Cybersecurity Press Office

Cybersecurity PR: running a successful press office

Running a press office for cybersecurity companies is like nothing else. It requires a high degree of attention and industry knowledge to be able to support the press with the information they need – from insights that the media can quote from within the business, case studies or more data for a story.

Having a press office is essential if you want to be known as a trusted player in the security market and one of the key influencers that a journalist can call on regularly for security insights.

To be known as a thought leader, you need to have a loud voice to be heard amongst your competitors.

The cybersecurity market is noisy with lots of players both in the UK and globally. To keep a step ahead of your competition relies on a proactive and reactive PR strategy, working hard on media relations. This should focus on delivering timely responses to media and building up connections in the security press but also the wider business and national media.

The press office should be central to your PR efforts. Over time it will build momentum and result in a steady stream of media coverage and recognition from both the press and your target audiences.

Demonstrating that you have a deep understanding of the security industry and can provide reliable advice will build awareness of your brand as a trusted cybersecurity business.

What does a cybersecurity PR press office look like?

What does a press office offer?

To run a successful press office, your tech PR agency needs to work as an extension of your team with access to the experts.

With a close eye on the news and the daily -and hourly – updates going on in the technology and cybersecurity industry, your PR agency will be looking for any opportunity for you to discuss the latest news headlines.

It may be that a high-profile network has been hacked and a journalist is doing a feature and wants cybersecurity vendors to discuss the challenges. A journalist will also look to the cybersecurity industry to provide the latest relevant data, or provide advice about protection and securing networks.

For example, there is still a lot of press coverage about the rise in ransomware since the move to hybrid working practices. This is an opportunity for the cybersecurity sector to communicate with its audience and offer support and guidance about threat detection to minimise the threat of a cyberattack.

Of course, by building awareness among your target audience as a trusted thought leader, it also builds awareness of your security software or service – albeit indirectly. If your comment is seen as an attempt to get a mention for your software or service and isn’t adding any real value, it simply won’t be used and the press will begin to favour other vendors.

For clients with a technology or security product, another aspect of the press office will be a reviews campaign. This is a key part of the PR strategy, to make sure that, should a review opportunity occur, your product is front of mind for a journalist to try for themselves and feature in their roundup.

Finally, the press office could involve supporting any events that you’re attending throughout the year, such as Infosecurity Europe. They will make sure that your brand appears in any pre-show features and secure interview opportunities for your team during the event.

This will also involve joining up with the marketing team and making sure that all of the relevant messaging around your technology or services is communicated.

How does your cybersecurity PR agency work with journalists?

A PR firm will have access to journalist requests through its press subscription services. But it also relies on monitoring the news and being creative.

The press office PR strategy will include a rapid response programme. This will involve working with the experts in your security team to create a bank of thought leadership comments.

To make a rapid response programme work, PR agencies will need to communicate these comments to the media in a timely way to gain press coverage.

To start with, you may need to allow for the experts within your team to spend adequate time with the PR firm so that they can get up to speed on key messages about your brand guidelines, technologies, and how you want to be positioned within the market, any useful data you have access to, how you usually speak to your target audience, and what makes you competitive and of value to businesses.

This investment of time upfront will really pay off in no time. Your tech PR agency will be able to respond promptly to requests from journalists and deliver rapid response comments with minimal input from yourself.

This is where the PR agency starts to work like a well-oiled machine!

Here are some of the key tactics that your cybersecurity PR agency will use to deliver press coverage:

1. BE RESPONSIVE

When a journalist calls or emails with a request, your PR agency should respond straight away. This could simply be to acknowledge the request and let them know that they’re working on it.

2. MEET THE DEADLINE

Your tech PR agency will be mindful of the journalist’s deadline. If it’s unrealistic and you know you may not be able to turn it around, it’s better to be honest from the outset, rather than let them down at the last minute. This will reflect badly on your business.

If you can meet the deadline, then it’s better to do so with time to spare. This will ensure that your insights are received promptly.

3. ASK QUESTIONS

Ask relevant questions to make sure you deliver what the journalist is looking for. The questions will vary depending on the request. For example, what would serve them best, some new data on a particular topic or are they looking for case studies? What other companies are they speaking to?

If it’s a comment for a news story or feature – what’s the story about?  How many words are they looking for? Would they be interested in unpicking some of the challenges UK businesses face today?

By asking questions, your PR agency will be able to focus on what is going to deliver the best coverage.

4. IMAGES

For clients that deliver security products, you’ll need to have a bank of images so that you can respond and resolve a journalist’s enquiry quickly.

For B2B and corporate campaigns, have images on file of the key spokespeople and senior management should you need them. It’s also worth having any stock images that the marketing team may be using as a journalist will always request these.

5. PROVIDING A QUOTE

Once the PR programme is in full swing, you can hope that journalists will begin to contact your cybersecurity PR agency for a quote from your brand. Working closely as an extension of your marketing and PR team, your PR agency will understand who to approach for input and how to quickly get sign-off.

6. FOLLOW UP

Some press office enquiries will be turned around and appear within hours. Others can take months. Your PR agency will follow up and make sure that they get the best possible outcome for your brand.

7. KEEP IN TOUCH

Once your PR agency has relevant cyber security and technology contacts made through running an efficient press office, they can return to them in the future. It’s worth thanking them for the piece and asking the marketing team to share it across your social media accounts to create further exposure – a win-win for your brand and the news outlet.

Once it appears, you can then discuss other opportunities to work together.

To ensure your business states ahead of the game, drop us a line to discuss your PR and comms strategy at [email protected]