Part of the fun of working for a great agency is being encouraged to think. Here are some of the things we’re thinking about.

Off the (Block)chain: Why Nashville is Set Up for Success

May 25, 2017 Bradford Group Administrator

As a professional in public relations with more than a few years under the belt, I can attest that the PR industry has not always been the most “hip” or “with it” when it comes to emerging technologies. In fact, it seems as though PR has an abysmal track record for adapting to new tech trends.

Take for example the birth of the internet age, which threw the industry into a tailspin and away from the mainstays of faxes and newsroom pow-wows. Or take the advent of social media, which in some circles is still frustratingly seen as a tag-along tactic to modern communications plans, when it should be considered a crucial component for most campaigns.

As the lines continue to blur between the physical and digital realm, and companies learn to innovate or pivot to stay competitive, the PR industry should ready itself to adapt to new tactics and communications methods.

So, when I first heard about blockchain technology, I was surprised to find some engaging conversations online about how the buzzy and innovative tech trend can relate to the PR industry. “Finally,” I thought. “We might be ahead of the curve on this one.”

What’s blockchain?



Here, watch this video.

It’s a great learning launchpad for grasping the basics of blockchain technology, courtesy of our neighbors over at Hashed Health. I figured this video would do a much better job than I could of addressing the infinitely intricate science built into blockchain.

But, hey—maybe you’re past the point of foundational understanding. Good on you. If that’s the case, then consider everything you’ve read thus far a disclaimer on my knowledge as it stands as of this writing.

I first heard about blockchain technology about a year ago and have been learning ever since. In my research and reading, I noticed a few communications professionals tackling the topic and the capabilities of the technology as it relates to public relations. (If you haven’t yet, go check out the writings of Phil Gomez, which stand as the most interesting and knowledgeable pieces, in my humble opinion.)

I’ll dive deeper into blockchain use cases for public relations at another time. For now, I’ll put it simply: Blockchain technology is a wonderfully fascinating and promising innovation that also happens to be terrifically confusing, which will not help adoption rates across industries.

As it turns out, the blockchain development has already made its way into town thanks to Nashville’s main industry of note: health care.

Luckily, at the Bradford Group, our expertise is in helping these kind of messages become easily digestable. In fact, “tech talk” is sort of our thing. We were one of the first agencies to adopt social media in the beginning and we were also the first Nashville agency to become a HubSpot partner doing inbound marketing. We already spend a lot of our time with technology companies, from health care IT to drones.

So, we began to wonder: How will blockchain impact our tech clients and other companies in Nashville, and how can we do our due diligence by wrapping our heads around the topic?

The immediate future is health care

As it turns out, the blockchain development has already made its way into town thanks to Nashville’s main industry of note: health care.

Although the initial rise of blockchain within the Bitcoin identity was and is still known as a finance application, health care is quickly taking up the mantle as the next use case for blockchain. So it makes sense that, with Nashville’s reign in the national health care industry and its reputation as the new “Austin” for tech start-ups, the city is poised to mesh our areas of both expertise and opportunity to become the leading breeding ground for blockchain innovators.

“Nashville is blowing up,” said CEO John Bass in a recent Nashville Post article. “We’re in a great position to be an epicenter for health care technology…  I’m proud to have watched that emerge and am excited about the blockchain community forming, because I think it’s a key to positioning Nashville as a hub of health care technology.”

As a top Nashville B2B PR firm that specializes in tech, we’re also excited in this vision for our city. See, we’re not only committed to supporting Nashville’s status as a burgeoning tech capital. We’re also in the health care trenches each day, helping local health care technology clients reach vital audiences and supporting them in the highly competitive space.

Just as Nashville will combine tech with health care to create new and innovative companies, we plan on combining our expertise in traditional and new media initiatives for both tech and health care to help raise awareness for companies and build understanding around blockchain.

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