This week on the ELEV8 Interview Series we sat down with Masha Prusakova, co-founder and partner at Crypto PR Lab and Millennium Communications. Crypto PR Lab is a blockchain and cryptocurrency public relations team working with various clients from exchanges, consensus algorithms, privacy coins, blockchain protocols, marketplaces, blockchain events and more. Millennium Communications acts as a speaker bureau for the blockchain space, where Masha and team are able to leverage their industry connections and place high-level industry experts in speaking slots at events around the globe. They also organise tech events for startups to meet investors. Read our full interview with Masha!
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today, Masha. Can you tell us a little about the Crypto PR Lab and Millennium Communications, and provide a brief background on the companies you founded?
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I founded two companies, two brands, one for blockchain and crypto space and another for PR and events in tech space in general.
Crypto PR Lab provides public relations services, introduces startups to investors and advisors, consults for crypto and tech conferences and organizes receptions.
We feature our clients in prominent blockchain, tech and general media, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, The Next Web, TechCrunch, Hackernoon, Thrive Global, Nasdaq, Distributed.com, Bitcoin Magazine, Bitcoin.com, Coindesk, CoinTelegraph and many others. Clients benefit from our network and get access to the leading advisors, investors and speakers. We connect you to the experts and the leading names in your industry because we want to help you grow faster.
Below are examples of our work:
Client 1 Case Study (CasperLabs) - 3 day PR campaign to promote an event, 17 articles.
2 Case Study (Desico) - 2.5 months with over 70 articles.
Client 3 Case Study (Particl)- 31 coverages within less than a month.
At Millennium Communications, we organise events, provide PR services for general tech companies and help conference organizers source speakers.
Please see the quality of some of the events we organized: Crypto debates panel with Alex Mashinsky, Reese Jones and Jimmy Song and Investors dinner for Coincasso, crypto exchange, produced by Millennium.
What do PR firms in technology and blockchain need to do to be successful, and how is blockchain and cryptocurrency focused PR different than PR other industries?
We try to position our agency as the best match for clients. We explain ‘why us,’ and how the value we provide is different than other agencies.We are a small agency and take personal care of each client. Senior partners and strategists together with junior staff work on each client account.
To be successful, PR managers need to have good relationships with reporters, to always meet client’s needs and wishes, to be available all day, sometimes nights because of the different time zones and respond quickly to any news opportunity.
How did you guys first learn about blockchain technology, and can you reflect on that experience?
We learned by reading articles, research papers, talking to experts at the blockchain conferences, analysing projects’ whitepapers, and investing in crypto.. I plan to take a Coursera or an advanced university course on blockchain in my spare time.
Once you are inspired and have a passion for something, like we have for blockchain, you will learn and succeed with dedicated focus and hard work.
Similarly, what were you doing before you started these two companies, and how did your careers take you into the blockchain space?
I am a French attorney by training, and became a PR specialist for blockchain startups few years ago. Before moving to San Francisco in 2017 after my LLM at Berkeley, I worked for Clifford Chance LLP and Gowling WLG in France and Monaco.
In 2017, I met an inspiring entrepreneur who offered me to work for her ventures. One of them was a PR agency. I worked as a PR consultant in 2017 and 2018 for the blockchain projects and learned how this technology is being built and applied in various use cases.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I used to be a professional snowboarder and a champion of Russia in 2006. I represented Russia in the Winter Olympic Games as the youngest participant. Actually, it makes me understand why I like public relations today. It is because I had already worked with reporters and media as an athlete-teenager for four years. Ten years later, I started to work with journalists again, but as a PR agency.
Moreover, I love studying and am a total nerd with 3 Master’s degrees (Sorbonne, UC Berkeley, University of Nice) and speak four languages: Russian, French, German and English.
What is needed to take blockchain technology to the next step in implementation and adoption?
First, I believe that more awareness and deeper understanding from corporations and government officials worldwide is needed to adopt blockchain technology. Executives and policy makers are the main decision makers and they just need to be convinced that blockchain is better than other alternative. Then, it will be easier to implement it. The more people we can reach and inspire, the more likely blockchain will become more popular and adopted across a range of industries.
Second, blockchain technology needs to be scalable across different use cases. It needs to be easy to use. It is still early days for the blockchain, and I look forward to seeing how the technology becomes better and better every year.
What are some of your favorite use cases for blockchain, and what industries will blockchain technology impact most in the next year? What about the next five years?
One of the most exciting uses cases is in the application in financial services and in particular asset tokenization in financial and real assets. Using blockchain technology, previously illiquid assets can now be converted into its tokenized form and cheaply and efficiently fractionalized, traded and settled on chain (rather than go through the lengthy process of clearing and settlement process through third parties like clearing houses).
Besides that, the decentralised nature of blockchains means that there is no centralised point of weakness for hackers to target, which may lend itself as a good use case for digital identity management. A self sovereign ID can be used to verify identity without needing an individual to produce numerous documents and paperwork each time they need their identity verified.
Thanks for your time today! How can people get in touch with you, Crypto PR Lab and Millennium Communications, to learn more?
Thank you so much for such a great interview. Please reach out and we can help you with public relations and event management.
Masha Prusakova can be contacted at: [email protected]