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When I booked Black Hat about 5 months ago, I was dreaming of the hot weather, great food, lovely hotels, meeting my clients and, of course, looking for interesting new ones. As the weeks grew nearer I was getting more and more excited, especially as both my daughters asked if they could come with us. The youngest just turned 21 which meant party time for them, but in exchange they had to promise they’d do some work for us and help carry out surveys on our clients’ booths.

As I got off the plane and was hit with 110 degree Fahrenheit heat (that’s 40C for all those below the age of 30), I saw a lot of men dressed in black hoodies, some with kilts on, others with skirts, I remembered what I had let myself in for – a hackers convention during August in Vegas.

Now in the whole week I was there, I didn’t see any nature, not a bird in the sky, a real tree, not the lovely sound a of wasp or bumble bee buzz pass me. Oh boy did I miss the rain, the green of the countryside, the fresh suburban air and normality. There was incessant noise all week! It was relentless – even sitting by the pool I had to endure crazy people lathering up, with a huge oversized cocktails in their hands, getting pissed at 10am and screaming at the top of their voices overshadowed by huge billboards advertising massive portions of food. The weird temperature changes didn’t help me either, especially being a menopausal women, walking around air-conditioned rooms then outside into boiling hot unbearable blasts of heat, back into into freezing cold Ubers and then back into freezing cold foyers.

It’s exhausting, demanding and very hard work! The upside was I had lots of amazing meetings with a number of my clients which were hugely valuable – there is definitely nothing like meeting people face to face, brainstorming, learning what’s happening and getting up to speed over a lovely breakfast, lunch or dinner and a tumbler of G&T which, if you know me, I’m very partial to after 6pm.

Then there were all the prospective client meetings I had – which would never have happened if I hadn’t actually been at Black Hat. It’s now near on impossible to try and phone prospective clients up or even have an email responded to these days. There’s nothing like doing your homework before you go to a trade show and approach the clients who you really want to work with. I definitely came away with some fantastic leads for not only doing PR in the UK but in the US too and, as Eskenzi does far more than just PR, it was a perfect opportunity to let people know about our IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum, the Security Serous Unsung Heroes Awards, our Hacker Tales short story book and, of course, the European Cybersecurity Bloggers Awards that we now run with Brian Honan.

I also got a feel of how the industry is fairing up, which booths had great giveaways and what the general vibe is on the street. It’s reassuring to talk to people, not only the vendors but the visitors. Mostly people are very optimistic, there was a great atmosphere, the cybersecurity industry is buzzing, VC is flourishing, jobs are plentiful, business is good and the money is still flowing freely.  Business was being done and one of my clients actually got in excess of 2000 leads.

We were also lucky to attend multiple parties. The best by far was the Rapid7 and Mimecast party, which must have had over 5000 people bumping and grinding in the Caesar’s Palace 5 roomed nightclub will all the drinks on the house – it was crazy and so much fun. My girls passed on that one, too many sweaty men they said – I think they regretted it when we got back!

All in all, if you can ignore the very strange people who frequent Vegas, the over-indulgent side of it and the fact that you’re kind of forced to be in a huge adult playground day and night, then it’s brilliant! I have to admit it was a great business trip and well worth the long -haul flight, even with the jet-lag! We picked up some great new work from our current clients, have some new clients on the horizon and most importantly met up with so many old friends that we would never have met and had fun with if it wasn’t for Black Hat.

By Yvonne Eskenzi, co-founder and director of Eskenzi PR


I thought as we’re just about to go live with our website I’d impart some of the lessons I’ve learnt from building my website that could be useful when you build yours.

Lesson One

Decide on your theme.

Look at lots and lots of websites that you like and put them in a file and build a mood board.  After a while you’ll notice similarities in the sites you like – it could be you’re going for a certain colour, or the way they scroll or move.  In my case I noticed that I didn’t particularly like sites with people in them and I liked colour and interested graphics.  I realised most sites used very similar stock photos, which were boring and predictable – I was determined ours would be bold with mainly graphics.   Work out what is the common denominator in the sites you like and then pick out 5 things you want your site to convey.  Work out what your message is – what’s the story you want to tell – do you want it to be ultra corporate, very simple and chic, funky, illustrated, techie, fast paced, should it have loads of functions, what’s the over-arching message? In essence, have examples of 5 websites you like to show your designer so there can be no misunderstandings.



