Modern Marketing Brand

DAOs And Don’ts for PR pros

By Eric Eddy | Founder and president

June 27, 2022 | 6 min read

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are opening up vast new possibilities for brands. Here are some tips that can help PR professionals tap into the power of these blockchain-based organizations.

The future of work remains a hot topic within the PR industry. But one subject that isn’t receiving enough attention is Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, or DAOs. Most people don’t understand them; even many professionals who are active in the web3 space are still figuring them out. One thing is certain, though: regardless of whether they usurp traditional businesses or merely serve as next-level focus groups, DAOs are likely to play a role in the future of business, community and activism.

For PR pros, that means it’s time to understand how established brands could – and perhaps should – work with DAOs.

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DAOs can open up new PR opportunities for brands / Adobe Stock

What is a DAO?

A DAO is an internet-based community that’s managed by a blockchain – a decentralized, digital ledger – rather than by traditional management and corporate bylaws.

An often-cited example is Constitution DAO, an internet community that quickly fundraised $47m worth of cryptocurrency in late 2021 in an attempt to buy a physical copy of the original US constitution. Another is Nouns DAO, the organization that runs the Nouns NFT project (many NFT projects are run by DAOs).

The people who run a DAO define the rules for how the organization will operate. They codify these rules into a computer, and the computer runs the organization based on those rules. No middle management is necessary – the blockchain handles it. Some DAOs are managed by thousands of people.

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DAOs, PR and established brands

How should you – as a PR professional working with established brands – leverage the power of DAOs?

There are thousands of DAOs worldwide right now with a broad range of goals. Forming partnerships with these organizations is currently a largely underexplored strategy for PR pros.

Here are two potential benefits of entering into a partnership with a DAO:

  • The novelty of such a partnership can be newsworthy in and of itself

  • Many DAOs are powerful networks with strong brand loyalty and built-in organic marketing through their owners and contributors. A partnership can provide a boost to both your brand and theirs

How to partner with a DAO

Many DAOs are working toward some kind of social cause. If you find one with a mission that aligns with your own brand’s ethos, reach out to the people behind it. You could donate funds, collaborate on an awareness campaign, or offer to provide them with industry know-how that could help to further their goals. The DAO may welcome the contributions, and your brand could benefit from the exposure.

Here’s a checklist to help get you started:

  • Define your brand ethos and CSR initiatives

  • Research DAOs working in that space

  • Join several DAO Discord servers (Discord is a communication platform like Slack that’s very popular within the crypto, web3 and DAO communities)

  • Start contributing to conversations on those servers

  • Make a short list of DAOs and identify the head contributors

  • Reach out to them about a potential partnership

  • Keep the ball rolling until you’ve established a partnership

  • Enjoy the press coverage

Another exciting way to get involved with this space is to simply form a DAO related to your main brand. By experimenting with creating a DAO, you’ll start to intimately understand how they work, and you can also begin to cultivate credibility in the web3 world.

DAOs are a fascinating evolution in organizational structure, and there’s good reason to believe that they’re here to stay. Partnering with or forming a DAO can help established brands understand and thrive in the web3 movement through direct participation. There aren’t many established brands out there that have begun partnering with DAOs, which makes this an opportunity for innovation that’s ripe for the taking.

Just be mindful of the fact that you’d be stepping into the web3 world, with all of its quirks and ever-evolving rules of engagement. Explore new possibilities through DAOs, but don’t expect the web3 world to adhere to the rules of the older, more traditional business model that many of us are used to. Learn, participate, contribute and give back to the community – that’s the web3 way.

Eric Eddy is founder and president of Metaverse PR.

For more, sign up for The Drum’s Inside the Metaverse weekly newsletter here.

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