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Awards and Speaking Slots: A guide for success & their value

By March 11, 2024No Comments

As a cybersecurity PR and marketeer, knowing the many ways you can help amplify brand awareness is becoming more critical, especially as the media landscape is shrinking and the number of cybersecurity vendors is expanding.

Two powerful PR and marketing tools that help build credibility, authority and differentiate a company from competitors are awards and speaking slots. If utilised correctly, these marketing tools can elevate your company from being just another cybersecurity vendor to being an industry leader.

Indeed, when speaking to senior marketing specialists at cybersecurity vendors, the consensus was speaking slots and awards are beneficial. However, when examining which out of the two they held in higher regard, over three quarters (76%) felt speaking slots were more valuable than awards (24%). Given spending budgets are getting tighter, more vendors are paying closer attention on what paid-media opportunities are being invested in. With this shift, it’s understandable why awards, which often have a paid element, are seen as less of a priority compared to speaking slots which tend to be free to enter.

Understanding speaking slots

Securing a speaking slot is a challenging task for any vendor or PR professional, largely because there is fierce competition. When you consider there are over 3000 cybersecurity vendors, ranging from brand new startups to NASDAQ-listed firms, all pitching for a handful of opportunities at top-tier events like Infosecurity Europe or RSA in San Francisco. So, standing out from the crowd is imperative because these conferences offer unparallel opportunities for brand exposure, thought leadership, and visibility within the target audience.

To have the best chance of getting accepted, here are some ground rules to follow:

  • Read the guidelines and adhere to them because even minor deviations can lead to exclusion.
  • Have supporting material to enhance the submission and the expert’s credibility whether that be news stories, interviews and videos – supply anything that showcases their ability to present clearly and well.
  • If you have new research that supports the submissions key points, incorporate this as much as possible as it will make the application, and talk, more engaging and relevant.
  • Display diversity and inclusivity when submitting experts as this will highlight the company’s positive attitude in providing opportunities to more people, backgrounds and genders. As an industry, there has been a call for more diversity to be celebrated within cybersecurity.

Value in Awards

Many vendors are hesitant to participate in industry awards due to concerns about self-promotion, costs and knowing the return of investment is when shortlisted or winning. These require a selective approach and vendors should rely on their PR and marketing specialists to carry out due diligence to select the awards that provide the most industry recognition.

Winning the right awards will have a positive effect on the business because the recognition and exposure will elevate the brand name to a broader audience, making the time and money spent all that more rewarding.

Eskenzi PR regularly secures wins for our clients across numerous sector awards, including SC Awards Europe and US, Computing Awards and CRN Channels. Planned and conducted properly, an awards programme can offer some great benefits both internally and externally for a company. The same can be said when obtaining speaking slots.

If you’d like to learn more about our award and speaking slot programme, please reach out to a team member who would be happy to help.