With blockchain taking the world by storm, one transaction at a time, companies regardless of industry are lining up to leverage the technology to their advantage. Gone are the days when blockchain was a technology just for techies and companies that can decode complex jargon.
The case is not any different in the Media & Entertainment industry, where Blockchain is still in its nascent stages, but steadily picking up pace. In fact, many PR companies tout themselves to be the ‘next-gen and savvy’ agencies by having blockchain drive their processes. With this kind of popularity, it is completely understandable if you want to jump on the bandwagon.
But, as is the case with anything, never put all your eggs in one basket and beware of the pros and cons before investing in any technology. Here is a checklist for you to guide you with legally utilizing blockchain and Defi in 2021 and beyond:
#1 Bot identification and management
Marketing automation is a double-edged sword after all, and while they make marketing and promotions easier, they also birth bots.
So as a PR professional, how sick are you of bots? Be it social media or your client’s enterprise-grade website, bots penetrate every medium and make it difficult for you to manage your client’s image. They can not only tarnish the stellar impression that you are trying to create on your website and social media, but they can also slow down the curation of qualified leads.
With blockchain technology, you can track the origin of each comment or action that takes place on your platform, making it easier for you to identify bots. As a PR professional, you can filter out these bots and get an authenticated picture of the actual engagement numbers.
PR companies can now create a Botchain protocol by leveraging blockchain technology to identify bots and origins. The platform lets you contribute to a universal registry of bots and help you validate the identity of your audience.
#2 Rights and royalty management
With increased access to advanced technologies, comes the increased responsibility to leverage it ethically and effectively. So every PR agency needs to take extra precautions to enable quality control mechanisms while implementing blockchain technology in their operations.
One of the more complicated parts of PR operations is the effective management of royalty and rights. Managing content rights and carrying out the related processes effectively requires PR companies to have airtight quality control processes while managing any client. A famous example of this is Forbed Media LLC. securing their news content by partnering with an Ethereum-based blockchain platform, Civil (now a part of ConsenSys).
Storing all the information on blockchain and transparently tracking the origin of a piece of content, can simplify rights management processes for PR companies. Not only this, PR professionals can leverage blockchain for verifying digital signatures, fact-checking content, and making their content hack-proof and of the highest quality.
#3 Fake news
The days when #fakenews was a cool way to grab those extra eyeballs are long gone. One of the biggest lessons to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that fake news can quite often prove fatal.
That being said, it has become imperative for media and PR agencies to filter out fake news and distribute news that is verified and value-additional. Blockchain technology can pave the way for disseminating news in a better way. Be it press releases or breaking news, PR agencies would be able to have better control over it by authenticating the source of the news before broadcasting it.
With the help of blockchain technology, tracing the origins of any content piece becomes possible. Moreover, this would also empower PR professionals and agencies to address crisis management in times of need.
One of the most popular applications of this feature is by New York Times, which uses Hyperledger Fabric’s blockchain for authenticating news sources and photographs. This blockchain implementation is empowered by the partnership of NYT with IBM Garage.
#4 Accounting transparency
Any agency, PR or otherwise, strives to maintain and manage accounts as seamlessly and transparently as possible. The concept of tokenizing content has not exactly been conventional, but today, it holds a lot more importance and relevance for the PR & Media industry.
Smart Contracts are a great way for agencies to streamline the rights, royalty, and revenue management of their clients while maintaining transparency. Since entertainment contracts are subject to conflict very often, making incorruptible contracts with the help of blockchain will help in protecting the legal interests of all parties involved.
With this increased accounting transparency, PR professionals and agencies can conduct contract negotiations in a much more streamlined manner. Moreover, accounting transparency is crucial when it comes to creating detailed accounts of the transactions and revenues taking place in a stipulated period of time.
#5 Enhanced privacy control
Privacy is an important consideration for PR agencies and professionals, especially ones dealing with a high-profile clientele.
While dealing with PR firms, clients often tend to prioritize the secure exchange of data and information above everything else. Blockchain can pave the way for cloud-based workflows, where content creation, distribution, and monetization are easy to track and manage. Since blockchain also helps agencies and professionals navigate the financial landscape with the help of digital identity (using Defi), privacy becomes even more imperative to consider.
Defi or Decentralized Finance is a great equalizer for individuals and businesses to leverage financial services using cryptocurrencies. And transferring your crypto assets to fiat currency using exchanges or wallets is just as easy. For instance, if you are an agency that has received a contractual payment in the form of bitcoin, you can transfer bitcoin to PayPal or other fiat currencies in just a few clicks.
To sum up
Since the advent of blockchain and Defi, many industries have been able to leverage the many advantages they offer. The media and Entertainment industry is no different. With smart contracts taking over the traditional ones and increased fact-checking abilities, agencies that deploy blockchain are assured of higher returns than the ones that do not. Even then, having a defined approach towards transacting is important to the success of blockchain technology in the world of PR.