The author of these lines loves to eat pretzels, likes to drink beer and when a traffic light is red, he does not cross the street no matter if a car is coming or not. In short, he is German. There are many prejudices about us Germans and some of them might even be true. In many ways, we are special – when it comes to IT security as well. Therefore, this article is dealing with the characteristics of communication in the German IT security sector. And how it is often the case with prejudices, not all of them are true, but they do exist for a reason.

However, this article focuses on the features of the IT security sector from the perspective of PR work.
The prejudice of the precise German has existed for a long time. When you look at the German IT market, this is not necessarily unfounded, because there are numerous norms and regulations which have to be observed. With the new EU GDPR, another highly respected one is currently being added. However, there are also various DIN norms which dominate the market. If you want to enter the German IT security market as a company, you should always keep an eye on the regulations and communicate how your own solution helps to comply with these.

Often, skepticism towards new things is another characterization for Germans beside the accuracy. That is especially shown in the IT sector in relation to data protection. When Germans hear the term cloud, the first questions are mostly: ,Where are the servers? Is the data hosted in Germany or at least in Europe? Which encryption methods are used?’ Especially when it comes to storing personal or critical business data, Germans have not that much trust in the cloud. Rather, the data is kept (at least still for the moment) on-premise.

Innovations – communication before implementation
Of course, journalists are aware of these concerns, but they are clearly more open for new technologies. Not only can thought experiments be realized editorially, but also first case studies can convince more companies that the use of new technologies is mostly an advantage. But we are just at the beginning of a long journey and have to constantly provide reasons why e.g. cloud computing is here to stay.

In general, German journalists in the IT security sector are more interested in facts and technical specifications than in opinions. Many of them actually have a technical qualification and usually understand even complex issues without any problems. Content can and should describe the functionality of the solution or product as detailed as possible. Empty phrases and easily understandable but inaccurate descriptions should be avoided. Stick to the facts and prove all your statements with quantifiable results.

In their articles, journalists like to use statements from experts for balance. When a company has a renowned expert for a certain issue, his statements can be relevant and integrated in the implied article. It is best when these experts not only talk about their experience but also deliver measurable results and vivid deployment scenarios.

Awareness through target-oriented content
Particularly in the IT security industry, it is difficult to attract attention all the time when the focus is on the solution and it’s brand name which is only occasionally extended by additional features. Therefore, a lot of companies use surveys and studies about facts that are related to their sector to gain awareness. This is a very popular tool to generate coverage and attention. In Germany, results of studies are also often read and communicated. But there are a few things to consider: The first and most important fact is the relevance for the German market. For example, were there German companies/customers/associations etc. among the study participants? Journalists and their readers are definitely not interested in compliance habits of American office workers in the Midwest. Therefore, you should consider how to address the German market already before creating the survey. In that way, the relevance of the content for regional journalists increases. Furthermore, the topic should produce new relevant content. , A survey among employees of a company has shown that this company is the best.’ Results like this will not be picked up. Rather place current topics like ransomware, data breaches or the GDPR in the center and provide new results and industry insights.

Data breach? – Rapid response in case of an emergency
Data breaches dominate the headlines in the IT press. A good tool to direct positive attention to the own company are so called rapid responses. Companies give statements regarding current events like a data breach and position themselves as a thought leader. But there are also quite a few things to consider. HBI has prepared a row of articles to the topic IT secutity.

The IT security sector in Germany has its special characteristics, but nevertheless, it is growing strongly. The constantly increasing number of exhibitors at German’s biggest IT security fair it-sa is a clear sign for that. Like every year, HBI will be on site with clients, listen to exciting keynotes and discuss the latest trends in the security industry. If you would like to position your company in the IT security sector, we are looking forward to meeting you at it-sa. Please contact us at vibes@hbi.de

The best restaurants to go out after it-sa, we compiled in our Restaurant Guide for Nuremberg that you can find here.

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