Archives for category: good PR

working together

So here’s a thing, apparently when you brainstorm most of all the good ideas come out in the first 10 minutes – so DON’T drag it out. If it’s getting boring and everyone is chattering aimlessly forget it – reconvene and do another 10 minutes another day.

I learnt a lot yesterday on my afternoon off at #CASSINNOVATE. It was an innovation and entrepreneurship conference hosted by CASS Business School – now that’s a cool place, in the hottest part of London, just by the Silicon Roundabout in Old Street. I love the vibe there as it’s where all these “youths” call themselves “founders” of “incredible start-ups”. In the coffee break it was quite sweet really – lots of earnest, keen, bearded soles all keen to shake hands and “network”.

Actually, that was the best bit of my afternoon – the session on “leveraging the power of reciprocity” – what the hell does that mean we giggled to ourselves – as my oldest daughter Jazzy and I wondered nervously into the session. Infact, she was the real reason I was there, one of the head lecturers David Gauntlett, who is Professor of Creativity & Design at her University  – Westminster University, and sadly who she’s never actually had a lecture from, invited her to hear him speak at another University – weird that!

Anyway, we gingerly entered this weird sounding lecture on reciprocity and got handed tons of yellow post-it notes – now I am a bit partial to a post-it note so I was really excited as to what was about to happen. Well the gentle and very animated Dr Santi Furnari asked us all to start writing requests such as “anyone know of a creative graduate that has exceptional writing skills” or “I’m looking for an app designer” and “can anyone give a talk on exporting”. These were put on the white board and then the room was asked to offer their help.  Incredibly 3- 4 people could help per request.  Dr Santi said that this is what happens normally, for every request you put out there amongst your network you’ll find that 3- 4 people will be able to help you.

Now that’s pretty AMAZING. It was incredible to watch total strangers offer tangible and real offers of help.  So I think we should all try it – LinkedIn is the perfect networking platform to give it a go.  He said it doesn’t fail, it’s scientifically proved.

It’s all part of the Reciprocity ring and there are Reciprocity events – I’ll have to google them now because I love that idea of my network helping me and me helping my network more when someone needs something. So let’s try his theory – does anyone know a good hotel in Greece this summer?

And more importantly I’m now ready for next afternoon off!

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?

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).

 

happy-21-birthdayYou know when you think about starting something you don’t really have a game plan in mind – well I didn’t.  It was the 1st September 1995 and I’d just taken a gap year aged 31 with Neil Stinchcombe, my husband and partner in crime.  It wasn’t the “done thing”; we had a mortgage, great jobs, were really at the height of our careers and all our friends were settled down and onto their second child!  Neil swore after travelling he’d never go back into Accountancy, but he did (for the first two years and then saw the light and came and joined me).  I sat at my desk on Monday 1st September and started writing to everyone I knew to see if they needed PR! The first job that came in was a mate on The Sun newspaper who got me going. It’s always a mate that helps out in the beginning, right? I’d worked at News International doing PR and marketing for its new exhibitions division, so it was a natural lead.  My next big break came from a friend who had just starting working at Reed Exhibitions on this really very alien sounding event called Infosecurity Europe – what the hell were IT security, viruses, firewalls, networks, routers? You’ve got to be kidding me!  However, they’d taken on a PR agency to launch it, but they hadn’t the faintest idea how to launch exhibitions – now that was something I’d had lots of practice at!  One thing I knew was how to pull in the crowds, so I convinced the FT to write a whole page on cyber-security frightening facts and hey presto, the rest is history – Eskenzi PR had begun its journey into the unchartered world of IT security. With very few other agencies venturing into that space – little did I know that would be our calling for the next 20 years.

Eskenzi retained Reed Exhibitions for 17 years – not bad considering they were our second client ever.  To be honest, tech was never my calling, you just have to know me to realise that clothes, jewellery and interior design is really where I should have spent my misspent youth, but the people in this industry have been incredible.  It’s a real community of decent, down to earth, genuine people who have been good to Eskenzi PR and we’ve had nothing but fun for the past 21 years.

In that time, we’ve gone from viruses and firewalls – gosh that was a wee bit boring, to fantastic hacks and breaches, state on state sponsored attacks, malware, bug bounties you name, we’ve got our clients talking on it – and hey what do you know – suddenly what we do in the cyber-security industry is exciting. That sure wasn’t predicted or planned!  It was just fluke that we ended up in the most exciting, happening industry far more fun than doing plain old PR promoting the local shop or next big launch of a hand-bag!  How much more fun to be talking about squirmy, dangerous bugs that could spell disaster and eat up your phone!!

It’s all about turning geek speak into real speak and making it clear for everyone to understand and to be honest I think that’s stayed within the Eskenzi DNA – we think national press before thinking techie press!  Not a day goes by when we’re not dreaming up a way to present our clients in a way that will appeal to the masses – we always think first “will this appeal to our friends and our mums and dads?”   Our mantra has always been to turn our clients’ dreams into reality – it seems very corny written down in black and white but it’s true – if you can, why not and to be honest? It’s a simple equation – Happy CMO + Happy Board = Happy Days!

So from 21 years ago when I set up in my dining room, soon to be pregnant with daughter no.1, closely followed by daughter no.2 (which then required husband no.1 to join me to grow said business), we grew out of the dining room, built a loft, grew out of loft no.1, moved to house no.2, built loft no.2, had 17 happy years in loft no.2, until our neighbours had had enough and we had to move out!  This actually was the best move possible, because we’re now in our incredible HQ in North London, just around the corner from house no.2.  For those that have never been here, it’s a converted 2 storey Victorian warehouse which we’ve totally stripped, modernised and put windows everywhere, with huge tall ceilings, lots of colours, art and chandeliers.

