordination, communication and outreach to achieve more quality external media coverage. We will also establish and build a database of journalists, outlets, titles, articles, and pitches. Use the CRM media database and communication tools to maximize outreach for announcements. Furthermore, we will continue to connect DCG with journalists and media in order to build articles and long-term working strategic relationships.
The structure and tone of announcements / press releases published in the newsroom will be very objective and adhere to strict industry standard press release guidelines. By following industry best practice we’ll work directly on improving press distribution and public relation efforts so the newsroom can be used by journalists to write their pieces, and syndicate announcements.
One important piece of feedback we had from journalists about branding was that publications had already paid for previous stock images they wanted to repurpose or that the stock images available on Dash to purchase were using the old logo not giving them much choice. To resolve that issue we plan to fund the creation of additional Dash stock graphics/photos that we will own the full rights to, and we will offer journalists and publications free use of them. This will help improve brand recognition and make sure publications are using the correct logo and branding style guide. Having a dedicated press center offering free materials directly from the source will help overcome this as each press release will be published on dash.org with media assets included with every announcement with partner graphics etc. as well as links to extra resources and press kit. Infographics, PDF’s like legal and regulation, and if the budget allows, updated professional headshot photos of Ryan Taylor and DCG leadership with executive bios and creation of b-roll footage (people using Dash wallet app) photo and video.
Right now there are multiple Dash funded organizations doing business development for the network onboarding new partners and integrations. To improve the process and workflow of announcements for Dash, we will create a new announcement guideline that standardizes the process so that teams performing business development can follow instructions and requirements clearly. Streamlining the press release process will enable us to maintain quality control.
What features and functionality will the newsroom have?
⦁ Press releases (current and archived)
⦁ Contact details to make it easy for the media to contact the Dash press team.
⦁ Press-kit including high-quality visual materials (e.g., images, logos, or videos, in different sizes and formats)
⦁ Recent media coverage section (shows active demand and provides an incentivized positive feedback loop for journalists to publish content on Dash as it gives them more exposure)
⦁ Online media assets and resources including history, branding style guide, product/service info and FAQ.
⦁ Improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and help Dash's domain authority, search ranking position, website traffic and media leads. Search engines prefer websites with active regularly posted content. Becoming a press center has the advantage of having original content links published on our domain (press releases/announcements) and also being shared by partners syndicating our announcement links via their social media network followers (growth hacking). Press release links will also be shared on social media in general by the public in addition to direct links to our press releases on publications as the source that receive high traffic.
⦁ Blog feed and social network profiles links.
⦁ Subscribe email options for the media to follow and be alerted about latest releases/developments. This will include the ability from our end to easily embargo, manage and control specific announcements before public release date allowing vetted journalists and publications early access rights to prepare articles for date of release and in some cases offer high-tier publications / media outlets exclusivity.
⦁ Press releases available in various languages.
Why is multi-language support so important?
Dash has a vibrant international community. Dash Force previously published news in 7 languages but halted operations at the end of 2019 due to lack of funding. This has left a massive void in communications for our international communities as they now do not get updates on news and announcements.
"When Dash News got defunded the Russian Dash community and other international communities stopped getting any Dash news or product updates in our native languages since December 2019. I've been contacted by a number of big Russian Dash investors that are very concerned because of this who haven't participated in the voting process as they don't speak English and can't read budget proposals. The Dash network needs to make sure it doesn't neglect the international community and find a long-term announcement solution for languages. I previously worked with Mark Mason to help with Russian translation work when he was volunteering for Dash Core Group many years ago when he was managing international outreach and translators before he started working with Dash Force. Mark is a well known respected international community leader and I believe he is the most qualified individual in Dash today to lead this new initiative for the network providing multi-language communication support. This new proposal if funded will only improve upon what we had before with Dash News."
Statement by Alex-Ru - Dash Russian Community Coordinator
Why not just build a newsroom with Wordpress?
It’s important to clarify to the network that the proposed dedicated newsroom section and underlying infrastructure is separate to the Dash.org wordpress CMS solution. The newsroom will be hosted on a subdomain on Dash.org for example news.dash.org or press.dash.org, but how it functions and works on the back-end will be very different from the main Dash.org site as it will be custom built front-end on top of specialized PR / CRM software at the heart of its operations on the back-end. This decision was taken after weeks of research, brainstorming internally on pros and cons of different solutions, having discovery and demo software video calls and meetings with multiple specialists and exploring what top-tier companies are currently using to be most effective. The feedback and input from industry professionals helped us to select the best solution for our needs. Bottomline is that by using a dedicated PR and CRM software in an all-in-one custom built environment will save us time and money in the long run because how we organize, communicate, pitch, manage and track our performance will enable our international team to operate in different time zones and streamline administrative and internal duties so that we can focus more on the task of securing Dash external media coverage and expanding our media contact database.
