Archives For author

As August begins, it seems only right to reflect on the pretty amazing (and record breaking, FYI) June and July that Eskenzi and ESET have achieved. From pushing out ground breaking research to working around the clock during the Petya/ NotPetya attack that crippled the world, it is fair to say we’re pretty pleased with not only the quantity, but quality of the coverage we have accomplished over the last 2 months. Some say summer is about sun and sangria but for us on the ESET account it was all about research and ransomware (a Tech PR’s dream, right!?).  But anyway, I digress. Take a look below for some of our highlights.

Industroyer

Before Petya, ESET were already doing pretty well. They had released their ground-breaking Industroyer research and Account Manager Katie worked ridiculously hard to achieve 41 pieces of coverage in 1 week- this included pieces in some of the UKs biggest news outlets like The Guardian, The BBC, IB Times and The Sun. However, not even this could prepare us for what was coming next.

Petya

On the 27th June, the Petya/ NotPetya ransomware infected computer systems worldwide, little more than a month after WannaCry. ESET were quick from the offset, putting all their efforts into researching the constantly developing situation, and thus, we had a constant stream of materials and updates to send out to the journalists who were hungry for details. Katie (fresh back from Glastonbury) and I worked around the clock, sending out media alerts and setting up interviews with the ESET team (from the tube in the morning, might I add) and our efforts did not go without reward.

ESETs Petya research resulted in 60 pieces of coverage across national newspapers and in top tier industry press. In one week, ESET were featured in the Financial Times 4 times! Not to mention the BBC, Reuters and the IB Times!

As the month drew to a close, Petya was far from over and the fallout was still hot news. As we went in to July, we already had a total of 189 pieces of coverage under our belt, and had broken all our own records; could we live up the challenge and do it all again in July? I think so.

With the fallout from Petya still crashing down around the World, it seemed unlikely that ESETs magical June was going to end abruptly. ESET ensured that they stayed ahead of the game- this gave us a helping hand, as the content we had to send out was in demand. It was new, and more often than not, it was breaking news; we had journalists contacting us around the clock for new statistics and updates on the ransomware.

The first week of July went by in a ransomware-ridden blur- by the time we got around to putting together the weekly report we were more than happy. We had achieved 82 pieces of coverage for ESET- 44 pieces of which were in top tier national publications like the FT, the BBC, SC and Wired. This put our grand total of Petya related coverage at 142-  over a two-week period!

From this, I am sure you can tell just how busy we have been on the ESET account over the last two months. Our grand total for June and July totals at 350 pieces of coverage and we are very proud to say that a lot of this is in top tier, top quality outlets. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the great team we work closely with at ESET; especially the fab (and kinda famous within the cyber community) Mark James, Security Specialist and spokesman. His quick responses and unbeatable insight into the world of cybersecurity makes our job that little bit easier.  We are excited to see what August has in store, and if its anything like the last two months, this is going to be a very good summer for the ESET-Eskenzi partnership!

By Michelle Marriott, Account Exec at Eskenzi PR 

By Elizabeth Nikolova

I joined Eskenzi PR as an Account Executive exactly a year ago, straight after I finished my (BA) Communication and Media course at Bournemouth University. As I admitted in my interview, I had done a bit of marketing through my university placements, but I hadn’t worked in PR before. I was aware I had to learn a lot (especially as Eskenzi specializes in cybersecurity PR), but I was up for the challenge.

I certainly feel like I’ve learned a lot in the past 12 months and so I wanted to share my key takeaways from the job:

  1. Good communication is key

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase a million times, but communication is, indeed, paramount so everyone on the team is on the same page. Whether you’re liaising internally with your manager, pitching an idea to your clients or passing along a key message to journalists, you need to do so with great efficiency and confidence. This applies both for your verbal communication and written correspondence. Also, make sure that you get back to clients, colleagues or journalists within an hour and try to be as helpful and proactive as possible (even if it’s just to say “Thank you”.) And in the case where you’re not sure how to respond, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Instead, you should make sure they know you’ve seen the message and you’re currently looking into the issue. Don’t leave them hanging. This shows not only your professionalism, but helps in the process of building strong relationships. And PR is all about building relationships. Finally, keep in mind that the way you communicate portrays an image of you and your company, so make sure you do it right.

  1. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise (and be organised)

As an Account Executive, you juggle a lot of tasks for different clients all at the same time and if you’re not organized, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Indeed, taking the time to prioritize your tasks upfront will pay off by increasing your overall productivity. So, what I’ve been doing to stay on top of everything (and what pretty much everyone in Eskenzi does) is making sure I’ve got a to-do list for the day or even the week. I usually write the list down in my notebook, but you can also use sticky notes on your Desktop or the good old Notepad/Word. Whatever it is you prefer, make sure you have that list and you stick to it. When you know, what needs to be done, it’s much easier to prioritize and efficiently manage your time.

  1. Learn what constitutes as a newsworthy story

In the 24/7 news cycle, stories grow old pretty fast. So, it’s important to keep track of what’s currently happening in the media and think about what editors and journalists will find interesting, or exciting, or important. Of course, this will get easier with time, but it’s certainly valuable to get into the habit of looking for relevant stories both in terms of time and relevance.

  1. Always be on the watch for a good one

Once, you know what defines as a good story (some clients or journalist might have a different set of criteria, so don’t feel disheartened if they don’t agree with you) make sure you’re on the look for it. You can create a list of publications or websites for monitoring or set Google alerts for relevant keywords. In any case, make sure you’re the first to learn the breaking news. If you find something good, then make sure you share it with your colleagues (you’re a team after all). And similarly, if you feel stuck and cannot find anything new or interesting, ask around the office – someone might be able to help.

