Archives for category: happy clients

Imperva

Okay, so I’m seriously buzzing from the Imperva Israeli Press Tour. Inspirational, energetic, dynamic, humbling and creative are just a few of the adjectives that are swirling around my head when I think back to the trip. I have been surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds in the world – most of whom have come out of the 8200, the elite intelligence division of the Israeli army.

If you can imagine a city of wannapreneurs – a place where it feels like everyone has just jumped out of the starting gates and are in the race to get to the finishing line, and whoever gets their first wins the million-dollar prize money – and that’s not fiction, that’s reality!  Look at the cyber-security companies that have come out of Israel – Checkpoint, Imperva, Cyber-Ark, Trusteer, which was sold to IBM, Tufin, plus many have R&D offices in Israel such as Akamai, IBM Security, Raytheon and RSA.

What happens in Israel is what happens when you throw a stone in a pond and it creates a ripple effect, a chain reaction. For many of those privileged and talented enough to have worked at Imperva, they have gone onto start up their own brilliant innovative cyber-security companies, many of which have been backed by the original founders of Imperva, including the true greats Shlomo Kramer and Amichai Shulman, who have both helped to spawn many successful start-ups.

Amichai, who is definitely one of the loveliest and brightest men I know, took the time to take us down Rothschild Boulevard where all the start-up companies hang-out of the most beautiful restored Bauhaus buildings. Each compete to be funkier and more fun than the next and are jammed packed with eager start-ups bursting with yet another brilliant solution that will hopefully solve the latest cyber-security threat.  The start-ups sit side by side the venture capitalists and angel investors – who incubate, nurture, counsel and invest in the new guys on the block.  It’s what Amichai is now doing after his 15 years building Imperva, now one of the most successful companies in data security and DDoS protection.  He has begun to invest in many incredibly innovative and needed solutions, as well as mentoring and lecturing, which seems to be the way it goes in Israel.  The idea of collaboration and helping one another is key to why Israel is so successful in cyber-security – the older, successful generation go on to help and support the younger generation.

There is an eco-system in Israel where businesses believe in supporting each other. I was told that if you have a new product or idea you’ll never be turned away by a company such as a bank, retailer or pharmaceutical company – their doors are always open as they are happy to trial beta products. It is the Israeli way.

These guys also trust each other emphatically and use their network to build their businesses – most of the founders of the start-ups I met had served alongside each other in the elite 8200 intelligence division of the Israeli army for the super brilliant.  Because they’ve trusted and had each other’s backs in the army, they have grown up like brothers, so it’s natural to continue trusting and working with each other, developing products that they see a need for once they leave the Israeli army.  The same goes for some of the other incredible businesses I met from the OFEK division, which is the intelligence division of the Airforce.  Panorays,a company well worth watching, was one that totally impressed me as they perform automated third party security management – a booming and much needed requirement with GDPR looming.

The education system is very much geared towards encouraging kids to go into cyber-security, too.  I met a friend over dinner whose son at 14 had just started a boarding school that specialises in computing and cyber – can you imagine that here in the UK? He is obsessed with computing, coding and hacking, so now he can do it safely and responsibly in the confines of a centre of excellence.  From these sorts of schools of excellence, they all then are conscripted into the military for a minimum of two years, which is where – if they have the aptitude – they are picked for the 8200 intelligence unit.

Ingeniously, this whole system helps sort out any skills shortage problem they may have because they are encouraging the kids from a young age to consider cyber as their career choice.  Interestingly, it’s only after military service do they then go onto University, and even then they have multiple Universities of excellence for cyber-security for undergraduates to choose from such as Ben Gurion University, Be-er Sheba.

During the press tour, we had six journalists from The Times, the New Statesman, SC magazine, Dark Reading, TechTarget and Bloomberg and were privy to a lunchtime discussion about why Israel is a cyber-security hub. We heard from Ofer Schriber, YL Ventures; David Mimran, the CTO of Ben Gurion University, Be-er Sheba; Nir Lempert, CEO of MER Group and a Deputy Commander of the 8200 Unit; Matan Or-El from Panorays and Roi Yarom Head of Policy Planning for the Israeli National Cyber-Security Bureau – here we saw the real professionalism and passion, the inter-relationships and camaraderie.

From this meeting I learnt, too, that the Government has a huge part to play in promoting and nurturing cyber-security in Israel; they have numerous schemes and initiatives to develop this area, plus they send lots of companies of delegations around the world to form partnerships. In fact, another of our clients IRONSCALES were away for part of the week on a funded trip by the Government on a trade mission to Tokyo, where they returned delighted that they had actually closed real business and made some incredible partnerships.  Another very interesting and worthwhile lesson to learn from the Israelis!

