Following several cyber-attacks throughout 2022 that have been reported widely by national media outlets, activity within the cyber security PR space is on the rise. In the last few weeks alone there have been attacks on the NHS 111 service as well as on London’s largest bus operator, Go-Ahead, that have been covered widely by the press and featured expert insight from some of the industry’s leading players.
According to Statista, revenue in the global cyber security market is projected to reach $9.54bn this year and is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 13.37% until 2027. VC investment into the industry continues to grow and there has been a period of consolidation in the form of mergers and acquisitions, plus a flurry of new innovative start-ups entering the scene.
This level of competition means that setting your business apart, enhancing its credibility and building stakeholder trust is more critical than ever.
In this article we analyse the range of tactics that are available for businesses and outline how working with a Cyber Security PR Agency can deliver that competitive advantage.
Know your target audience
Every cybersecurity business will have slightly different target customers so having clear visibility of these groups is vital at the beginning of a campaign. These stakeholders are likely to include C-suite decision makers and their IT security teams, who can be reached through business-focused and trade-specific media publications as well as the specialist security press. Establishing which media publications are read and trusted by your various key audiences is a vital first step for any campaign.
These media verticals all operate in different ways and there are a variety of nuances regarding how to interact and build relationships with journalists from each publication. It is critical when building out a campaign to work with a B2B technology PR Agency who has an intimate understanding of this media landscape and a firm grasp of which content will engage journalists from the verticals that are relevant to your business.
React to breaking news stories
The news stories mentioned earlier in this article provide a useful example of one of the key tactics in any cyber security PR campaign; news agenda hijacking. Whether it be in national, technology or trade media, the journalists covering these news stories often seek out external insight from sector experts to truly understand the context and ramifications of these attacks. This presents a perfect PR opportunity for your business and its spokespeople.
A key strand of any B2B technology PR strategy is to respond to this journalist demand and leverage existing relationships in order to secure comment opportunities for your spokespeople on these news stories. Being featured as external experts by these media outlets is proven to significantly improve stakeholder trust and your credibility as a business.
Broadcast news channels such as Sky News, BBC News, CNBC and Bloomberg offer great opportunities for guest comment and are effective platforms to generate exposure for your brand, so when a high-profile data breach or hacking story breaks (such as the recent NHS and Go Ahead attacks), you need to take the opportunity to show your expertise.
Become a thought leader
A major element of raising your cybersecurity business’ profile is to be perceived as an expert and leading authority by potential customers, who may or may not choose your services based on what they can learn from you.
With an issue as complex as cyber security, a large proportion of businesses are still uneducated as to how they can minimise the threat of attacks through basic day-to-day practices, let alone which technologies they need to implement and invest in if an attack occurs.
Thought leadership content is an effective way of educating and building trust with your target audience, and it’s imperative to be a voice of reason and provide tangible expert advice to cut through a sense of confusion and fear which can often arise.
Utilise research and data stories
When there isn’t a breaking news story to comment on, you can to an extent create the news agenda by releasing industry-relevant data stemming from your own research, such as a survey of your customer database. This is a good way of owning statistics which, again, helps position you as experts at the forefront of your industry and benefit your corporate profile.
From this data you can stagger a variety of stories tailored for the industry, technology, and even consumer press if you want to reach the general public – we always recommend considering which interesting trends you can reveal and the headlines you can create (e.g. ‘A third of businesses are unaware they have been hacked’) with never before seen facts and figures from surveys.
Create insightful content and amplify it across channels
When building a positive reputation, you can support your external communications strategy with an engaging and educational approach to content marketing. A recognised B2B technology PR agency will be able to help you condense the complexities of cyber security into easy-to-digest content, such as blogs, customer case studies, whitepapers, e-books and more.
Creating a regular stream of this type of content on your own website, amplified across your own social media channels, will ensure you are always visible online and appear as a proactive business in the eyes of prospective customers.
If the news agenda is unpredictable, then the cybersecurity landscape certainly is! With the rise of remote working and digital business strategies, a cyber-attack can hit anyone at any time – especially if you already have a healthy public profile. Ensuring you have specialist reputation management expertise on board during this time is critical and can prevent an operational challenge from evolving in to a full-blown PR crisis.