Lesson Two

So now you know what those 5 things you want your site to convey – write them into a clear brief.  So that when you get to brief the designer it’s crystal what you’re after and don’t go off on a tangent.  Speak to your kids, friends and work colleagues as they’ll all have ideas about what they think looks good on a site. Gather their ideas into your document.


Lesson Three

Choosing your designer is tough – good luck.  I think it’s all about chemistry and finding a designer that gets what you want – they’ll take the lead from you – it’s better that way – which is why you need a tight brief – they’ll prefer it if you have a vision and a starting point.  Shop around and get 3-5 quotes to build your site!

Our designers came highly recommended but after 2 attempts at designs which I hated I nearly walked away – I’m pleased I didn’t because we worked it out – I think we worked it out because the chemistry was right and between us we were patient and had lots of brainstorm calls.

You’ll get crazy quotes – I got a huge discrepancy in quotes and I’m not sure why – everything ranging from £25,000, £10,000, £2500 – I also got some students who’d do them for free using Wix – have a budget in mind and stick to it.

Shop around.  From what I’ve seen it’s not about the money but about choosing a trusted partner – someone that get’s you.  Someone who has been recommended, patient, flexible and can work to a time frame.  I don’t think you need to spend more than about £3-4k for a really professional site.  It’s not the designing that costs the money but the images and copywriting – but if you can do this inhouse it will save you thousands.


Lesson Four

Timing – hmmm, with the best will in the world websites don’t get done in the time scale promised.  It’s a bit like buying a house, you’ll never find a house and move in within 3 months – it’s impossible.  Website designing is the same – I’d suggest give yourself 3 full months to get the whole process done.


Lesson Five

Photography and imagery – to get this right and keep your costs down is all about sourcing the images yourself, have an idea of what you want, stick to your guns and ideas and then write the copy yourselves.  Get someone to take photos, that you can use, you’ve probably got videos of the office and keen photographers in your office that you could get to take a dozen or so nice photos which would look great on your site.  Stock photos aren’t all that expensive but have a clear idea of the theme and then you can buy fabulous stock images – go to Getty or istock and go look.


Lesson Six

The copy – this is the six million dollar question and in my case took the longest time. My advice is to work out your copy in water tight compartments.  So work out how many sections you want to have on your website.  Then break these six sections into further smaller sections.  Can you delegate some of the writing?  Most importantly remember less is more.  People don’t want to read loads.  They prefer to read little text and lots of visuals.  Each section shouldn’t have more than a paragraph or two.  Disappear for a few days and write the copy or give a copywriter a very tight deadline to write the copy.  If you’re using wordpress which is what we are, it’s super easy to change the copy once it’s up on the site.

Lesson Seven

You need to be on the tail of your designers – as they’ll be working on lots of websites at the same time, so you’ll see at the beginning it goes really fast but then tails off – keep giving them deadlines, which they’ll miss but remember that you know it’s going to take 3 months but tell them it has to be ready in two!

Lesson Eight

SEO – you must make your site work for SEO – this has to be built into all your text and your designers should be savvy – ask they how they are going to make this work.  Our designers have recommended us to a specific SEO specialist which we’re going to pay extra for as this is essential.



Lesson Nine

Three months has passed and now you’re ready to launch it!! But don’t launch it until you’re absolutely ready.  People will keep asking you when it’s going live – never give them a date!  And if so work on your 3 month rule.  Don’t pay your designers until the site had gone live!  Otherwise like builders and decorators they’ll never do the snagging. Proof read it dozens of  times and get everyone around you to proof read it.  When you’re ready to launch it do a soft launch – don’t tell anyone – when it’s live watch it for a few hours and see if it’s working nicely.  Once you like it then SHOUT FROM THE ROOF TOPS.  Tell the world to go visit it – put it out on every social media platform you have.

