For the Citigate Cunningham team that worked on keeping the SurfControl brand relevant and alive during its acquisition by Websense, there were several key lessons learned, much of which had to do with being media-friendly while knowing how to artfully deflect certain issues. Following are four major points:
• Being a go-to resource for the press on issues (the impact of social networking on enterprise IT security, sudden shifts in malware, etc.) is always a good way to generate buzz.
• A survey on a timely, compelling issue can be a great way to garner high-profile coverage while turning attention away from unwanted speculation or a controversial issue (For example, SurfControl commissioned a survey on Trust & Risk in the Workplace and leveraged the data to secure top tier, positive coverage in publications like Investor’s Business Daily)
• A key strategy is having from day one solid media and analyst relationships in place, so that influencers have the context on the company’s strategy. This helps when you hit a bumpy patch.
• Leveraging third-party advocates such as partners and customers as spokespeople really lends credibility to the company’s relevance.