More than 20,000 people are expected to attend Black Hat USA next week in Las Vegas for six days of briefings and training. At the main conference, more than 100 presentations will highlight the latest information security risks, developments and trends.
The popularity of Black Hat, now in its 26th year, showcases both the enduring interest in cybersecurity and one of its biggest challenges: How does a company get noticed in one of the most competitive industries? The IT-Harvest Analyst Dashboard, the largest cybersecurity vendor database, lists more than 3,500 companies in 17 categories. And with new startups emerging every day, that number is almost certainly much higher.
A public relations program can help build visibility, but not all programs are created equal. Treble has had a dedicated Cybersecurity Practice Group since 2020, working as a strategic partner to elevate brands and further their credibility. Here are three proven strategies we’ve used to help cybersecurity companies achieve their goals, whether that’s increasing investor awareness, driving lead generation, creating strategic partnerships or solidifying market leadership.
Embrace the Noise
Cybersecurity is a notoriously noisy media environment, with new developments continually battling for time and attention. Compounding the problem is that many product announcements tend to sound the same, making it difficult to gain meaningful coverage.
Typically, it’s good advice to find ways to rise above the noise, but for cybersecurity PR, an effective approach is to embrace it. Start by keeping an eye on the news. Do you have something to say about what’s trending? Having an opinion isn’t enough, though — journalists respond better to a viewpoint backed by data and research.
Many stories result from journalists putting out a call for commentary, so having a set of approved comments on trending topics increases the chances of getting into a story. Overly promotional commentary won’t fly with reporters, but there’s nothing wrong with having a point of view on how to solve a particular issue.
Find Your Expert
There’s likely someone at your company with experience building companies, or who is a well-respected authority in a particular aspect of cybersecurity, or who has impressive academic accomplishments. That person’s knowledge and expertise will play a key role in public relations.
Strategic content that demonstrates thought leadership by writing contributed articles for publications relevant to your target audience allows your company to further establish itself as an expert in the cybersecurity industry. In times between product releases and other company news, a firm and strategically positioned message can continue to generate leads and provide ongoing opportunities for media coverage.
Your expert should be able to write for both technical and non-technical audiences — digging into the details for practitioners, but also explaining concepts to broader audiences — to get the broadest reach.
Capitalize on Events
Because conferences like Black Hat draw so many like-minded people together in one spot, it opens up a tremendous opportunity for in-person meetings with media members. At RSAC earlier this year, each of Treble’s clients in attendance timed a product release announcement to coincide with the event, securing important pieces of coverage that moved the needle for their businesses.
We also introduced clients to writers and editors at leading security publications we regularly work with, cultivating relationships that allowed our clients to speak more informally on broader industry trends. Those introductions and casual conversations lay the foundation for future stories and set up our cybersecurity PR clients as helpful and relevant resources.
Putting It All Together
It’s important to look for a PR agency that has experience navigating the fast-moving and crowded cybersecurity space, but it’s even more important to find one that will act as a strategic partner, functioning like an extension of your sales and marketing teams. A proactive plan that includes media commentary, thought leadership articles and event support is a proven way of breaking through the clutter.
If you're interested in learning more about how Treble can partner with your cybersecurity company, contact Senior Vice President Matt Grant.