Starting any new job can be a daunting experience, particularly when starting in a junior position in a niche industry such as cybersecurity. When I arrived last Monday for my first day at Eskenzi, I had a multitude of questions about the tech and PR industries respectively, but very few answers! Thankfully, my new team proved more than helpful in getting me up to speed as quickly as possible. First, I was introduced to the office properly, learning everyone’s job titles and the associated responsibilities. This allowed me to gain direct examples of how a PR agency is structured, and the work associated with each role, from Account Executive right through to Director.

Secondly, I was introduced to our clients. Account Director Lara took me through each of the accounts I will be working on, offering me a brief and useful overview of the specific role of each within the Cybersecurity sphere. I found out as much information about these companies as possible, and immediately found myself excited at the prospect of working with major players such as Alert Logic, who lead the industry in Cloud security systems, and NuData Security who specialise in using passive biometrics to identify users, I’ve relished the opportunity to research these companies, improving my understanding of each of their unique places in the wider industry.

Next up was getting to grips with Eskenzi’s methods of monitoring and pitching to the media. Securing and recording coverage gained for our clients is a top priority for Eskenzi as in any agency, and an understanding of how to do this is fundamental. I was given step by step instructions of how to track and record media coverage of our clients, and compare it with the coverage gained by their competitors. This is useful as it provides me with real-world examples of PR in action; being able to show our clients their share of the media voice, coupled with analysis of the type of coverage is crucial when feeding back our progress, and thinking strategically about the future.

Wednesday evening gave me an opportunity to experience a more casual aspect of the role. Eskenzi had organised an informal evening of drinks and food for some of the journalists we work closest with. This was an opportunity to put faces to the names I was going to spend a significant amount of time emailing! The event was a great success, and provided an opportunity for me to get to know some of my colleagues at Eskenzi, and in the wider technology industry that bit better.

By Thursday, I felt ready to try my hand at some writing! I was asked to draft a pitch for an article regarding cloud security for Alert Logic, and how businesses can adapt their security solutions in line with moving to a cloud computing system. This was a particularly enjoyable experience, as it was a chance to use my natural passion and academic experience of writing, in a professional capacity. As an English graduate, chances to use your writing  skills outside of personal hobbies or essays are far and few between, so to have found an industry where writing is necessary, not just encouraged, is fantastic.

I was also given the opportunity to write a piece of content from scratch for one of our clients NuData Security. This again was a fantastic opportunity to try my hand at writing to a house style, and about an area I was not an expert in. This content was designed to support Fraud Prevention Month which runs throughout March, and detailed how individuals and businesses can take simple measures to counteract the ever-increasingly ingenious ways fraudsters will attempt to target and access your assets.

Friday was an excellent opportunity to take stock of all that I had managed to learn in my first week. Whilst obviously still finding my feet in the industry, I think the outstandingly warm welcome, coupled with wealth of support and advice I was given, means I am in a perfect position to become a key member of the team, and to help Eskenzi’s clients secure the best coverage possible. All in all I would consider my first week at Eskenzi to be a great success, and hopefully by the time my next blog post comes around there is nothing about cybersecurity, or indeed PR that I won’t know!

By Conor Heslin, Account Executive

 

It’s been another fantastic year at Eskenzi PR. The company grew by 25% in 2016 and we brought on some great news clients who have enjoyed becoming part of the Eskenzi family such as FireMon, Synopsys and Nozomi. I think we can genuinely say we have some of the hardest working PR folk in the biz and the proof is in the pudding: a combined total of 14,628 pieces of press coverage in 2016.

Last year was a definitive year for cybersecurity – we saw Newspaper seriesthe rise of ransomware and IoT attacks, and of course there was the Yahoo breach – one of the biggest in history; then there was the Mirai botnet that was responsible for taking disrupting services on some of the world’s biggest ISPs.  It’s fair to say all of these things and more kept us busy!

But it’s not just the news that we jump on, our clients create their own stories and, well, some of them are just utterly interesting in their own right.  We each found different (yet equally valid) routes to success for the year with our clients.

For Lucy, it was working to a target that kept her particularly driven: “As part of our KPIs we were to achieve around 400 pieces of coverage in a special tier of 35 publications which the client selected. It was difficult to achieve, but in the end we met, and surpassed, our target.”  She also achieved over 1200 pieces of tier one coverage for another client.

