The Value of Storytelling in the Cybersecurity Market: Slowing Down in a Sonic Speed Industry

We’re officially less than a month away from the 2024 RSA Conference, and it seems like time is flying by!

My colleague, Carrie Vanbuskirk, recently wrote a blog on the many info-gathering and relationship building opportunities that this conference holds for vendors, journalists and communications professionals alike. In this vein, companies are putting so much effort and resources into their physical presence at these industry events. But in this whirlwind of activity, I’d argue that sometimes the mental presence of those attending can inadvertently be pushed to the side. What do I mean by that?

Well, in cyber communications and journalism, for example, news moves at sonic speed. Between cyber attacks, company announcements, technological advancements and more, we often have to balance the race to be the first to comment with taking a measured approach and offering more elaborate insights. This balancing act is heightened even more at events like RSA that are often quite noisy and force us to get creative in how our companies stand out.  

What can be lost in all the hype is the value of storytelling and the inclination to truly capture the human perspective behind the headlines. It is in these perspectives, where we slow down and reflect on real people’s experiences, that we connect with each other beyond the transactional information-sharing level. And, it is these stories that set individuals, teams and companies apart from the hustle and bustle.

So how can we help each other communicate stories that show authenticity and purpose? Here are a few pointers to get the ball rolling:

Focus on the impact beyond breaking news.

It may seem elementary in PR and journalism to remind ourselves of the question “why now?” But, I dare to say we often lose sight of why this question is asked. Does this story matter to real people with livelihoods to protect, or does this story only benefit my own company and agenda?

Consider whose perspective hasn’t been told.

Maybe there are opportunities to go behind the scenes of the front lines or dive into past learning experiences with individuals you normally wouldn’t consider. How can you elevate those stories to a wider audience?

Dare to be transparent.

Consider how impactful it is when leaders are brave enough to dive into their company’s challenges or pitfalls and get into the nitty gritty of why something happened and what it took to overcome it? Failure is a powerful teacher. When we learn how to handle those situations where things don’t go right, our transparency about the process will be invaluable in helping the next person in line. Not only this, but transparency builds trust. You may find you have more authentic connections and stronger communities because people don’t feel like you are saving face or hiding something.

Today’s cyber and communications industries alike feel like they move a million miles per hour, and this can make us lose sight of our true goals – to connect people who need each other for inspiration and innovation, for emotional support and for accountability. Real storytelling helps us take a breather and remember those goals together. 

We’re looking forward to catching up on many exciting stories ourselves at this year’s conference. If you’re interested in meeting up with us for a chat at RSAC, we’d love to schedule some time. Reach out to us through our on-site mobile coffee service, W2 Caffeinated, or join us for our CYBERTACOS networking event on May 6!