Decoding Black Hat and DEF CON: A Visual Guide

Hackers descend on Las Vegas this month for Black Hat (July 22-27 at Mandalay Bay) and DEF CON (July 27-30 at Caesars Palace). Both events are opportunities to discuss the latest and greatest in IT security – whether it’s a new vulnerability discovered by threat researchers, or demoing a real-world hack, the Black Hat conference is gaining widespread popularity for today’s hacker.

The conference presents an opportunity for IT security pros looking for ways to protect their networks and gear, software and solutions vendors offering approaches to address security challenges, organizations recruiting talent, and reporters covering the scene, to all come together in one place.

The intensity of the discussions, the intent to recruit, and the concentration of security pros and researchers sharing best practices spotlights widespread networking activities. Often the trickiest part of the week is finding a quiet place to talk. Needless to say, there is a lot going on — thankfully, Highwire PR’s IT security practice offers a visual guide to the week, pointing out especially attractive networking venues, conference-organized activities and other promising social events.


Blackhat infographic map July 18 revised


It’s no surprise that security venues such as Black Hat, DEF CON, Security BSides and the RSA Conference (which took place earlier this year) continue to attract record numbers of attendees. Organizations and consumers are eager to learn about how to protect themselves and their peers given the seemingly endless inundation of IT attacks and data breaches.

Several Highwire PR members will be on site in Las Vegas during the week of Black Hat and DEF CON — supporting our clients and mingling with the press, all while keeping an ear to the ground on breaking news. Interested in our take on this year’s 2017 Black Hat and DEF CON – let us know! Adds Its Voice to the AI Conversation


Understanding the general public’s sentiment of AI is valuable insight for organizations that are developing these technologies for consumers in their day-to-day lives, both at home and in the workplace.

Seizing the Opportunity: The Value of Consumer Insight About AI

Enter Although already a fast-growing company and Silicon Valley “unicorn,” InsideSales had a golden opportunity to be seen as an industry thought leader and insert itself into the center of industry conversations about leveraging predictive analytics, machine learning and AI technologies to offer a competitive edge. What better way than to be the one to shed light on what consumers really think – or just don’t know – about AI?

Effective Execution: Measuring AI Sentiment with a Survey

Highwire worked with InsideSales to develop a creative, data-driven campaign called “The State of AI: Are we Friends or Foe?” to highlight the public perception of today’s most disruptive technology. We polled nearly 2,000 people from a variety of backgrounds and locations to determine how they integrate AI into their lives and which processes they were most willing to turn over to smart machines.

The survey ultimately revealed that consumers are just getting started with AI. While people are comfortable using the same technology they’ve been using for years, it’s the new AI technology–AI-enhanced assistants like Amazon Alexa and self-driving cars–that has yet to reach mass adoption. 

The Positive Results: Targeted Coverage and a New PositioningMW-FJ142_4_20170328142703_NS

Through the survey results and secured coverage in business and tech press, Highwire positioned InsideSales as a thought leader in AI technology and gave the company an authoritative voice for demonstrating where consumers might be willing to adopt AI platforms.

Glint Elevates Its Brand with a Broadcast Segment

Glint CEO, Jim Barnett (far left), highlights how incorporating data from employee surveys is important for feedback and starting important conversations.

Glint CEO, Jim Barnett (far left), highlights how incorporating data from employee surveys.

Seizing the Opportunity: Leveraging Its National Study

Glint, an HR platform that helps organizations measure and improve employee engagement, had the key components but needed to get in front of a producer to tell its story. To get CEO Jim Barnett on-air, Highwire leveraged the company’s first-of-its-kind national study about Silicon Valley retention and engagement as a timely hook to highlight Barnett’s expertise.

Effective Execution: Proactive Media Pitching


Glint CEO, Jim Barnett (right), prepares for his NBC Bay Area segment Press:Here.

Highwire collaborated with the Press:Here host on potential show topics, and once the segment was secured, the team prepped Jim to anticipate all the variables of the fast-paced, panel-style show.

During the segment, entitled “Modern Day Suggestion Box,” Jim positioned himself as a thought leader on a number of topics, including:

  • Winning the Tech Talent War: How to keep tech employees from bailing on their $200,000-a-Year Jobs
  • The Intersection of AI and HR: Why AI isn’t the future of the workplace – It’s here now
  • High-Touch Solutions to Hands-Off Problems: How AI addresses inclusion and diversity issues in Silicon Valley
  • Avoiding Popularity Contest at Work: Balancing company needs with employee wants (without diving off the deep end)

Positive Results: Reaching a Wide Audience

With about 5.25 million people in 9 counties accessing NBC Bay Area, broadcast opportunities like this one allowed Glint to expand and reinforce its brand recognition throughout Silicon Valley.

While there is lots of pre-show work, it doesn’t end when you leave the studio. In this case, Highwire ensured there was a good rapport built with the Press:Here host and panelists in order to encourage future conversations with Barnett.

Click here for more from Jim’s Press:Here segment.