Dulcie was approached by Universal Studios to create a
mock up of a cyber-security show to use in the 2016 Jason Bourne film. She jumped into action and worked with 15 of our clients to take on the challenge of getting involved by building mock up stands, providing merchandising off their stands such as T-shirts, flashing glasses and logos all to appear on the big screen.  It was a fantastic branding opportunity that many of our clients embraced and just one of those fun opportunities that being an Eskenzi PR client can provide!

Julia found that by jumping on the Brexit train and coming up with a knock out survey that appealed to the UK media in particular was her high point.  “The Brexit survey got more than 40 hits and the client’s coverage levels overall increased by 46% from the previous year.”

Lara was delighted to work with one client who was so responsive and involved in the PR process, that together they achieved over 800 pieces of coverage in just four months, including 20 national news hits.

As media evolves, so must we.we-love-pr
Katie had a super achievement in setting up the first Facebook Live interview with the BBC.  “Just as much effort and time goes into setting these interviews up by comparison to a TV interview and the result is arguably more pertinent,” she said. “It led to the client having a spike in traffic to their website and it can still be viewed
online and has had over 225,000 views to date.”

For me, it was particularly enjoyable to create and sustain relationships with clients and really get involved with their businesses to help solidify their messaging and relay it to the press.  One successful exercise was to identify the thought leaders in the company and get their voices heard within the industry, so it’s not just one spokesperson, but a nice range of advocates.

These are all strategies that we will continue to use and evolve in 2017 and look forward to another stellar year!

… 89 Pieces of Coverage, 13 National Hits and an interview with Reuters

At the beginning of September, Eskenzi partnered up with cyber security start-up, Redscan, for a three month contract to build up momentum in the media. Redscan decided to join us for a trial run to see what we could do, and we were more than happy to show them.

As Eskenzi specialises in cyber security, we know all the journalists and media opportunities in the industry inside out, so we were easily able to secure coverage from day one. In particular, we found that rapid responses on breaking stories worked well with this client as they were quick to respond and knew how to write snappy, insightful commentary which journalists can use as sound-bites.

The most successful rapid response was on the Dyn cyber attack which caused a huge internet outage. Robert Page’s comment on the attack achieved 28 pieces of coverage including the Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail and syndicated across the UK and Spain.

We also had great success with article placements, getting Redscan thought leadership right into the heart of the publications that their customers read, including the finance vertical that they were looking to target; Huffington Post, Finance DigestInformation Age and IT Pro Portal.

Today marks the end of our initial three month contract with Redscan and we are proud to have achieved 89 pieces of coverage for them, resulting in an estimated reach of 433,949,721. This included:

Redscan were obviously delighted with the coverage and we look forward to helping them further their profile in 2017!

If you would like us to do the same for your company, why don’t you follow in Redscan’s footsteps and try us out?

If you’re knee-deep in PR planning for next year, you might be interested in hearing about some of the additional packages that we currently have on offer at Eskenzi PR.

The following services can be purchased as standalone packages or to complement your existing PR programme. If any of these are of interest, please contact Yvonne at yvonne@eskenzipr.com or 020 7183 2832.

  • Social Media (identifying influencers, monitoring services and conversation building)
  • Content creation (brainstorming, strategy, thematic content mapping)
  • Internal communications (weekly or monthly newsletters, ‘brag books’ of PR coverage)
  • Market survey on a ‘hot topic’ (devise and launch a PR survey using external research agencies)
  • IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum (16/17 May, London)
  • CISO lunches (sponsoring a CISO lunch club)
  • Security Serious Conference and Awards (sponsorship and presenting opportunities)
  • Security Serious Awards (sponsorship opportunities)
  • Additional reporting services (detailed reporting over and above regular PR reports)
  • IT Security Guru (utilising the site for lead generation or branding)
  • Visual cartoonist
  • Mercedes Benz Racing Day (standalone event with CISOs, seminars and hospitality)

 

Eskenzi PR is now arranging third-party product reviews on the IT Security Guru by Dave Mitchell, a respected technology reviewer for leading IT publications.

