Cracking your Cyber Crime PR Position

Article by:Jennifer Reid


In an era of ‘security tool fatigue’, it’s more important than ever for cyber security companies to stand out from the crowd.
It’s not strange that as tech PR professionals, we find our practices constantly re-defined by the evolution of the technology industry and the trends dictated by regulation and today’s economic climate. Like everyone, we’re beware of Brexit, acclimatising to automation, and getting ready for GDPR one step at a time.
It’s our job to help clients deal with the impact of these ‘game-changers,’ making sure they don’t become show stoppers. And if a client is offering a solution for businesses to tackle the issue of the day, it’s on us to help them stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Let’s take cyber crime for example. It’s pulled the rug right out from under multinationals, SMEs, health care organisations and governments alike over the last few years. In fact, due to the sheer number of organisations falling victim to cyber crime, there has been a flurry of cyber security companies entering the market, all trying to build profile, fast.
PR can play a key part in addressing this challenge. Here are a few ways cyber security companies can adapt their PR and marketing strategies to make sure their messages really resonate and grab the attention of journalists and prospects alike.

Ambulance chasing 101
If you are going to respond publicly to a high level breach, make sure it is one that is in your sweet spot and you have a relevant case for news jacking. Speed is of the essence here though – like all good ‘rapid response’ opportunities, the first good comments to make it to the journalists will be the ones to make the cut.
If you’re reaching out to companies directly, consider your messaging carefully and play up your strengths honestly. Companies that fall victim to cyber crime will often experience a ‘follow up attack’ of vendors claiming that they can stop it happening again.So if you are going to respond to a high level breach, and if your company is more than 10 years old, say so – nothing is more reassuring than a long history in the cyber crime landscape. And if you’ve had specific experience in helping to resolve breaches and other forms of cyber crime, now is the time to get your stats in order and relay them in a compelling and visual way.
It’s not ‘if’, but ‘when’ 
Simply put, no organisation is bullet proof when it comes to cyber crime. This point has been highlighted by many industry leaders, including the Head of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin. He believes the UK is lucky to have so far avoided a “category one” attack, targeting infrastructure like energy companies and financial services.That being the case, there’s no point in pursuing a PR strategy based on 100% defence.
A more realistic approach is to consider how your product helps breach detection happen faster, how it condenses information to allow companies to analyse breaches more easily, or perhaps why it makes incident reporting more simple and accurate.Promote these benefits in product press releases and throughout your marketing collateral. It’s a more realistic and accessible way of approaching today’s “not if but when” cyber security landscape.
Avoid ‘security tool fatigue’
When it comes to security tools, companies are frequently in the position of having over-invested in the past, only to now be faced with a sprawling mass of unconsolidated protection.Whenever a new threat happens, internal teams tend to adopt different tools, ending up with multiple tools that overlap in function. It’s a risky move to bring this all under one roof, especially with compliance issues to consider.For vendors, PR and messaging that presents how their solution can easily integrate is the way forward. Case studies are an excellent way to achieve this, especially when statistics and demonstrable benefits can be featured. With the help of a strong PR team, building silhouette stories can be a powerful weapon in any vendor’s armoury.
What’s the big idea?
Cyber security PR needs to speak to the masses, and usually this means delivering big, clear and straightforward messages. When Symantec’s Security Chief claimed four years ago that ‘antivirus is dead’ as the firm launched more services and cloud security, the message really resonated. More to the point, it was a compelling point that didn’t use technical jargon. In the cyber security space, messages need to be as bold as cyber criminals, and as effective as the solution benefits they preach.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful – if you’re a cyber security company looking to differentiate in today’s crowded security market, get in touch for a chat.


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