It’s that time of year again: tens of thousands of security professionals will soon descend on sunny San Francisco for the annual RSA Conference to learn about the newest approaches to combatting the latest cyberattacks. And there’s a lot to unpack: the exploding IoT industry continues to flood the market with mass-produced, internet-connected “things” that are known for having weak security, contributing to a resurgence in DDoS attacks. Data privacy regulations sweeping across the EU and US are placing increased financial pressure on businesses to safeguard personal information. And last year’s major Equifax breach continues to reveal itself to be worse than initially reported.
As with any large-scale conference like RSA, it can be a challenge for exhibiting vendors to cut through the noise and build excitement around their offerings and experts. Companies have been developing their RSA strategies for months, but if you haven’t got that far yet, here are five last-minute PR hacks to increase your chances of success at the last minute:
1. Craft a quick, targeted media relations plan. There are hundreds of companies lobbying for media attention, and journalists have no qualms airing their PR frustrations. The key to a successful trade show media strategy is to offer journalists something they can’t get on a phone call or by visiting your website. Although companies may have been at this for months, journalists sometimes hedge their bets until right before the show to book their flights, so there’s still time to secure a spot on their calendar.
First step is to create a short, targeted list. And consider the kind of experience you can deliver to a reporter in-person and why it will be important to their readers. How will it be visual? What kind of access can you grant them to your C-level spokespeople? Next, craft a punchy pitch and think about how you get it to them – social media can be a great way to get in touch. We have a lot of experience on what pitches and subject lines work well – if you’d like some tips, please give us a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org. Top tip number 1: starting your email with “Our groundbreaking product is the new frontier in X” does not work.
2. Pay attention to the analysts. Don’t underestimate the power of analysts, who are always interested in learning about the latest cybersecurity solutions and developments. Often, companies opt for the more appealing media coverage, but analysts have a direct line to your target buyers and should not be overlooked.
3. Get digital. B2B PR is nothing without a digital element. Don’t listen to the person telling you to focus only on media relations by churning out a high volume of press releases – they’re wrong (even if that person is your CEO). What better way to build buzz around your tradeshow presence than promoting it on social? Also – IT’S FREE (unless you want to give yourself a boost with some PPC, of course)!
Smart social media strategies don’t just switch on during the show. Start talking about your presence now. Engage with reporters on social media who are also tweeting about the conference. Use your existing content that aligns with the show themes to drive interest and engagement. Capitalize on elements like photo and video (and don’t forget the proper hashtags), which have been shown to produce higher levels of engagement. And take full advantage of features like LinkedIn’s publishing tool to promote content from your company’s key thought leaders.
4. Check the competition. There’s no better time to scope out what your competition is doing than during a trade show. Make sure you leave yourself some time to walk the show floor and talk to some of your competitors. Identify a sales person and see how they pitch to you. Take some of their marketing materials to see how they’re positioning themselves in the market, and use that to inform your own messaging strategy that sets you apart from the same, stale messaging that many cybersecurity companies adopt. And avoid the use of jargon! Read more about what IT buzzwords you should stop using.
While you’re at it – PARTY! RSA is a great social tradeshow – and parties are a useful place to network, unlike others we’ve been to. But getting on the list to some of the key events during the week is a good place to meet new people and find out what everyone really thinks of the show!
5. Master the follow-up. RSA isn’t over just because the booth strike teams have been called in. Reporters will be writing up recap articles and conducting follow up interviews. Didn’t get a chance to talk to Dark Reading? Send the reporter a note with any news you announced during the show and request a post-show briefing. You can even reference a funny tweet or post they shared during the show as an ice breaker. Don’t be lazy with this, as it’s a key to success. Time and again we’ve seen companies spend a bomb on a PR project that finishes right after the tradeshow. Don’t take the wind out of your own sails.
RSA is mere weeks away, but it’s not too late to beef up your PR strategy for maximum impact. A blend of traditional media relations with more integrated digital elements are what will help you stand out among the rest.
Are you interested in talking more about PR with us at RSA? Email us to arrange a meeting. See you there!