The reviews cost £1,000 and include a PDF for marketing use after the review is published. Reviews are also sent out to the 3271 IT Security Guru newsletter subscribers, tweeted to its 8565 followers, and written about as a news story on the Guru website.

Dana Holway, Director of Corporate Relations at AppRiver, said the following about the recent review of an email encryption product:

 “Third-party reviews are significantly more influential than anything we could directly communicate to potential clients because people prefer independent, expert opinions.  That’s why Security Guru’s 5-star ranking has benefited us tremendously. We’re able to point to a neutral source who has used the service, had the complete customer experience and recommends it to others. We have used the review right across the organization from marketing to sales and it’s proved to be an invaluable, influential and cost effective piece of collateral. I would highly recommend a review in The Guru.”   

Dave requires a minimum of a month to review the product, and we can help you to plan the publication accordingly. For further details please contact Lara at editor@itsecurityguru.org

The first ever Security Serious Week conference took place at the Department for Media Culture and Sport on the 3rd of October to kick off Security Serious Week.  The morning consisted of three panel discussions on topics such as coping with the changing legal landscape, how UK’s top CISOs tackle security awareness and why it’s important to think like a hacker; followed by a presentation from “human lie detector” Jenny Radcliffe on protecting employees from social engineering.

The event was followed by a networking lunch sponsored by Mimecast.

The free conference was open to C-Suite professionals in the UK plc, of which we had 150 register to attend, and the Churchill room at the DCMS was packed to capacity!

Matt Hancock, the UK Minister of State for Digital Culture wrote a blog on the event here: http://dcmsblog.uk/2016/10/getting-serious-cyber-security/

To get involved with conference next year, please contact Beth Smith 02071832843

Unless you’ve been hiding from the internet over the weekend, chances are you’ll have heard about the extraordinary DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn which took down major websites including Twitter, Reddit, Amazon, Spotify and AirBnB. The story broke on a Friday afternoon (as these stories always seem to) and it was all systems go in the Eskenzi office, firing the story off to our clients, hungry for any extra information, opinion and insight that they could give.

A story of this magnitude is relevant for all of our clients which means that we have to get good content from each of them individually, we also want to make sure they all work well together. Asking them all different questions, finding each of their research on DDoS and working with them all in different time zones means we could get different content pitched from each client, which got some fantastic results:

The story continues to develop and the problem isn’t going away any time soon so we’re keeping our eyes peeled on the story on behalf of our clients.

The Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards took place Tuesday night at St Bart’s Brewery in London and honoured those who work tirelessly to avert disasters from attacks against our critical national infrastructure, defend their networks from the daily onslaught of breaches and highlight the cyber pitfalls to educate everyone.

The list of winners is below:

  • CISO Supremo (sponsored by Varonis)
  • Mark Jones, Allen & Overy
  • Avtar Sehmbi, HSBC
  • Dr Robert Coles, GSK
  • Thom Langford, Publicis Groupe
  • Andrew Rose, NATS
  • Godfather of Security (sponsored by GSK)
  • Brian Shorten, Charities Security Forum
  • Professor Fred Piper, Royal Holloway University
  • Security Avengers (sponsored by Lastline)
  • Publicis Groupe Team
  • Best Security Awareness Campaign (sponsored by Publicis Groupe)
  • Amar Singh, GiveADay
  • Social Media Saviour (sponsored by Proofpoint)
  • Katie Sanderson, Lockcode Cyber Security
  • Mobile Mogul
  • Charles Brookson, Azenby
  • Security Leader (sponsored by Acumin)
  • Quentyn Taylor, Canon
  • Cloud Security Superhero (sponsored by Mimecast)
  • Andrew Hardie, BCS
  • Fraud Fighter (sponsored by Imperva)
  • Luis Aguair, Metro Bank
  • Game Changer (Sponsored by CrowdStrike)
  • Hugh Boyes, IET Cyber Security
  • Marathon (Wo)Man (sponsored by Eskenzi PR)
  • Vicki Gavin, Economist Group
  • Spidey Sense (Sponsored by AlienVault)
  • Professor John Walker, HEX Forensics
  • Captain Compliance (Sponsored by Netskope)
  • Eddie Dynes, Gatwick Airport
  • Cyber Writer (Sponsored by Smile on Fridays)
  • Warwick Ashford, Computer Weekly

The free event was a chance for the UK security industry to get together, network and enjoy a short awards ceremony compered by the immensely witty and humorous Clive Room, Chair of the White Hat Ball Committee.