Is there any more to this proposal than the newsroom?
Yes, it’s all about output, organization, having an official voice and press contact for Dash and creating content unifying collaborative efforts by all DFO’s including DCG doing business development to provide an outlet for announcements. We will aim to do 8 to 20 releases per month (dependent on the number of Biz Dev announcements) emphasizing quality over quantity and initially translate releases in 4 additional languages: Spanish, Russian, German and Portuguese. We will look to scale languages once we are settled with a working solution. If this proposal is funded by the network it will revamp how we report and manage announcements. Essentially the workflow will be Biz Dev teams onboard partners, when integration is ready for announcement, they follow press release guidelines we will provide with requirements that will help streamline and standardize reporting process. Mark will work with Michael on drafts, everyone edits, with final approval from partners with agreed date. Mark coordinates translations and publishes release and pitch media with ability to embargo releases for exclusivity for high-tier publication and news networks. Mark does video interviews with partners of interest and creates graphics for content to publish on official Dash social media promoting announcements. Everyone involved in the process does media outreach. This proposal is not only a tool but a solution for the network at large.
Will this proposal require more funding in the future?
Yes, but it will likely be a much smaller ask to pay the salaries for Mark Mason, the translators and potentially new team members. We have tried to keep costs as low as possible. This initial proposal will pay for software licenses for a 12 month period which includes expense of building a custom newsroom design. We are starting small with the essential foundations to build upon. After the 3 month period we will review performance and assess whether it is needed or worthwhile to scale operations within the press and communications team. We may require more assistance in areas of content creation for Dash social media, new educational materials on Dash or more administrative support and resources in helping with public relations.
What makes Mark Mason qualified to take leadership on this initiative?
Mark Mason has close to 4 years real-world work experience in public relations, specifically in the blockchain industry as a representative of Dash working directly with external media outlets including publications, TV networks and several PR firms including frequent communications with high-level individuals of key strategic partners.
This includes industry professionals Wachsman PR, BTC Media and more recently Shift, but Mark has also worked with other firms and made contacts in this space due to partner announcements via the partner’s own internal PR or external PR Firms that the partner used. During those four years, Mark also worked directly with publications, journalists and networked with key industry influencers of interest.
In terms of media training and skills, Mark has experience in web-design, graphic design, social media management and video editing. Mark is currently the highest followed individual in the Dash eco-system on Twitter. For example, Mark had over 10 million impressions on his personal Twitter account in 2019 alone. Quite often Mark’s tweets are enough on their own to create news articles on external publications. This position of influence has enabled Mark to network on behalf of Dash to unlock doors to new opportunities for media relations.
In addition, Mark is actively involved with business development performing a crucial and fundamental role in communicating as an ambassador for Dash. This involves onboarding and introducing the DCG Biz Dev team to new high-level integration opportunities for the network. This is possible because of Mark’s influence, reputation and hard work in this industry to date. Mark has gained invaluable experience over the years by networking with the key players and influencers in our industry. Mark is able to perform in high pressure environments where good temperament, communication and social skills are required. For example, Mark has assisted in crisis management on behalf of Dash directly with PR Firms, media, journalists and industry professionals. Mark has often acted as a "Mr Fix It" for the network performing thankless tasks as much of what Mark does happens behind the scenes. Whether it's retrieving funds back from Charlie Shrem, which also resulted in TenX returning their funds, playing the middle man to correct FUD on publications or lending his influence and communication skills to onboard new partners including large announcements. A recent example of this was the Simplex integration where Mark initiated contact and connected Biz Dev teams towards the end of 2019 which resulted in Dash now being available to purchase via debit / credit cards through many of their 128 active partners including Binance etc.
Despite not being paid for several months, Mark remains committed to seeing Dash succeed and still chairs and moderates the weekly Biz Dev coworking meeting with DCG and other DFO's lending his experience, history and contacts, giving his time and efforts into helping facilitate onboarding new partners for Dash. Often big partners want something in return for integration and Mark more often than not plays a key role in the process of onboarding many partners by offering media exposure via video interviews, podcast appearances or simply by raising awareness on social media with video or graphical content.
Marks previous PR efforts achieved Dash news coverage on Forbes, Bitcoin Magazine, Cointelegraph, Business Insider, MarketWatch, ambcrypto, CoinDesk, Bitcoin.com, NewsBTC, Investing.com, FXStreet, Yahoo Finance, Hacked, NullTX and many more.
Mark is also a networked elected Dash Trust Protector and he takes pride in his role in being a representative and ambassador for Dash. Mark takes his obligations seriously and he’s incentivized to see Dash succeed long-term.
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