Cybersecurity Public Relations Tips and “Hacks” in 2022

As organizations continue to evolve and shift towards novel technologies, the increasing risk of cyberattacks continues to be an ever-present threat across industries and sectors. The surface area of attacks has grown in scale and leaves both small and large companies vulnerable to a growing set of attack types that can lead to data breaches, ransomware, cryptojacking, successful phishing attempts, and general havoc via malware.  

An industry that continues to define the coverage of the press, cybersecurity has become one of the most discussed and written about by tier one publications, as well as niche. Journalists are hungry to speak to and cover innovative organizations that can add to the conversation, analyze the risks and help define the future of the landscape.  What are the best tips Cyber orgs and pros need to leverage this potential? 

Cybersecurity Journalists Are Not One Size Fits All

Across major media publications exist a wide variety of journalist focus areas that guide what any press member will be interested in and ultimately want to cover. While a particular journalist may cover “Cybersecurity” their focus can range from writing about vulnerabilities and active attacks to legislative policy and regulation. Proper targeting must take this fact as a crucial factor when constructing and releasing a PR campaign. By understanding what beat/focus the journalist has in correlation to your particular pitch, you can help to reign in their intrigue, and interest to provide a far greater chance they will provide coverage.

Key Tasks:

-Read a journalist’s previous articles or reports to better understand where their focus lies and what topics they concentrate on for their writing. 

-Carefully monitor the media for trending news that may be aligned with both your organization’s position and that particular journalist’s areas of focus. 

-Follow the reporters’ social media channels to gain a better understanding of their passions, interests and analysis.

Human Interest Stories are… Interesting Stories

As an organization, your latest partnership or product upgrade may seem relevant internally but have little to no intrigue for the media. The stories that go the widest are the stories that will inform, educate, or impact the most people, and often this is the general consumer. The largest ransomware attacks or privacy breaches are covered internationally and this is because they tend to directly or emotionally affect larger numbers of the population. Pitching stories that can showcase or tie in how Mainstreet or the average everyday consumer is affected, are stories with instant press attention. Expand your horizons.  

Key Tasks: 

-Explore how your story may have an impact outside of just your clientele or stakeholders. The more you can expand your story across population types, the greater the potential media pickup.  

-Research media members outside of the cybersecurity realm that may have an affinity with a broader topical area. This may be general healthcare, general assignment, finance, banking, consumer investigative or even political reporters. 

-Shameless promotion: Feel free to contact us. We’re pros when it comes to crafting major news out of the seemingly smallest of storylines.  

Press Wires are Dead: Great Pitches are alive and well.

This may be controversial, but distributing a press release over a wire service can often cannibalize a great PR campaign. For decades press releases sent over a wire service were a valid way to get journalists attention and spread a story to the masses. In today’s day and age, however, thousands go out daily to no media (or consumer) viewership except for bots and salespeople.  In fact, a press release that is visible on Google news may simply be a sign to journalists that they are way too late to cover a breaking story, harming your PR efforts. 

 Great publicists know that the release signifies the end of the efforts by most journalists and not the beginning. Sketchy publicists will sell you on them to make up for a lack of press in other sources, knowing that it gives the appearance of “things happening”. 

 Key Tasks: 

-Instead of sending a release via a wire service, your efforts are best placed in pitching to a variety of interested journalists your story in a compelling manner.

– A great pitch always needs an asset. This might be a data sheet, a report, a collection of key insights or a written press release (Just keep it off the wires until your press stories are told).

-Begin pitching several weeks in advance if possible. This gives you time to solicit interest and journalists time to research, approve with their editors and interview your team.    

Lastly: Ask us anything about Cybersecurity industry PR! We have represented some of the most notable cybersecurity startups and brands across their campaigns for vulnerability disclosures, attack discoveries, product launches, thought leadership campaigns, and everything in between.