Lead organiser of Security Serious Week, Yvonne Eskenzi, Director of Eskenzi PR said:  “The daily headlines of hacks and breaches emphasises the challenges the UK and the rest of the world face – but that doesn’t mean we should roll over. The Unsung Heroes Awards means professionals from the private and public sectors, plus media and bloggers, will finally gain the recognition they deserve. Hopefully, these individuals will act as ambassadors for the profession, encouraging any promising hackers to join the good fight rather than be lured over to the dark side.”

David Peach of the Economist Group described the evening as “A really fun event to celebrate the UK security community” while Martyn Croft from the Salvation Army called it “The best unknown awards in the world.”

The Unsung Heroes Awards are part of Security Serious Week, a week long campaign that aims to arm individuals and organisations with the intelligence and capabilities to thwart attacks. You can still take part by registering for a number of free webinars going on throughout the week.

To register interest for next year’s Unsung Heroes Awards or Security Serious Week, please contact: Beth Smith, Eskenzi PR, beth@eskenzipr.com or phone 02071832843.

heroes-awards

 

Last Friday our clients’ comments were published in hundreds of different publications across the UK, US, France and Germany, here is how we did it:

On Thursday morning reports started to surface that Yahoo was expected to announce a huge data breach so we notified our clients straight away and asked them to prepare comments on the information that was available so that we could jump on the story as soon as it broke. Our clients prepared comments and then it was just a waiting game.

Around 8pm on Thursday night the story broke, Yahoo had officially announced the breach. So we immediately told our clients and asked if they needed to update their comments given the new information. As many of them are based in the US, they were still at work so getting a quick response wasn’t difficult.

By 9pm we had issued the comments to national and security press. Minutes later, Al Jazeera asked for a television interview and we managed to get a client on air that same evening.

Before even getting into the office the next morning we were already getting interview requests from the likes of ITN and International Business Times UK, let’s just say it was a very busy day of rushing around trying to get clients to TV studios in ridiculously tight deadlines (it’s situations like this that a private jet would be useful). We also asked our teams in France and Germany to translate the comments and issue them out (these are regions where responding to news like this is not the norm).

200387165-001The results were pretty incredible, the Press Association article syndicated across 447 publications, so the clients that were lucky enough to be mentioned in the article achieved a year’s worth of coverage in one day! Hits included, the Daily Mail, Independent and Huffington Post. In France, Le Figaro (a big national newspaper) even covered the story and other hits included InformatiqueNews.fr and Speicherguide in Germany.

What was interesting was that the few clients who were not quick enough to give us comment on Thursday did not get much coverage at all, even though we had sent their comments out on Friday morning before 10am. This is likely to be because journalists were so saturated with comments that they only used the first batch they received and wanted to push their stories out as soon as possible. So it really paid off that we were prepared to work unsociable hours on Thursday night (although let’s hope this doesn’t start happening too often).

 

Imperva released its annual DDoS Threat Landscape report in August and we were tasked with pitching it out globally.

One of the biggest problems we face when issuing annual trend reports from our clients is that because so many vendors produce similar reports, unless they are saying something really significant, they are not always of the greatest interest to press. This means before a client starts working on a report we will discuss the results and establish its newsworthiness. In this case, Imperva’s DDoS report proved to be very newsworthy.

Imperva’s report analysed DDoS attacks over the last year in order to track changes and look at how the threat landscape is evolving. Two of the key findings from the report were that the UK is now the second most targeted country with DDoS attacks, and that South Korea has taken the top spot for countries launching DDoS attacks, overtaking China for the very first time.

We pitched out the report in France, Germany, the UK and the US and the results will pretty unbelievable and far better than we could ever have expected. We generated 50 pieces of coverage globally with top hits in the Wall Street Journal, International Business Times, Dark Reading, FedScoop, IDG, Wired, TechWeekEurope, SC Magazine, Le Monde Informatique, Solutions-Numeriques.com, CIO-Online, Silicon.fr, and many more.

Needless to say, both Eskenzi PR and Imperva were delighted with the results.