Technology for tech PRs – Listening and learning is the key to getting content on point

Lauren By Lauren

As you may remember from one of my recent blog posts, I find industry events invaluable for educating myself and it’s a great opportunity to meet those that work with technology. Tech PR people generally meet marketers, CEOs and product managers but speaking to tech users is a rarer event. We often speak to our clients’ customers as part of the case study process. But this is more about communicating the message on the client’s behalf than getting under the skin of what customers and prospects are most interested in.

Meeting customers

I attended our client Dotmatics’ user group meeting last month, not only for case study purposes but also to vox pop the users for a corporate video. It was really useful hear what they care about most and will help us keep our storyboard true to their interests. The vox pop will be live on Dotmatics website soon so do check it out.

It is also a reminder (as if we needed one) that hearing from fellow customers and taking advice on tips and tricks on how to get more out of the software they use is one of the most beneficial things to their career development. Adding real-world scenarios to thought leadership is key to engaging prospects. Thought leadership is not just about predicting far into the future, it’s also providing a guide on how to make the most out of the next year to get a competitive advantage, increase productivity and generally make the working environment a little less stressful.

Interacting with techies

Another worthwhile source of insight is industry events run by the technology community for the technology community. The Information Security Systems Association (ISSA) hold events internationally. I recently attended one of its events to spark some ideas.

  • I learnt that the Dark Web is less of a problem in terms of security threats than the Deep Web in a very interesting talk by Rob Gregg from Recorded Future. He also highlighted that understanding what is going on outside the company’s own secure environment is vital to understanding risks. We certainly found that the report we commissioned for Bromium, Into the Web of Profit, which focused on how and where the proceeds of cyber-crime are generated, laundered and reinvested, gained a lot of attention. Obviously what happens in the cyber security underworld is of huge interest to security pros. Also relevant for a career pivot into movie scripts.

  • Andrew Thompson from Checkmarx gave developers a rap over the knuckles about not ensuring that code was secure as it developed and provided an interesting PR example.

  • The final headline talk was from Charles Roberts of AWS. Fun fact: AWS only needs two people in its SOC as they automate everything. If AWS is talking about automation then everyone will be. Again, he also gave the developers a bit of a wakeup call – AWS is secure up to the point that developers start to mess around with it. Since everyone is heading for the cloud, trust in the security skills of developers is absolutely paramount!

Meeting real people that work in an industry day in, day out really brings a story to life so get out and about when you can. If you need any more encouragement it’s not just PR events that have wine – although if you want to understand everything that‘s discussed perhaps stick to just the one glass!