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Cybersecurity has transcended from a technical, niche concept into a universal conversation that corporate boardrooms, law enforcement circles and political institutions are engaging in. This comes as no surprise, considering the frantic digital evolution happening at a speed that –at times – is hard to keep up with. Yet, while in great demand, the cybersecurity industry remains crowded, with some 3,000 vendors competing to disrupt the market. In fact, more than 55 percent of companies use at least six security vendors and 65 percent deploy no less than six cyber defense products, according to a recent survey study from Cisco.
So how, as a PR professional in this space, do you tell a story that stands out from the competition? As a communications strategist, after all, your goal isn’t to simply create just any positive publicity for clients, but meaningful positive publicity – the press presence which moves the needle for clients’ broader business objectives, positioning them as respected industry Thought Leaders with a unique and valuable story to tell.
To rise above the noise and ensure the business story is heard, a strategic communication team must deliver the intended message in an accessible manner. Technical jargon illustrates the depth and breadth of a client’s capabilities, but it’s also pointless for those who don’t “speak IT.” Thus, communications specialists have to translate tech speak into language which resonates with our emotional intelligence (commonly abbreviated as “EQ.”) EQ is defined by our ability to truly engage with others by emphasizing with them, by discerning between different feelings to comprehend their impact upon people’s lives.
PR emotional intelligence has a place within the world of cybersecurity. Well before next-gen firewalls, there are feelings of insecurity, human vulnerability and/or corporate unease – i.e. “our corporate ‘crown jewels’ are unprotected!” Emotions, positive and negative, drive action, propelling operational innovation and enabling business growth.
Emotional Intelligence lays the foundation upon which we forge trusted relationships, nurture partnerships and partake in authentic dialogues. Efforts to align cybersecurity clients and their valued messages within news cycles must build upon the same premise of genuine conversations and “putting things into perspective” for editors and producers. In a time in which the integration of marketing, PR and brand content serves as a hybrid offering, we too often “sell” a business, rather than tell a compelling story and encourage the target audience to reach the message on its own. Through the latter, audience members engage with the message in a much more impactful way, ultimately adding true value to the relationship created between them and the storyteller.
At W2 Communications, we work closely with our clients to accentuate and elevate their business narrative in order to tell a story that is interesting to the intended audience for maximum exposure – with emotional power. To do that, you not only need to know your audience, you need to empathize with it. If this sounds like something you’d like to discuss further, please contact us.
Georgia Prassinos is a Senior Account Executive for W2 Communications.