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The blockchain industry has raised a significant amount of investment in just the past two years and is crowded with start-ups who need to rise above the others to gain media attention. If you need the media to focus on your blockchain start-up, then you have to ensure that your communications strategy is spot on and comprehensive.

However that’s not enough. A brand narrative is important too. One of the biggest blockchain success stories today is Ethereum. It has become impossible to talk of blockchain without thinking of Ethereum.

How did this startup manage this image? It’s all thanks to its founder Vitalik Buterin. Despite claims from Buterin that Ethereum can “absolutely survive” without his input, one cannot dissociate the company from the founder. The company narrative runs on a parallel track with the founder’s and to the outside world, they become indistinguishable.

Here are two important lessons from Ethereum we can learn on how brand narrative can be used to explain blockchain to media and tell your story to the world.

Lesson 1 – Position your founder image right

Buterin’s positioning in the tech world is very unconventional. He’s only 24 but is known as the boy-genius behind Ethereum, the world’s second-most recognized and valued cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Interestingly, his personality syncs smoothly with the idea of blockchain itself, which is considered a disruptive technology by traditionalists. When he was only 19, Buterin had a far reaching and extensive vision of a decentralized blockchain architecture. Many of his colleagues have described him as a mystery, something to be observed but not really understood.

This image of anarchism translates into the products that Ethereum is funding. Apart from its cryptocurrency offering, Ethereum is also a customizable platform that hosts several applications, especially journalism sites that are free from interference of authoritarian owners. This fits in with Buterin’s own views towards government regulation and corporate control, which he considers to be evil. Buterin’s personality not only attracts passionate employees and decide on the direciton, but also builds media opinion, giving Ethereum more recall value. Ethereum and Buterin’s interchangeable characteristics are a great lesson in building a brand to represent the developer. Other companies could take a page from this and focus on creating a narrative around their founders and enmesh it with the brand.

Lesson 2 – Become subject matter expert

Buterin started his career with researching Bitcoin and writing a blog but soon became a subject matter expert and co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2012, the first magazine dedicated to cryptocurrency. This has helped entrench him as an expert and fused his personal brand with Ethereum’s. Disseminating knowledge through such articles helps create a conversation around the technology and increases credibility.

The media is hungry for information about blockchain technology from those who have actual experience of working with it and are authorities on it. Founders and key people within the organization need to be recognized as experts in the media but they also need to be careful of how they’re highlighting the benefits of the company concomitantly. Journalists are wary of articles that promote individual companies as it creates an impression of self-promotion and not focus on the wider industry.

With many blockchain start-ups vying to get media attention, it’s not going to be easy to make a mark but crafting personal brand narratives and publishing thought leadership articles will create credibility and a desire among journalists to understand the expertise you offer and the startup you run, more. If Ethereum can do it, so can you.