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PR and emerging tech: Utilizing blockchain for PR transparency and trust

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Public Relations

Today, almost every active internet user has heard the magical word “blockchain.” For many, it has a strong and exclusive association with cryptocurrencies. But no, blockchain is not just for Bitcoin and crypto geeks. Some are already actively using this technology to improve certain business processes in various fields, from finance to medicine. Primarily, we’re talking about enhancing metrics like transparency and trust. Can we benefit from using blockchain if we apply it to the PR sphere? Let’s get to the bottom of it in our article!

Blockchain: Technology changing today’s world

Let’s take a trip back in time. Back in 2008, a figure shrouded in mystery, Satoshi Nakamoto (or perhaps a collective using this pseudonym, the truth remains elusive), unveiled a groundbreaking document outlining the revolutionary idea of digital currency, Bitcoin. This pivotal moment marked the inception of blockchain technology, a foundation that now supports not only Bitcoin but also a plethora of other cryptocurrencies.

blockchain for PR Source:

Understanding blockchain and how it works

So, what exactly is blockchain? Essentially, it functions as a decentralized ledger system, where data is stored in blocks and interconnected using cryptographic hashes. This results in a chain of blocks that boasts unparalleled security, as altering one block would necessitate modifying all subsequent blocks.

But how does it operate in practice? Imagine Lucas decides to transfer a Bitcoin to Ann. This transaction is documented in a block, which subsequently joins the chain. Importantly, every member of the network maintains their own copy of this chain, ensuring decentralization and enhancing security within the blockchain ecosystem.

Spheres blockchain is already being applied in

Blockchain is already making significant strides across various sectors, and its existence is revolutionizing traditional business paradigms. Consider the following:

  • Finance and banking. The banking industry led the charge in blockchain investment in 2023, and it’s not hard to see why. It simplifies and makes financial transactions safer (spanning everything from cross-border payments to digital asset management). Companies like Ripple already provide solutions for instant global payments.
  • Logistics and supply chains. Blockchain enables meticulous tracking of each stage of a product’s journey, from its origin with the manufacturer to its destination with the consumer. This means transparency and quality assurance. For example, IBM Blockchain helps companies optimize their supply chains.
  • Healthcare. Blockchain in healthcare is a superstar. By the end of 2023, blockchain technology in the healthcare sector helped generate revenue of $231 million, with a growth rate of 63 percent. This technology allows for the secure storage of medical data accessible to doctors and patients. Platforms like Medicalchain are already paving the way and ensuring privacy protection and seamless integration of medical information.

blockchain for PR

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This is just a glimpse of how blockchain is already being used in real business. Its potential is immense, and we’re only beginning to grasp its true power. The global technology industry is expected to grow by 85.9 percent at a CAGR from 2022 to 2030.

How we can apply blockchain for PR transparency and trust

But of course, we’re not here to learn all the technical aspects of blockchain. Our goal is to figure out how we can apply Blockchain in PR to enhance trust in this sphere. And to keep things grounded, let’s explore potential uses of blockchain technology in the operations of PR companies through hypothetical examples for better understanding.

Authentication of information sources

When it comes to trusting information, blockchain is a solid buddy. Here’s how it can help authenticate sources:

  • PR agencies and authentic press releases. PR firms can use blockchain to validate the genuineness of their press releases or, say, data provided to journalists. It’s straightforward: once a press release hits the blockchain, it generates an unaltered record, verifiable by all. This ensures the info is authentic and eliminates the risk of tampering or bogus content.
  • Combatting disinformation. Blockchain serves as a potent antidote to modern misinformation. It establishes a transparent tracking mechanism for information flow from source to end-user, enabling control over origins and confirmation of narrative credibility. This holds particular significance in the media landscape, where false narratives often inflict real harm on society or individuals.
  • Building trust in media. Presently, in the U.K. and U.S., only 33 percent of adults trust the media. But blockchain adoption could flip the script dramatically. With blockchain, users can bank on information authenticity and source credibility, fostering heightened trust in media outlets and other information channels. This opens the door to crafting a more robust and dependable information ecosystem.

Blockchain is not just a technology somehow related to Bitcoin, as some may think. It’s the linchpin for forging a transparent, trustworthy information sphere, where every story offers an authentic genesis.

