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Public Relations/Communications | Media Relations | 85. Newspaper Placement
In May 2018, Zintel Public Relations LLC, a fast-growing cybersecurity PR firm began representing one of the firm’s publicly-traded technology clients. The client, Inside Secure, is trusted to protect some of the world’s most well-known apps, chips, content and devices. But despite the client’s many product offerings, one particular type of vulnerability they had identified wasn’t getting the coverage it deserved.
The client’s technical experts explained that as cars become more and more internet-connected, they become vulnerable to completely new types of cybersecurity threats. After all, legacy car manufacturers don’t focus on cybersecurity as their core business. Additionally, regulations in this area are largely absent.
As Zintel PR researched news coverage to gain added insight on the emerging issue, the account’s management team discovered that a number of car thefts actually took place using smartphone hacking. Some connected cars were even remotely taken over while driving on the highway. Without proper protection, smartphone applications that control cars could be pathways into controlling hundreds or even thousands of cars without a user’s consent. This was a major story; yet surprisingly, these alarming incidents were relatively isolated and the issue of automotive cybersecurity hadn’t really broken through to mainstream press – let alone the protections available to car manufacturers and their customers.
As a direct result of the firm’s consistent relationship building, it secured an earned media placement in USA TODAY’s leading print newspaper. The article reached the front page of the paper and a large graphical spread on the cover of the Money section. It was also published across their affiliate network and on their high-traffic website, yielding subsequent placements in numerous local papers and on their sites as well as Yahoo! Finance.
While the media campaign is ongoing, landing a placement in a leading U.S. daily paper represents a first for this widespread cybersecurity concern, drawing attention from policymakers and the general public who are unknowingly left vulnerable to large-scale attacks on their personal data and now, their cars.