Like the rest of us, they do have their fair share of the cyber-skills shortage, but nothing like we see here in the UK or the US. The issue was more that everyone had a burning desire to stay only for a few years at a start-up and then be the founder of the next cyber-security start-up – so the same old retention issue that we’re all so used to seeing on our own turf.

The other remarkable difference about why I think Israeli companies do so well is the fact that everything is so close. Literally, where we spent most of our week, you could walk to every meeting, pop in to the folks next door, meet in one of the many coffee shops or cute, boho chic bars to catch up. Actually, in Israel I’m beginning to think everyone knows everyone else. Each time I mentioned someone they seemed to know them or were happy to make an introduction – everyone seems to be running in the race together – and if you trip up, or need a helping hand they are truly there for each other, to support, mentor and share where they can. I genuinely got the feeling they were in this fight to beat cyber-security threats together.

If you get the chance to visit Israel, then snap it up. It has a buzz about it which I found incredibly infectious and fun to do business there. Plus, where else can you go in December where it’s 80 degrees and you can eat outside in some of the best restaurants and bars in the world?

 

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TV is often considered the holy grail of PR, and one of the best ways for clients to really get noticed in the wider marketplace. As a result, we make great efforts to maintain regular contact and good relationships with TV producers for the various channels, and regularly get our clients interviewed on news programs offering comment about breaking news stories. But getting BBC Click to film and interview a handful of our clients at our offices for a special program about security was a rare highlight. Here’s how it happened…

Last May, as usual, we were busy contacting reporters in advance of the Infosecurity Europe trade show to offer interviews with our clients. We had managed to interest producers in speaking to a couple of clients but, as so often happens with TV, their plans changed at the last minute and we had to cancel. But we stayed in touch, and a few months later, we discovered that BBC Click was planning a special show about security to coincide with the annual DEFCON conference in Las Vegas. So it was a perfect opportunity to try and persuade them again to include some of our clients.

We had lengthy conversations with the producers about what they were looking for, and suggested some of our clients that might complement those storylines. As a result, the BBC Click team descended on the Eskenzi offices for an afternoon and filmed a series of our clients talking in-depth about pressing security issues. AlienVault and Cylance both discussed the growing availability of ransomware on the dark web, and demonstrated just how easy it is to purchase these exploits. Meanwhile, Positive Technologies demonstrated how easily a cash machine can be hacked via the Windows XP operating system that many of them use.

But the icing on the cake was persuading BBC Click to send a reporting team over to Newport, Wales, to film on location at Airbus CyberSecurity’s Security Operations Centre. The footage effectively captured the various services that Airbus CyberSecurity can offer, the types of customers that it works with, and the effectiveness of their SOC team at responding to global threats, like WannaCry. In short, it was a PR’s dream. Even better was the fact that, as a result of seeing the film, Airbus received an important inbound sales lead from a potential customer in the water industry.

The full program – Fear and Coding in Las Vegas – can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08zqpm0

The world of social media was rocked last week when Twitter announced that it would allow people to increase the length of their tweets from 140 to 280 characters. The move follows a trial among a small group of users during September, in response to criticism that it was not easy enough to tweet.

During the test period, only 5% of tweets sent were longer than the original length of 140 characters, and only 2% used more than 190 characters. But the social media site revealed that those who did use the longer tweets got more followers, better engagement and spent more time on the site, according to a blog post which detailed the findings.

But soon after the announcement was made, the Twitter backlash began, with newsfeeds quickly clogging up as people tried to experiment with the new format, often using up the characters with meaningless words and jokes. Many pointed out the changes they would rather have seen, such as a crackdown on hate crime, or the introduction of a chronological timeline and edit function.

But how could this change affect those of us working in PR? Twitter is another medium that we use to contact reporters about client news, and when we’re dealing with complex reports, then the additional characters might allow us to include a different angle or additional detail beyond the headline. The change should also be useful for social media analytics, giving us the potential to track influencers’ interaction with brands in a more meaningful way.

But the move could also spell trouble for consumer-facing organisations who deal with customer services on Twitter. Public complaints made in this way could soon become more detailed and potentially damaging for brands, and to diffuse potential crises it will remain key to respond quickly and take any damaging conversations offline where possible.

Any brand communicating with their customers via Twitter would do well to remember the Twitter backlash when the announcement was made. The platform has become popular as a micro-blogging site, and succinct communication is key – so it will be important to avoid any unnecessary words, and make every character count, to retain high levels of engagement.

Twitter currently has 330 million active users, compared to 800 million for Instagram and more than two billion users for Facebook. The change to 280 characters is part of Twitter’s broader plan to attract new users and increase growth.

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

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!

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?!