The Cyber Gold Rush: Cybersecurity Needs a Break Out PR Strategy for 2017

For better or worse, 2016 was a watershed year for cybersecurity. What used to be a relatively niche but growing industry exploded into the mainstream with the Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential election, and the stories of how cyberattackers deployed tools like spear-phishing to infiltrate the email servers of Democratic Party staffers and campaign operatives.

For years, industry professionals have been warning that the cybersecurity was not getting nearly the attention it needed from small and large businesses alike, who have increasingly become the victims of costly and damaging data breaches, ransomware attacks and fraudulent emails. Now, with cybersecurity on the minds and lips of virtually everyone around the country, you can expect there will be a greater demand than ever for security solutions that can give vulnerable organizations the tools and expertise to defend themselves.

That sounds like a gold rush for cybersecurity providers, but as March Managing Director Cheryl Gale points out in her recent LinkedIn Pulse article, this cyber-gold rush runs the risk of creating “a lot of noise that makes it that much harder for cybersecurity companies to break through and emerge as thought leaders with compelling points of view.” To get around this, Cheryl outlines three key PR strategies for cybersecurity providers to adopt in order to break through the noise and demand media attention.

One of those strategies is for cybersecurity spokespeople to begin speaking out on more contentious, potentially controversial subjects (e.g. the election hacking). That’s something Manny and I discussed a few months back on an episode of Hacks and Flacks, noting that while many may have been hesitant to weigh in on politically-charged news stories before, doing so is a surefire way of emerging as a credible and engaging thought leader. As tech, politics and society become more closely tied to together, these conversations will become inevitable for cybersecurity providers to have – and the ones who make waves now will be the ones best remembered.

Another of those key strategies to consider: capitalizing on security events. Naturally, events are staples of many successful tech PR plans, but as the spotlight on cybersecurity grows even hotter this year, upcoming events like RSA will be key opportunities for security providers to share their stories and get the word out about what they have to offer. To make sure you’re getting the most out of these shows, check out our MarchComms Madness bracket of the ‘Elite 8’ Best Practices for Attending a PR Event.

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