If you invest in PR, you’re on a fast track to helping build your company’s brand, create a positive reputation, deepen customer relationships, identify new business, and overall become more attractive to the industry.
Taking on a PR agency is a wonderful thing – trust us, we think PR is great – but sometimes you need to be ready for what is about to come when engaging in a long-term relationship with a consultancy and the media.
To make sure your relationship with your PR agency is a success, there are a few tools you need to have in your arsenal.
Spokespeople can make it or break it
Having a pool of good senior-level spokespeople is vital to any business looking to build its media profile and brand. They will be the human face of all campaigns, research, breaking news and crisis management (if needed). Each spokesperson must be able to effectively communicate the company’s message to the public and media. Press prefer spokespeople NOT to have a sales or marketing title, so refrain from putting forward your CMO to talk about the latest breaking cybersecurity story.
They must also be on hand for any last minute/quick turnaround comments on breaking news stories. This is critical, especially when targeting press dealing with cybersecurity stories (any good cybersecurity story will tend to break at 5:30pm on a Friday evening!!).
A great spokesperson can make the difference between a positive reputation and great coverage and poor pick-up with little brand awareness or recognition. So, to make sure they’re prepared, make sure they are media trained – your agency will be able to help!
Research, research, research!
Although tech PR agencies can work magic, it really does help if you can provide some independent, fresh research that will get those attention-grabbing headlines. Research is an essential part of any PR campaign, some of the best coverage we’ve received has been through our clients compiling regular reports (quarterly, six monthly or even annually) on the threat landscape, finding new malware or identifying the oldest vulnerabilities still in the wild.
We also believe in surveys. Having a budget to create regular on-going independent surveys can be a god-send if you’re struggling to pull research from the tech guys. Surveys do need to be conducted by a third party, so having budget in place to be able to do this works wonders for PR coverage.
Case Studies, a unicorn that pays off
Case studies are rare in the cybersecurity world as customers do not want to expose their security posture; but if you do have any customer willing to talk, then substantial coverage will be coming your way – particularly in vertical sector publications. Customers are the greatest advocate for the products and services you offer, and people like to read about real-life examples on how technology is being used by their peers.
Even if you are struggling to get full-blown case studies from customers, a simple quote would also get you mileage when it comes to improving your website or applying for industry awards.
Have your messaging clear
Most companies will have a messaging document that is used internally and to bring new or existing employees up to date with the latest brand messaging. The clearer you are on your messaging, the better job we will be able to do for you to come up with creative and targeted PR campaigns that hit the mark.
Last but not least: Time to dedicate to PR
This is one of the most important elements. Having time to spend with your PR team or agency is a must. Some clients feel they don’t have to invest any time at all, and the agency should be able to just create magic, but PR is a two-way relationship.
Working together as a team gets the best results. The best clients we work with are the ones that want to be on weekly calls with us, get excited about the latest malware find from the research team, enjoy quarterly planning meetings and spend time on the phone brainstorming ideas. Ultimately, PR is all about working together!