Thinking Beyond RSA to Create Your Own News Cycle

The RSA Conference has served as the preeminent cybersecurity event for nearly three decades, providing a platform for companies and professionals to elevate their brand before a captive audience.

As RSA sets to return to an in-person (albeit, postponed) conference this June following last year’s virtual event, cybersecurity firms must hone their unique message in advance. While RSA maintains some of its clout, it is no longer THE conference to elevate brand visibility.

Going into this year’s event, cybersecurity companies need to take a bold approach that thinks outside of the standard RSA tropes and news cycles to stand out in a crowded media landscape. The way people interact with significant events and the role media play continue to shift. Brands must change at the same time. Let’s look at some key things to think about when planning for this year’s show.

Have a Strong Story

Cybersecurity companies will fight for attention among the same set of journalists. The number of journalists attending the event in person is not the same as previous years. While journalists in the past were open to speaking to someone in your firm without a strong news hook, those days have passed.

To make the most headway, find a data-driven story to tell. A good soundbite is no longer sufficient for a meaningful engagement at this conference. Journalists today want stories backed with solid data and analysis that can inform more powerful stories. Think about what data your organization has collected or can share with journalists that speak for itself.

Build Excitement Beforehand

The loudest complaint journalists make on social media at RSA is the deluge of embargoed press releases set for the first day of the conference. While embargoes have their place, it is best to do away with them for RSA. With so many organizations following the embargo strategy, we often see a wave of releases at 9 a.m. on Monday of the conference. Following that same strategy will net minimal results.

Instead, think of ways to create buzz going into the show. Issue a research report or offer a compelling industry perspective three or four weeks out from RSA and use that as a momentum driver. Instead of getting an immediate hit during RSA, use that time for business development, networking and gathering media intelligence to build out your public relations strategy.

When talking with journalists, try to determine their story preferences and the trends that gained traction. Also, try to understand the topics that flopped and what potential white space exists that you can own in Q3 and beyond.

News Cycles are Earned, Not Deserved

RSA provides an opportunity, but brands should remember to bring something to the table. Do not rely on your name or an executive’s resume to get attention. Be smart about approaching journalists and think about what you can offer them.

Also, remember that even the best-laid plans can go astray at any moment. A major cyber breach can quickly derail coverage. If big news does happen, be ready to pivot. Offer journalists experts that can speak intelligently about the news event and seek out data that can add value Make your experts easy to reach. The easier you make it, the more value you will receive.

Preparing for RSA and Beyond

While RSA is a big event, the world of public relations never stops. If your company wants to discover new ways to grow your brand and reach new customers, reach out to W2 Communications. We can create a media and public relations strategy that aligns with your long-term goals and then execute on that plan.

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