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We Have Nothing To Say -- Or Do We?

The first rule of appearing smart, they say, is to keep quiet, but keeping quiet doesn't help your PR. What are you to do?
The first rule of appearing smart, they say, is to keep quiet, but keeping quiet doesn't help your PR. What are you to do?This is the third in my series of posts on security PR (see "How To Talk To Reporters" and "How To Disclose A Vulnerability," plus "The Secret Sauce For Security Blogging"),

In that third post, I discussed how writing from on the ground so that people feel more engaged with your writing, as well as sharing real data along with your analysis, assures people that you know what you are talking about, and allows readers to participate.

In these two notions lays the secret of having something smart to say to the press. Specifically, marketing is always frustrated with having nothing new to say, and R&D is always frustrated with marketing being stupid (as they see it) and not getting them coverage that matters.

The key is communication. Marketing is looking to publish information on new products and new sales. So R&D is pressured to meet deadlines. R&D is looking for the branding -- they are even more keyed to it than the marketing department. Only they call it winning the respect of their peers.

As Avi Freedman once put it to me on a long drive from Boston to Philadelphia while drinking gallons of cherry cola, "People constantly underestimate how much geeks want the approval and respect of other geeks."

The respect of others entails something interesting, and something real.

On the ground level, you have the security researchers and the R&D developers. Humans are social beings, and therefore they don't just look at code all day. They share news stories, talk about something they encountered, and discuss something cool they've just seen or done.

You won't always have a new vulnerability to share with the world.

Your job is to befriend and listen to the technologists:

    1. Have they found something interesting in how old vulnerabilities are being exploited?

Recommended Reading:
Editors' Choice
Amichai Shulman, CTO and Co-founder of AirEye
Biagio DeSimone, Enterprise Solution Architect, Aqua Security