Financial transparency

Finance in business always hits a nerve. When it comes down to it, transparency is key. Blockchain serves as a solid tool for ensuring transparency in financial reports. Let’s discover how it pulls this off:

  • Expense and budget tracking. Blockchain allows PR firms to keep a sharp eye on every expense and budget tied to campaign operations. This means clients, investors, and other stakeholders can easily check how funds are being used.
  • Data accessibility. Financial reports are open to everyone interested. They can track financial flows in real time. Cooking the books becomes a tough sell for some parties.
  • Trust boost. Transparent financial reports lead to increased trust in the PR firm. Each transaction is securely logged. It squashes any chances of data tampering.
  • Risk reduction: Blockchain not only cuts down the risk of fraud but also the chances of simple mistakes, which is crucial for safeguarding reputation. This is done through automated tracking and recording of financial transactions.

For example, let’s say PR firm X hits a snag verifying client budget usage. The client wants rock-solid confirmation with maximum transparency. In this case, blockchain can step in to create a transparent and unalterable transaction record. Firm X takes this route, allowing the client to track expenses in real time and ensure they’re being used as intended. So, adopting blockchain lays down the groundwork for long-term trust and success.

Managing interactions with influential figures

In PR, every partnership is a big deal. You know, it’s not just about rubbing elbows with bloggers and big shots; it’s about building solid connections. And guess what? Blockchain is your go-to tool for keeping things transparent and under control:

  • Transparency in collaboration history. Picture this: Blockchain tech lets PR teams keep a detailed diary of their dealings with bloggers. Every deal, handshake, and payoff gets etched into a chain of digital blocks. 
  • Tracking payments and progress. Imagine having a digital ledger that tracks every cent and every outcome of your collaborations. Well, with blockchain tech, that’s exactly what you get. You can crunch the numbers and gauge your campaign’s success based on cold, hard data.

So, let’s say PR firm X signs up a hotshot blogger for a promo gig. Thanks to blockchain, every step of the partnership, from signing the contract to seeing the results, gets locked into the blockchain. It’s trust-building tech at its finest.

Real reviews and ratings

For PR agencies, leveraging blockchain technology to store client and customer reviews and ratings can become a helpful tool. Let’s take a closer look.

Blockchain, being an immutable chain of blocks, ensures data tamper resistance. This means that every review and rating will be securely protected from manipulation. Such data will be made publicly available. Finally, this will foster transparency and trust among potential clients and partners of the company.

Imagine a scenario where a potential client is searching for a PR agency to collaborate with. They turn to reviews and ratings to assess the reliability and professionalism of the company. Thanks to the technology’s utilization, this data will be reliable and authentic. So, this will help establish a positive image of the company in the client’s eyes (even before any collaboration begins). 

Furthermore, such a system can contribute to building long-term trust from clients and partners. Want to establish your reputation as a reliable and transparent partner? Public access to genuine reviews and ratings is a superb tool for achieving this goal.

For PR firms, leveraging blockchain technology to store client and customer reviews and ratings can become a helpful tool in not just fostering trust, but also in strategic online engagement strategies, like how to get more followers on Instagram. This technology ensures that every review and rating is securely protected from manipulation, enhancing the authenticity of a company’s digital presence.

Campaign management in social media

Blockchain isn’t just another trendy technology. It transforms the chaos of social media into a trackable and understandable system.

Imagine every like, share, comment, and other metrics associated with your PR campaign being recorded on the blockchain. This data keeper securely stores all user actions without the possibility of alteration. This means that your campaign results are always available for analysis and evaluation.

But that’s not all. Blockchain also enhances response speed to environmental changes. With fast access to real-time data, you can quickly adjust strategies and maximize the outcomes of your PR efforts.

For example, let’s say PR agency X launches a social media advertising campaign for its new product. Thanks to blockchain, every click, like, and comment related to this campaign is registered on an immutable chain of blocks. So when the new product from X hits the market, blockchain enables the company to swiftly track the audience’s response. If any negative reactions are encountered, X can promptly respond by making adjustments to its strategy.

Imagine every like, share, comment, and other metrics associated with your PR campaign being recorded on the blockchain. This data keeper securely stores all user actions without the possibility of alteration. This means that your campaign results are always available for analysis and evaluation, greatly benefiting strategic planning companies by providing a robust foundation for data-driven decisions.

Conclusion

No, blockchain is not just about cryptocurrencies, and it’s not just another tech trend. It’s our future, however lofty that may sound. This technology can be applied in a myriad of different fields, including PR. But for every business, blockchain brings two main gifts: trust and transparency. So if “trust” in business is more than just a word for you, then it’s time to implement blockchain into your processes.

Roy Emmerson
Roy Emmerson is the co-founder of TechTimes.com, a B2B SaaS platform that helps businesses stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends. With over a decade of experience in the tech industry, Roy is a thought leader in the field and is passionate about helping companies embrace new technologies to improve their operations and drive growth.

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