In early May computers and major organisations across the world were hit by the WannaCry malware, what was purported to be: the world’s largest ransomware attack. An attack that debilitated NHS authorities throughout England, as well as Universities in China, major global companies such as FedEx, and hundreds of thousands of users in 150+ countries.

It garnered more than a bit of attention. A high-profile breach on an enormous scale; serving as a wake-up call to businesses of all sizes, everywhere in the world.

Exactly the kind of incident that Managed Service Providers (MSPs) would look to leverage.

Events such as these offer opportunities for MSPs to engage with their industry and clientele. However, the way in which you do this needs to be handled with care. Too sales oriented, and you run the risk of coming across as opportunistic, and exploitative, too keen to cash-in on others misfortune.

What you’re really striving for, is to promote your brand as industry experts, a thought-leader able to offer sage, value-adding advice to those who need it.

Time is of the Essence

When the WannaCry attack hit, it was a major news story – the top item across the entire media spectrum. And an issue that ran over the next few days. However, there also happens to be an election campaign going-on. Within a couple of days May & Corbyn had returned to the top of the news, cyber-security relegated down the pecking order, and eventually out of the picture.

Hit your content when interest is at its peak – when the item is still raw, and fresh in the mind.

Don’t Rub It In

If an incident has become a major news item you can pretty much guarantee that a great many people have been effected. For some, this might have been in a particularly adverse or negative way. A loss of business, a loss of livelihood, or even a risk to health.

The last thing they probably want to hear is a long-winded: “I told you so” from industry experts pointing out that this was preventable and, basically, your own fault.

If you are providing content on the subject, be sensitive and empathetic – people need the help.

Offer Solutions

Your content needs to have a degree of value; a reason for people to read or listen to what you have to say on the subject.

Frankly, the public won’t need another news item – they can get that from the BBC. Just reporting on the fact that an event like WannaCry has occurred is not really adding much to the conversation.

While you are clearly providing the content as a means to generate sales, it would be unseemly to make a sales pitch with this content. Instead, understand the issues and provide solutions. Maybe directing users towards a relevant download, or series of help guides. It’s an opportunity for you to generate meaningful engagement, establishing yourself as a trusted expert in your field. Someone whose products and services may be needed down the line.

The Last Word

Big news stories such as WannaCry certainly offers opportunities for MSPs to profile their value to the wider world. Therefore, as part of your content strategy, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of the news. Keep abreast of what’s going on, always asking yourself which newsworthy items offers opportunity for your contributions.

But ensure that your contribution adds a genuine value; delivering solutions and use to those effected without undue exploitation and an overt salesy approach. Showing your mettle as a thought leader, an MSP with a trusted voice.

Social prospecting workbook for IT firms: How to use social media to find new leads