Cyber PR

Cybersecurity PR: using data to tell your story

The news is busier than ever, not least for the cybersecurity industry. Therefore, getting cut through is essential. Telling the right story will increase your visibility and kudos with journalists.

But, what is the right story? Cybersecurity companies have a wealth of information at their fingertips, from detecting new forms of malware to unpicking how some of the most globally recognised cyberattacks were able to happen or the percentage of companies – or consumers – that leave themselves vulnerable to cyberattacks in some way.

This industry understanding is vital for journalists and editors interested in what is happening in the tech and cyber sector and how this affects the rest of the world.

Use of research in cybersecurity PR

Understanding how to package up your own data into easy-to-digest stories is the first step. Where your data comes from will determine the PR and marketing channels to use to communicate it. For example, is it data-driven from your own product? Perhaps it is a threat detection tool that could reveal the number of businesses with adequate technology and processes already in place.

A good PR agency within the cybersecurity market will understand how to package up any data that you own and its maximise value. With enough data, a tech PR agency would recommend a quantitative research study as part of a media relations campaign to drive media coverage.

The cybersecurity PR strategy

The media relations campaign could consist of a news story for the press and provide the press with access to team members within the business to discuss the main findings, share their expertise and be an authoritative voice on a particular area of cybersecurity.

The main aim of this is to start a conversation among target audiences by revealing new findings, building awareness of an issue and highlighting particular challenges that may be affecting businesses today when it comes to their cybersecurity.

The next step could be a thought leadership media relations campaign which would delve into some of the security challenges posed and begin to offer solutions for businesses. It’s important to avoid mentioning your software or service as part of the solution, as tempting as it is, your audience will see through this.

The purpose of being a thought leader is instead to be credible, demonstrate a deep understanding of a topic, provide support for businesses that may be dealing with a specific challenge and become a trusted brand in the process. It also serves to keep you a step ahead of your competition, especially in a crowded market such as the cybersecurity sector.

Cybersecurity case studies

It is also worth looking elsewhere within your network to see how you can explore the story further and give your research greater depth. For example, by offering a case study. Using the above example, perhaps you have a client who would be happy to speak to the press about the way it used a detection tool to understand the weaknesses within its security network. Did it realise it lacked protection for some of its networks? Is it more secure now as a result?

Cybersecurity PR agencies know that case studies in the cybersecurity industry are difficult to come by due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. A PR firm needs to be mindful of any reputational damage or security vulnerabilities the client may face by revealing certain details. But with the right case study in the right publication, these PR efforts can be incredibly successful in boosting the credibility of your brand. It can also help you to maximise exposure in key press sectors that write about cyber security.

As well as media coverage, you may want to target other key influencers to increase the exposure of your research. Analyst relations campaigns can be highly effective. Similar to public relations, the idea is to target key industry analysts with your research and the opportunity to speak to the security experts within your business.

Analysts are highly influential and gaining coverage in the form of an analyst review or their backing of your research findings can really help your brand to build connections within the cybersecurity industry.

Taking your cybersecurity PR campaign further

So you’ve secured some press coverage on your data so what’s next? Your data should be a focus for your wider marketing efforts too, linking your PR campaign back to your website.

This may include a downloadable report for the website which is shared across your social media channels. It should reveal the key findings of your research and look at some of the solutions available. It’s possible to include mention of your software or service within a more detailed report as you will be targeting a more engaged audience. They would have discovered your research either via press coverage, social media or your website.

Other PR and marketing tactics could include an SEO-optimised blog and a webinar. This would bring together other industry experts, technology, security and national journalists and also prospects to discuss the theme of the research. Use this to feed back into the public relations campaign again with thought leadership content or even a press release announcing key insights which could be used as a ‘call to action’ for the industry.

Creating your own cybersecurity PR research story

If you don’t already own your own data, or have privacy issues in sharing insights from your data, fear not. Investing in a piece of research with a significant number of respondents (1k+) will be of potential interest to the right technology and even national journalists.

Start by researching what has been done already and what gaps exist in previous studies.

Topics can include:

  • UK companies are affected by cyberattacks such as ransomware.
  • Cost to restore/repair companies post-attack.
  • The number of UK homeworkers that underestimate security risks.
  • The number of businesses that understand the security risks that cloud computing services create.
  • The number of UK businesses that lack the knowledge of what’s going on within their networks.
  • The number of UK companies that lack adequate in-house support with cyber.
  • The number of companies using a specialist cyber service to manage third-party risk for clients.

Next, understand the news headlines you’d like to achieve and work backwards from there by developing your research survey. Some research agencies will help you to construct your research survey, but tech PR agencies are well versed in getting the right headlines that will drive press coverage.

Make sure to carefully consider your target audience and the demographic breakdowns that you’d like when analysing the findings; such as the job title of the respondent or location.

Finding subject matter that will engage your audience should be the focus of your PR strategy. If you need further information on a marketing or cybersecurity PR strategy for your company or to find out what’s involved in working with a PR agency, please contact us at [email protected].