The Other Rapid Response: How to Maximize Cyber News

When cyber news breaks in the technology world, it’s tempting to make quick comments to insert your company’s name into the news cycle. However, sometimes rushing to get a statement into the world has a negative impact. Haste does make waste, after all.

The goal of quickly responding to breaking news should always be to build credibility and awareness during a relevant current event – not to add to the noise and pile on the obvious.

Don’t be first; be best

The recent Log4j vulnerability provides a perfect example. The story broke on December 10 and dominated headlines for several weeks. We saw many of the “Day 1” or breaking news articles highlighting the facts and initial information – what happened, what we know and who might be impacted. In this instance, many comments pontificating on the news wouldn’t be appropriate or fit into these types of stories.

Instead, we encourage clients to look at “Day 2” stories. These include more in-depth and analysis-type stories that better examine the event. That includes what might have caused the incident, unique data or insights, and how to prevent happening again. As communicators, we can help determine the best insights to share and then take a surgical approach to engage the most influential media outlets.

3 Ways to Improve Cyber News Reactions

When a major news event happens, I tell clients to take a deep breath and consider the following steps before “chasing the ambulance.”

  • Ask yourself does your company have any unique pieces of data from the front lines? Do you have any information that will differentiate you among the myriad of canned comments? What is your company doing in real-time to protect customers and communicate the urgency to them? Media will grasp exclusive anecdotes and data points that shed light on how firms handle these vulnerabilities in the wild.
  • Establish a key group of executives and researchers to help create messaging before crisis strikes. Knowing the four to five people to engage internally can make an enormous difference when inserting your company into the conversation. Combining brainpower and getting all the key stakeholders involved when putting together a statement or pulling unique data is an effective and efficient way to stay organized.
  • Whether your comments end up in the media or not, it’s essential to write a blog detailing the cyber news along with your company’s take on it. This way, you can direct customers and end-users to this content. It provides them with your direct thoughts on the issue and how you plan to handle it. You can often reference a company blog when engaging with the media. This gives them a link back and the ability to leverage any additional insights available.

Between Log4j, SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline and many more, there will always be another cybersecurity incident and opportunity to comment and build credibility for your brand. The question becomes if you can execute it correctly and with the unique insights essential to the news cycle.

Download: "The W2 Communications Guide to the New Cybersecurity Media Environment"

The W2 Communications team of public relations experts works with some of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms.  Download our Cyber PR guide and get insight into:

  • The evolving role of cybersecurity public relations
  • The role of contributed content in companies’ media relations efforts
  • How to leverage corporate-owned channels to support media relations activities