  1. Listen attentively

Apart from being a confident speaker, you need to be a good listener.  You will need to be able to appreciate other people’s priorities and pressures. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is by taking notes and trying to understand other’s goals and priorities either during catch-up calls or face-to-face meetings (or through your day-to-day email conversations). For example, if a journalist doesn’t cover security/technology stories any more, it’s important to make note and don’t pitch him/her such stories (and make sure the rest of your team know that, too).

  1. Write a pitch that a journalist will actually read

Writing good pitches is hard and even if you do so, there’s no guarantee that journalists will read them. Naturally, journalists and editors are bombarded with tons and tons of article pitches, quotes or press releases daily. So, what can you do to stand out? Build good relationships with them by making sure you get back to their comment requests with strong, useful quotes and show that you value their time by only sending them relevant materials. Once you’ve established those relationships, journalists will open and read your emails (and even have you as a first point of contact when a big story breaks).

  1. Be a team player

At Eskenzi we’ve got small and big teams, internal and external ones, and I think this predisposes you to learn to be a good team player. Being a good team player means that you must work efficiently with other people who might have different responsibilities, backgrounds and levels of experience. It also means that you need to be reliable, encouraging and approachable, when someone is seeking advice. So, for example, if a team member needs help with one of the media monitoring tools, then you’d need to step in (provided you know how to help them). Furthermore, great team players step outside their comfort zones, put the team’s objectives above their own and take the initiative to get things done without waiting to be asked.

  1. Have a clear goal behind every campaign you undertake

Defining clear goals every week, month, quarter or before you begin a campaign can help you keep track of progress and give you direction on where you need to concentrate your efforts and energy. After identifying what a successful campaign looks like, create a step-by-step execution plan and start off your campaign. You can do all that while you brainstorm with your manager or your whole team and remember don’t be afraid to make recommendations or suggestions about how something can be done.

  1. Have a problem-solving attitude

In your day to day tasks, you’ll surely fall into a situation where you’d be asked to do something you don’t know how to do and here is where good communication and teamwork step in. However, if the matter is time sensitive or your manager is on PTO or your colleagues are also unsure of how to respond, then be proactive and throw out your solution. If it doesn’t work, then start over. Put your creative hat on and try to work out the best way to fix the issue (and do so without being asked). Having a problem-solving mindset is one of those things you gain with practice, so make sure you do it often. In addition, when you have this attitude, you become a valuable resource for your team.

  1. Be ready to do your best (even if a story breaks on a Friday afternoon)

In the last couple of months, we’ve witnessed system around the world being hit by two cyber-attacks (Yes, I’m talking about WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya) both of which either happened over the weekend or on Friday afternoon. When something major like this happens whether it is Monday morning or Friday afternoon, you need to think and act fast and sometimes stay after hours to secure an interview or TV opportunity.

  1. Do your own PR

When you’re working in PR, you focus so much on doing others’ PR, you sometimes forget you must do yours, too. What I mean by this is, when you’ve got an exciting project coming along or you’ve managed to get your clients in the FT or Forbes, be sure to share it with the world. Put it on your website, on your blog, share on your social media channels or mention it while you chat with journalists or clients.

  1. Be genuinely nice to people

In an industry that is primarily built on relationships, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and just be nice to people. Whether it is at a networking event, face-to-face interviews or over email – be polite and try to understand others. Properly maintaining relationships with clients and journalists is crucial. You can do that by follow-ups, thank you cards, holiday gifts or simply checking on them regularly. What’s more, marketing and PR teams as well as journalists often work under a lot of pressure and get tons of emails daily, so make sure you’re polite and ask how they are – you’d be amazed how such a small thing can change the conversation.

And finally, remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not quite there yet, just keep on trying your best.

You have to laugh! This morning, Conor – who is our fabulous Account Executive and has been with Eskenzi PR for about 4 months, thought he’d made a mistake when he looked at his press cutting monitoring service and saw that one of our clients (who will remain anonymous for fear of making our other clients jealous), got over 192 pieces of coverage in literally a few hours – he honestly thought they’d made a BIG mistake! But no, when #Petya or #NotPetya hit, the Press Association were onto us and wanted commentary immediately which they supplied and got syndicated to every single local paper in the UK. That followed very quickly for many of our other clients as our switchboard went red hot within 20 minutes of the story hitting the press, with dozens of journalists wanting answers to the latest #ransomware hit – all giving us the heads up that this story was far bigger than those we see every other day. Actually, all our clients got a fair crack of the whip, with quotes being attributed to them in the BBC, Reuters, PA, The Times, Evening Standard, ITV, Mail online, NY Times, USA Today, plus all the trades like Computer Weekly, SC mag, Gizmodo, Silicon, CBR, and IB TImes to name but a few.

It’s true to say that our staff worked manically around the clock and eventually crashed at about 2am in the morning, with our US team carrying the baton once we’d clocked off. So today seems to be just another typical day in the office in the world of cyber-security

 

A look back at my first week at Eskenzi PR

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 and achieve in my first week. Rohit and I (another new Account Exec at Eskenzi) managed to achieve some fantastic results from our first venture into the PR world. After writing several pitches, we were rewarded with some fantastic placements. I had responses from household names such as The Economist, and BBC News. I was also lucky enough to have placements with trade press leaders such as SC Magazine for NuData Security, and Rohit managed a spectacular first-week result by gaining FireMon coverage on the Mail Online website! For a newcomer to the PR industry to gain coverage on the world’s largest news website speaks volumes about the quality of coverage we at Eskenzi strive for, and the feeling of satisfaction in securing exceptional coverage for a client is not to be underestimated!

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.