The nights are drawing in, the Christmas adverts are starting, and this only means one thing for the cybersecurity industry…Predictions season! It comes around quicker every year, doesn’t it?!
In such a fast-moving, shifting sands industry as cybersecurity, predictions serve a valuable part of the marketing and PR ecosystem. They allow for the movers and shakers of the industry to flex their thought leadership muscles, while also providing (hopefully) genuine insights into their thoughts on where our ever-changing industry is heading in the year ahead.
However, the journalists reading these predictions have a problem…That for every impressive, insightful and interesting prediction, there are 500 useless ones. So here’s a guide for your spokespeople to follow, as the predictions onslaught begins.
- Make sure they’re predictions, not marketing: There’s a temptation for organisations to use this opportunity to push their own marketing agenda. While there is a place for this, the more successful predictions will be the genuine ones, which reflect the beliefs of the spokespeople.
- Make them human: The amount of predictions which are provided every year makes them a very crowded marketplace. For a better chance of these predictions being covered by the press and making some traction outside of the organisation, then ones which show the personality of the spokespeople will stand out: Make them tongue in cheek, humorous, pessimistic, optimistic, it doesn’t matter; just adding some personality will go a long way!
- Understand predictions don’t exist in a vacuum: The cybersecurity industry is constantly changing. If you provide the same predictions every year, this will immediately put off journalists and other stakeholders. Take a look around you! Understand the main technology themes of the year which has just gone, and the year up ahead. This will help to provide genuine inference. Furthermore, if your predictions are grounded in the year ahead, as opposed to too focused on the output of your organisation, they are more likely to come true, and more likely to make your spokesperson look like the all-seeing guru we know they are!
- Don’t predict before time! Some press will go as far as to blacklist PR agencies who send requests too early. Make sure your predictions aren’t pre-predictions!
Another thing to consider about predictions is that they are not the be all and end all of a marketing team’s campaign. They are one useful tool to provoke interesting thought leadership, but they need to be a part of a coordinated, year-long PR campaign which helps to frame your spokespeople, and your organisation, as at the top of their game.
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