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RSA Conference 2023: Three Trends for Journalists and PR Pros

With RSA Conference 2023 (RSA-C) less than a week away, PR teams have been scouring media lists, refining pitches, and generally running around like crazy to ensure that their companies are covered as extensively as possible. Some reporters’ interview schedules have already been filled for weeks.

While for most companies, RSA-C prep work is ending, there is still time to up-level your communication efforts.

My colleagues and I on AxiCom’s cybersecurity team have been heavily engaged in developing media strategies for our clients looking to announce news at RSA-C. Through dozens of calls with reporters planning on covering RSA-C, we have some insights on the storylines that reporters are tracking, and what they expect to dominate the media landscape coming out of the conference.


First, no one can deny that generative AI, such as ChatGPT and its derivatives, will feature heavily at this year’s conference. Without a doubt, many stories to emerge from RSA-C will be about the next AI widget, or how AI is being used to “fight” hostile AIs or to provide an additional layer of security.

Interestingly, what we’re hearing from journalists is that the AI story is not exactly what they are clamoring for. The true coverage breakouts in the AI space will be stories that have a broad impact. Just highlighting your company’s AI developments will not be enough to stand out from the crowd. Show how your company’s implementation of AI solves a problem or makes the world a better place.


This storyline will delve deep into the Identity and Access Management (IAM) space. In fact, the first keynote, given by RSA’s CEO Rohit Ghai is titled “The Looming Identity Crisis.” There will be significant discussions about the future of digital identity, zero trust, and the passwordless future. This is all geared toward answering one of the toughest problems in cybersecurity, balancing access with security. It is no mystery that insider threats continue to be a large area of concern. The key to sticking out here is to avoid buzzwords with no meaning, and instead focus on telling the truth about your product’s capabilities and tie them to real-world problems.


The third theme which we think will carry through RSA-C is that people have always been, and still are, the weakest link in any security schema. There will be some discussion of IAM and MFA fatigue preventing 100 percent adoption of more secure practices. Additionally, the pandemic and related work-from-home remote push has created additional threat vectors that security teams are still struggling to cope with. Finally, the difficulty of hiring security personnel will be on full display. This will tie in with the robust discussion around AI as companies are turning to that technology to shore up staffing shortfalls.


This all begs the question, how can companies that don’t have products, services, or stories that fit these themes stand out and earn great media coverage?

Multiple reporters across trade, channel, business, and top-tier outlets have made a point of mentioning that they are looking for commentary on the state of the industry.

  • Where is the industry now?
  • Where is it going in the next 3-5 years?
  • What are the biggest threats that the industry faces?
  • What is the industry doing well?

Securing this coverage comes down to three simple things. First, make sure that you have someone on site who is willing and able to speak on these issues. Second, ensure these executives have a perspective to share and that they are not afraid to make reasonable forward-leaning statements. Finally, make sure that your ground game is on point. Proactively seek coverage opportunities, it’s not impossible for a casual conversation to turn into great coverage.

While these recommendations are no substitute for having a strong outreach plan in place before the conference, they will certainly help your company have the best shot at securing coverage during RSA-C.

To learn more about how AxiCom’s cybersecurity communications team can partner with your company, connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at [email protected].

Important disclosure: We’re proud to have RSA as an AxiCom client.

Written April 19, 2023 by Tod Freeman