At Voxus, all of our clients are technology companies and a good number are involved with security. As you might expect, a lot of our work centers around product launches. The problem with product news is that by itself it is often boring and uninteresting to journalists and the public, especially in cybersecurity where high-profile, exciting (is that the right word?) data breaches dominate the news cycle. Some publications refuse to cover product news at all.
So how can you get your client involved in the conversation? By giving journalists what they need – expert commentary and relevant data.
Voxus client Online Trust Alliance is a security and privacy nonprofit dedicated to increasing online trust. Among other projects, it puts out a yearly Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide assessing the major data breaches from the previous year. Voxus and OTA realized that this could provide unique statistics for cybersecurity journalists and give them some context and background information when they report on new breaches. Together we pulled out the two most interesting data points from the 2016 report: 92% of 2015 breaches could have been prevented if companies had been following simple security guidelines. Secondary fact: ransomware attacks were on the rise and becoming more targeted and less opportunistic. When we offered the report to media under embargo, we highlighted these statistics in our press release and pitches.
Results were very good. Several cybersecurity pubs including The Security Ledger, Network World, Forbes, Info Security Magazine and Dark Reading covered the initial announcement. Statistics about the rise of targeted ransomware and that 92% of attacks were preventable were quoted in several articles in The Hill and Computerworld a month later about separate hacking incidents – journalists were using OTA’s data as background information in their stories. Past reports have been quoted for months and even years after they are released. This helps to build your relationship with journalists and develop your client’s reputation as a valuable source.
If your client doesn’t have data it can share with the media, then you can still use its expertise. If the company is an expert in a certain aspect of cybersecurity, check the news every morning for high-profile data breaches and pitch a targeted list of journalists offering your client for comment on the story. Even better, get a quote about the news and send that off along with an offer for an interview to explain in greater detail. This requires a client contact that can respond to things very quickly, but it can pay off in a big way when you get that interview for a high-profile pub.
So to get coverage in the crowded cybersecurity space, think like a reporter and give him or her what is needed. Data and expert analysis can be incredibly valuable, so use them if you have them.