Apart from our great offices here in London, we now have a brilliant team in Paris, Munich and San Francisco – that’s a team of 25! Not huge, but perfectly proportioned with just over 20 clients who have stuck with us for an average of 7 years.

We’re also not just about PR as we just can’t help ourselves getting stuck into doing fun things!

So next year we will be arranging our tenth IT security analyst & CISO forum which is 3 events rolled into one, we’ve got the www.itsecurityguru.org which is a news site that captures the top 10 stories of the day and we’re running for the second year Security Serious Week.  Boy that’s coming up fast and furiously with the intention of encouraging people to enter our lovely industry, get security specialists offering their time for free by doing 40 webinars so UK Plc is more security serious and we have the Security Serious Conference taking place on 3rd October at the Department of Culture Media and Sports.  As if that’s not enough, just because we’re suckers for trouble, we’ve also decided to organise the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards on 4th October which is all about recognising the people, not the products, who work tirelessly behind the scenes saving our bacon but rarely get rewarded for it!  Tickets for both events can be found at www.securityserious.com or click here.

Looking back over the past 21 years I can say it’s been the best journey ever, making the most incredible friends along the way, enjoying working with some wonderful clients and of course having the smartest team in the world, making it a pleasure to wake up in the morning and come to work.  To all those that are part of the Eskenzi family, we would like to say thank you for being with us on this journey and I hope we can enjoy plenty more happy and successful years to come!

So unless you live under a rock you’ve probably heard of the new augmented reality app Pokémon GO, which has attracted huge attention across the world. However, one of the unfortunate lessons we have learned working in cyber security is that if something is popular with consumers, then you can guarantee it’s also going to be a big hit with hackers.

The App was first released in the US, Australia and New Zealand, however people from other countries didn’t want to be left out so found ways of downloading it outside of official app stores.

pikachu

This raised some security concerns which our client, Proofpoint, decided to delve into and research. Upon researching they discovered that a malicious app, pretending to be the official Pokémon GO app, was carrying malware known as DroidJack.  Proofpoint wrote a blog detailing the findings and Eskenzi pitched it out to national press, IT publications and other consumer websites. Quite frankly, the results were far beyond anything we could ever have hoped for.

We picked up an amazing 533 pieces of coverage in the UK, France, Germany and Canada in one week. These include The Independent, The Telegraph, Mirror, Express, The Guardian, Wired, the list goes on and on…and on.

Predicting which news story takes off is out of our control, however, when we align pop culture, global appeal, solid research and strategic media outreach, the chances of success are in our favour.

But more importantly, Pokémon GO has now been released in the UK and is safe to download from trusted sources so knock yourselves out, some of the Eskenzi staff have certainly jumped on the bandwagon.

RAINBOW

Do you remember the day when you got your dream car? How much fun you had driving around in it!  Then, slowly, the feeling started to wear off and you wanted something shinier, faster and smarter!  In fact, if you’re in sales, you’ll know that feeling you get when you are chasing the next big deal you get a huge kick when you bag it, but it only lasts a while before you’re after the next deal.

 

Well PR is a bit like that too, where you are constantly striving for, and demanding, the next big piece of coverage – the big national, TV or radio placement!  The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! No longer are we just happy with getting into the trade publications; we don’t feel like we’ve achieved true greatness unless we get into the nationals.

 

It’s an addiction! An obsession! And we suffer from it here at Eskenzi!  What’s even worse our clients also suffer from it.  It’s totally contagious, chasing the next big story for that fantastic fix. You get it once and you want more and more!

 

The funny thing is that most of our clients come to us very disheartened about PR. They’ve often been let down by their PR agencies, and don’t really believe that they can get great press coverage day in and day out!  So, when they initially start with Eskenzi PR, they are delighted when they get into the likes of SC Magazine, Infosecurity, TechWeek Europe, ComputerWorld and Computer Weekly.  But then they want more! They start loving the idea that they’re seeing hits to their website going up day by day and then peaking when they get a great piece published.  Then they get into the likes of The Register, V3 or TechCrunch and still want more! Their sales teams start congratulating the marketing and PR teams, which we all know is virtually unknown for sales to do, because when they turn up at meetings prospective customers have heard their company name and are happy to talk to them.  They see the power of PR.

 

Then the icing on the cake happens. We get them a hit in the FT – the golden chalice!  Everyone jumps for joy!  They send out emails to the company, their customers and go home feeling proud that they’ve done a great day’s work!  It’s just the best feeling in the world – a buzz that nothing can compare to!  Then they want even more, we want more and so it happens. The next week’s coverage is just ten nice hits in the trades, but they want the nationals,. In fact they want TV.  And we then have to remind them that PR is all about peaks and troughs –good constant regular coverage in the tech press is just as important as the giant, circulation nationals!

 

Thankfully, at Eskenzi we can provide balance at the same time as maintaining our clients need for the big high!  Maybe that’s why our clients stay with us for an average of seven years.

 

This week alone, we got three clients mentioned in the FT, three different ones mentioned in the Guardian and The Times, and ITV are doing a programme with one of our clients next week. That is all on top of 330 pieces of coverage this week in the trades (and we’re talking The Register, Huffington Post, BBC.)

 

This week is no different to any other – I’d actually say it’s been quite a quiet one, as some weeks we can get 120 hits in one day! I hope, though, that we never get tired of the kick we get for our clients, nor should our clients ever get blasé with the coverage – we love it, we’re proud of it and I know they are too!  Who’d have ever thought that IT security PR would be such fun  and keep providing the constant buzz it does?!