Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, who prefers writing a blog to answer questions from mainstream journalists, says that company leaders are increasingly avoiding mainstream journalists by speaking directly to audiences on unmediated social media platforms.
In a May 22 Twitter thread, Armstrong asserted:
“Our customers are on YouTube/podcasts/social media — not reading mainstream media.”
Trend I'm noticing: most execs/CEOs don't want to speak with mainstream media as much as they did even a few years ago. Our customers are on YouTube/podcasts/social media – not reading mainstream media. And companies are able to control their own distribution channels. — Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) May 21, 2020
He said that companies are now “able to control their own distribution channels” in the current media landscape.
“Publishing to our own blog/twitter/YouTube lets us say what is on our mind and talk to our customers — not get one quote in an otherwise balanced (or sometimes outright mean/snarky) article.”
However, he added the disclaimer that “there are high-quality journalists out there, and journalism fulfills an important role in society”.
It has been analyzed that Armstrong believes that the best strategy is to build relationships with 3-5 “respected traditional journalists “and then spend [the] majority of time on modern channels.”
The Coinbase’s CEO no longer wants to talk to mainstream journalists to get “one quote” in an “outright mean/snarky article” https://t.co/oEHBgNMwvp — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 22, 2020
He added by contrasting that with 10,000 hits from a tech publication, suggesting he has not given up entirely on specialist reporters:
“Going on a national TV program might drive (literally) 100 visitors to your website.”
Likewise, Armstrong’s post elicited responses from numerous crypto executives offering their view on navigating the contemporary media landscape.
Catherine Coley, the CEO of Binance.US, said:
“I actually believe in the press and how important it is. Yes, we can speak directly to current users now, but for advancing the industry it’s more about telling stories through amazing storytellers.”
Jesse Powell, the co-founder of Kraken, said:
“Part of the issue is that mainstream media is constantly looking for some sensational “gotcha” angle, slight misstatement to repeat out of context, etc.”
“It’s high risk, low reward relative to publishing your own content or doing a live podcast/video which can’t be distorted.”
Thus, Bruce Fenton, the CEO of Chainstone Labs, stated:
“Hard to believe that only 15 years ago people would pay PR firms thousands to get them quoted in Time or Forbes so they could then frame the article & hang it on the wall.”