In January 2017, representatives from Baker Donelson and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) approached ARPR to help aggressively market and publicize an extension of their Cybercon Conference into a weeklong series of events. With most of the U.S. and the world unaware of Atlanta’s deep roots and modern prowess in cybersecurity, Baker Donelson and MAC formulated the inaugural Atlanta Cyber Week to highlight the city’s burgeoning cybersecurity ecosystem. They partnered with ARPR to achieve four primary objectives:
- Expose domestic and international companies and delegations to the world-class cyber workforce residing in the Metro Atlanta region.
- Position Atlanta as the premier destination for new and growing cybersecurity companies by showcasing all of the accelerators, co-working spaces, mentors, potential customers and other resources that Atlanta has to offer.
- Increase awareness and perception of Baker Donelson’s accelerator program and solicit new applications and members.
- Provide multiple opportunities for high-growth cybersecurity companies to interact with security decision makers from Atlanta’s abundance of Fortune 1000s in intimate ways not offered at major industry events.
Since inaugural events are some of the most difficult to market, ARPR advised the client that to meet or exceed its objectives would require us to implement a bulk of our Panoramic Approach, specifically a strategic mix of media relations, social media, influencer marketing and content marketing. With buy-in on this integrated strategy, ARPR initially helped Atlanta Cyber Week organizers solidify messaging and branding, subsequently followed by managing website copy writing, SEO and web navigation optimizations. In conjunction with these immediate needs, ARPR also mapped out a six-month content and storytelling plan which included a strategic mix of press releases, blogs, and other forms of content,
ARPR’s plan also included paid and organic social media recommendations across Linkedin, Twitter and Snapchat. We also advocated for a journalist panel at the week’s anchor event, Cybercon, in which we recommended bringing 3-4 prominent cyber journalists to Atlanta as a means to broaden media attention. Additionally, ARPR created and managed a robust influencer program. Specifically, we created an influencer toolkit that included collateral and information that friends and stakeholders of Atlanta Cyber Week could easily use to promote awareness, attendance, sign-ups and ticket sales. Pleased with our work and results, Baker Donelson eventually expanded our original project post-show to ensure media coverage and capture attendee feedback, as well as to continue a cadence of content and social activity in the weeks following the events.
Following a seven-month marketing and PR initiative, all stakeholders viewed the inaugural Atlanta Cyber Week as an overwhelming success. All 13 events, including the two flagship events of Cybercon and the NTSC CISO Summit, sold out (1,000+ attendees in total) with attendees from the U.S., U.K., Israel, Canada and other European countries. Notably, ARPR also helped secure three national journalists to participate on a media panel, including Tara Seals from Info-security Magazine, Jeff John Roberts from Fortune and Sean Martin from ITSP Magazine.
With 30 media placements and one national feature story in Fortune Magazine confirmed, media played a significant role in helping to meet Cyber Week objectives. In total, we distributed four press releases and secured publication of three thought leadership articles in ITSP Magazine, Hypepotamus and Global Atlanta.
Twitter and LinkedIn helped facilitate significant awareness, with each emerging as a top referral traffic source to the Cyber Week website. In addition, ads on LinkedIn promoting registration targeted CISOs, CIOs and top security professionals, garnering 27,220 impressions and an average click-through rate of 1.44% (LinkedIn’s average is 0.35%). ARPR also ended the marketing campaign with a total of 26 blog posts, far exceeding our goal. This increase is somewhat attributed to our influencer marketing campaign, which continuously encouraged stakeholders to blog by sharing with them the tangible benefits of doing so. Since the conclusion of Atlanta Cyber Week, SEO and media have helped continue the momentum, with additional mentions in media outlets such as VentureBeat.