From Niche Player to Cybersecurity Expert
Radware, a security and application delivery provider for virtual and cloud data centers, approached Affect to increase awareness and recognition of the firm’s security products among decision-makers in target verticals to support lead generation and drive sales.
Affect successfully increased Radware’s share of voice from less than 20% to 36% within the first 4 months, exceeded goals for top-tier media coverage in Radware’s key publications (153 articles, or nearly 300% of media results targets and more than double the previous 7 months’ earned media placements combined).
Over the course of the next four years, Affect secured 500+ earned media placements for Radware, with 171 pieces of coverage in 2015 alone.
Radware, a network security and application delivery provider for virtual and cloud data centers, worked with Affect over four years to steadily increase awareness and recognition among decision-makers in target verticals and business publications to drive lead generation and support sales efforts.
In the summer of 2012, Radware was growing, with more than 10,000 customers worldwide in industries ranging from telecommunications to retail to financial services. However, executives were concerned about its media profile. A strong presence in the media relative to heavyweight competitors is a critical component of the company’s lead generation and sales activities, and coverage was falling short of the target – 25% share of voice. Affect had provided marketing, social media services and communications counsel to Radware for six years, but hadn’t been called on for media relations support until now.
Using Affect’s proven signature media relations tactics, Story Hijacking and Trend Intervention, Affect successfully increased Radware’s share of voice from less than 20% to 36% within the first 4 months, exceeded goals for top-tier media coverage in Radware’s key publications (153 articles, or nearly 300% of media results targets and more than double the previous 7 months’ earned media placements combined).
Over the next four years, Affect steadily grew Radware’s share of voice against heavyweight
industry competitors. This included increasing Radware’s top tier media coverage by 77.8% with 46.8% of total coverage within Radware’s top 20 outlets.
RESEARCH & PLANNING
Affect’s approach to proactive media relations is built on two signature tactics: Trend Intervention and Story Hijacking. Trend Intervention includes tracking media coverage and discussions to identify the latest trends and join the dialogue in relevant industries. Story Hijacking involves offering an immediate response to breaking news that adds commentary, analysis and speaks to implications for a specific target audience. Both tactics position spokespeople as industry thought leaders, build media relationships and drive coverage without relying on the company to generate news.
Radware’s primary goal was to raise its profile and increase awareness and recognition of the firm’s Attack Mitigation System and other security products among decision-makers in target verticals. The team identified the top 20 publications relevant to their sales targets. Next, Affect worked with Radware to determine program objectives that would move them toward this goal, including:
Objective 1: Increase market awareness for Radware’s security solutions – increasing media coverage by 25% year over year and penetrate top 20 business, IT and strategic vertical publications. Secure 10-15 pieces of high quality, feature-oriented earned media coverage per month.
Objective 2: Establish Radware executive as leader cybersecurity experts for media – dominating share of voice in 50% of key categories for media coverage. Increase use of Radware’s proprietary data and insights in media coverage.
The Affect team worked closely with Radware spokespeople to leverage their resources and expertise, including proprietary data – to make sure that the team was ready to be a media source the moment that a cyber incident occurred. The team planned Story Hijacking efforts with the company’s program objectives in mind – with a specific focus on commenting on financial, ecommerce and government cyber attacks. Affect laid the groundwork by scheduling introductory briefings with top tier reporters so that they would think of Radware as a source when cybersecurity news broke. Additionally, Affect employed the following tactics for media outreach:
Affect Tactic 1: Monitor media activity related to the cyber attacks and network security; leverage up-to-the minute intelligence from the Radware ERT to provide proprietary insights to target media; maintain regular contact with target reporters to keep Radware top-of-mind relative to competitors.
Affect Tactic 2: Formalize Radware reports – issue an annual Global Application and Network Security report and a quarterly State of the Union For Ecommerce Page Speed and Web Performance. Create media anticipation for Radware’s data – and create evergreen opportunities for report intelligence to support Radware opinions, perspectives and product positioning.
Affect engaged in aggressive Story Hijacking and Trend Intervention at key moments in the news cycle (e.g. major banks hacks in 2013, President Obama’s Cybersecurity proposals, state-sponsored hacks etc.) and worked to leverage the ERT and its resources with the media and continuously break news based on its investigations of cyber incidents. Thanks to Affect’s efforts, as the campaign progressed, reporters at Radware’s target publications recognized the company and its spokespeople as go-to sources on the attacks and began coming to the team for insight and commentary.
Affect’s efforts yielded a steady stream of media opportunities and coverage, elevating the company’s experts as thought leaders on security, and demonstrating a clear impact on revenue. From 2013 – 2015, Affect secured 500+ key media hits and bylines for Radware, including but not limited to:
National Business Press: Associated Press, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Forbes, Fortune, Fox News, TIME, The Wall Street Journal
IT Trade Publications: CIO, CSO, Dark Reading, Help Net Security, Network World, SC Magazine, SecurityWeek
Vertical Trade Publications/Blogs: BankInfoSecurity, Bank Systems & Technology, Chain Store Age, Federal Computer Week, GovInfoSecurity, the Hill, Institutional Investor, Politico, Total Retail, VMBlog
By 2015, Affect secured 500+ pieces of coverage for Radware and increased top 20 coverage by 78% from 2014. Based on a competitive analysis, Radware also emerged as leader in three coverage categories (Customer, Partner, Other) and ranked second place in two others (Product, Commentary). Finally, Affect secured three ongoing columns for Radware spokespeople in key trade publications publishing 20+ articles in 2015 alone.