More transparency; thought leaders in our industry need to talk more simply — and eliminate the tech jargon. What is needed is more of an educational component for the technology and a little less machismo.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Natacha Rousseau, a Public Relations and Investor Relations strategist based in Southern California, with offices in London, UK.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Natacha! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?
Thanks for having me. It’s an honor. I’ve always loved the art of communication — be in writing, painting, sculpting, and even journaling. It’s not only cathartic but it is creative and translated into a professional arena — constructive beyond yourself. So, I was lucky enough to be hired as a marketer and writer after college. There I learned how to write for an international audience; and I learned how important facts, data, and neutral information actually is; and how business leaders really depended on thorough research, solid writing, and keen observation. From there over the following 10 years or, I worked different roles, each very much contingent on writing. I knew I wanted to write but didn’t want to be a writer. I discovered Public Relations and Marketing and got my feet wet at The Lincoln Group in Washington, DC than at Rooney & Partners in New York City. I also worked as a contractor at the European Commission in Brussels right after my Master’s program where I learned about marketing and communications at a government level. Then, slowly, I started to freelance and really got my feet wet through learning what I learned with agencies, and I got hired to work on more and more projects. Eventually, I opened my first agency with Liz Linares, my Co-Founder and we formed RousseauLinares. We were lucky to represent some important projects in blockchain and emerging technologies. Although we parted ways, we are still very close; and she has decided to focus on Virtual Reality as opposed to in blockchain. As such, I launched Diplomatiq.io, where I focus almost exclusively on blockchain technology and Distributed Ledger Technology. The bottom line is that it is important to follow your instincts, your intuition and especially your passion. Work hard but always adapt to changing or evolving requirements. You’ll always make mistakes, but what’s really important and meaningful is to learn from them.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
I cannot share the name of the projects, but I am lucky to work with a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency publication and support its partners. The project leads me to travel quite a bit and speak at various conferences. My London based team is also managing some events at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January — so stay tuned!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are several people who I am so grateful helped and guided me along the way. I had some great mentors when I first started out, including one who is also now in the blockchain space. She taught me about grace, patience, resiliency. My former business partner taught me almost everything I know about how to conduct business in a man-dominated industry. She taught me the importance of poise, strategic thinking, and street smarts. An interesting story or at least one I hope resonates would be the moment we landed a huge, very well-known account. We were just two hard-working but unknown chicks in the space. We had done well but never worked on such a highly visible account. We were in Las Vegas for a conference with our new client. That evening, we were all invited to a private, VIP event at a penthouse on the highest floor of a casino. Riding the elevator to that event, I looked around and found my former employer, his team and some senior executives all vying for our newest client’s attention. That was the moment I realized we were playing with the big boys. I wanted to laugh and cry and jump for joy all at the same time. But, I had to remain stoic, poised, and graceful — just as mentors in my early days had shown me.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Five things? Well, firstly, we are at the advent of the mass adoption of blockchain technology. It will not be tomorrow, but it will be in the next 2 years, for sure. That being said, what is so exciting is that it’s a small community of people doing things for the very first time. That’s exciting.
Thirdly, the technology in itself is fascinating and hair raising. It’s exciting working with brilliant minds that make up engineers, coders, hackers, developers, mathematicians, cryptographers, marketers, social media strategists. It’s an industry that embraces entrepreneurship, risk-taking and that fosters community. Many people in blockchain and crypto know each other across cities, states, countries, and oceans. It’s a small community of people that help each other out, for the most part. That’s fun.
Finally, you know — we’re working in an industry that is genuinely transformative, and so the future is exciting because we know we’re contributing to it — directly, personally and from the ground up.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Crypto is volatile. That’s one thing that concerns me. The other thing that concerns me is that is has a bad reputation given Silk Road and what Bitcoin was originally used for. Thirdly, Blockchain is a complex technology and I think it takes time for non-tech people to wrap their heads around what it is, what it can do and what it symbolizes. I am also concerned about the hype around blockchain and crypto. 2016–2017 saw a lot of hype and a lot of money exchanging hands then pouf! Disappearing. That left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, and here we are in 2019, trying to make up for it and rebranding it a bit. Ultimately, there are people who still use it as a way to self-enrich — when the opportunities are so much bigger than that and have nothing to do with getting rich. That worries me. I wish people would try to understand what blockchain is, what it will do and how it leverages crypto.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
I only project that I believe in — meaning, it’s important for me to get to know the executive team, understand what they are trying to do and why. All of them, are looking to solve a problem and provide a solution. To me, right now, that is goodness that is beyond myself. Contributing to a solution. I also try to work with as many projects as possible that address issues in developing countries, for or on behalf of the underprivileged. My work in crypto has also allowed me to mentor young women, girls; and to speak at underserved schools around Los Angeles. I like working with kids and sharing my story. I had to work very hard to get to where I am, so its important to give back or pay it forward.
As you know there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?
Be patient, be humble, think of yourself as a sponge and absorb as much as you can.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?
More transparency, think people in our industry need to talk more simply — and eliminate the tech jargon. What is needed is more of an educational component for the technology and a little less machismo.
What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
We are all in this together. If you approach your work in this industry with a spirit of collaboration, openness and professionalism — you will be liked, respected and never be taken for granted.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@r_strategic + @diplomatiq_io ( Twitter)
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Thank you so much for including me!