R3/Instant Property Network

World’s first property platform built on a distributed ledger

Instant Property Network, a company incubated by R3, undertook a pioneering test of its platform for buying and selling property using a distributed ledger. The test involved 42 companies from 23 countries and included businesses such as Barclays, RBS, Clifford Chance, Savills, Swiss Re and Ashurts. The test reveled the buy/sell process could be cut from three months to three weeks, saving the global property industries billions. It also showcased a practical application of blockchain technology.

IPN needed Old Street Communications to guide it through the communications process to ensure the news could gain mainstream coverage. This would enable IPN to raise funding and fully launch its product.

Strategy

The campaign posed a number of unique challenges - coordinating the press offices of 42 global companies, translating difficult technical language into something journalists could understand, overcoming the stigma that blockchain technology has in the UK, and gaining high profile coverage for a product that had not yet launched.

To meet these challenges, we pushed to commit all of the participants in the test to commit to one press release. Although this would increase the timeline for completion and cause a lot of logistical headaches, it would give IPN more credibility and open the door to engagement from top tier publications. The press release would focus less on the test and technology and more on the global impact of the technology if it was adopted by all the participants in the property industry. This would also enable the problems within the property industry to be highlighted and, by association, position IPN as the solution to a major issue.

The press release would then be given on an exclusive basis to a major publication, with the added incentive of interviews with senior partners and directors at RBS, Barclays, R3 and Clifford Chance. If and when this exclusive was secured, the release would be issued globally, with support from all the partners involved in the test.

Result

The coordination of all of the partners, including press offices and managers from the US, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa and Australia, resulted in a release which all 42 partners approved of. Supporting comments and the option for interviews were also secured from all the major participants. We successfully pitched the release, an FAQ, comments list and technical documentation to Bloomberg.

This resulted in a feature article online and a longer article on Bloomberg Newswire. Following general issue, the news was featured in 38 articles across the world, including Property Week, Business Times, Finextra, Pyments, Legal Week and NY Business Journal.

The publicity, including interviews with IPN’s founder, enabled IPN to secured a funding round and new partners for its beta test.