My advice is when building your website reach for the Moon and you will be able to touch the stars. Be ambitious, be imaginative and good luck.


By Melanie Johnson – Account Director, Eskenzi PR

Creating a messaging document is one of those vital processes that every company should go through, but still many organisations don’t get it right, or neglect to make sure they have a fully comprehensive document in place before launching a product/solution, creating a campaign or even kick-starting a company. In fact, a messaging document should be the ‘go-to’ document for all employees, stakeholders and spokespeople to learn and understand the company’s ethos, how it should be portrayed and what its key objectives/goals are. It should also include who the company is targeting, how to target them and the challenges and issues they face, plus how the company can help them with those problems.

Getting your messaging right means it will lie at the heart of all communications including press releases, interviews, analyst briefings, demonstrations, blogs and presentations. You can usually tell when an organisation has invested time in its messaging, because everything they do fits into an overall ‘umbrella’ vision or statement.

Here are a few tips on getting that messaging right:

  1. Make sure statements are clear, understandable and not too long. Try and explain what the company or product does in one sentence or 50 words maximum if you really want a challenge.
  2. Understand who your customers are, and make sure the messaging fits with the challenges they face and what their goals are.
  3. Don’t make it over complicated by using what you think are intelligent words. Use easy to understand language and avoid using the latest ‘buzz’ words (they date extremely quickly).
  4. Following on from the point above, never use words like innovative, breakthrough, disruptive and revolutionary. If your company/product genuinely is a ‘game changer’ it will speak for itself.
  5. Be careful about announcing your company as the ‘fastest growing’ or ‘most used’ solution in a specific market. If you make bold statements, make sure you can back it up.
  6. Refrain from using marketing or sales speak, save this for the advertising campaign.
  7. Think about tailoring key messages to specific markets the organisation is targeting.
  8. Think about how your messaging can into all planned activity, from customer days, media tours to employee events.

 It is a strong advantage for any company whose spokespeople and employees can clearly describe what the business does and its goals. It does take a lot of involvement, but if you can invest the time and create a document that everyone buys into, you’ll see the benefits almost immediately across all communications.


By Lucy Harvey, Account Director at Eskenzi PR

Working within the cyber security industry means that at the end of every year we ask our clients to make predictions on what they believe will happen on the threat landscape in the year ahead. This year we thought we would apply the theme to our own industry and do some crystal ball gazing into what may be set in store for Public Relations in 2019.

Here is Eskenzi PR’s take on what we expect to see in the PR industry in 2019:

1. Our role will diversify…..even more

There can be no denying that PR has evolved from being solely about reputation management. Today’s PR consultants are skilled in crisis management, Search Engine Optimisation, social media, content creation, media, influencer and analyst relations, and as our role continues to diversify, we will likely be adding more new skills to our CVs in 2019. But what will they be?

Well one thing we have recently noticed at Eskenzi is the desire from clients to produce more digital content, such as videos and podcasts, which has been putting our production and editing skills to the test.  The podcasts and videos have been a huge success so far and we anticipate this will continue well into 2019 and beyond.  This is also one of the reasons why we just launched Eskenzi Digital – a new creative growth agency, which is dedicated to producing content on various digital platforms to help our clients build awareness.


2. Coverage will be king

Despite our efforts focusing more on social, one thing that we don’t expect to change is the importance of coverage. Whether it’s print, broadcast, radio or social, a well-earned hit in a top media outlet will still be the number one goal.


3. Social, social, social: All PR activity will continue to have a social element

It has long been known that social is a critical part of our job and this will definitely continue next year. Every piece of content we create will have a social aspect, whether we are producing podcasts for our clients or writing articles specifically for LinkedIn. Social will play a part in everything we do. We also predict that the rapid response process could become more social. Why send out written comment to media when you can send a Facebook Live video instead?


4. Content creation will become an even bigger part of our job

As our jobs are increasingly driven by content, it should come as no surprise that content creation will continue to be a huge part of our jobs next year. Whether it be writing whitepapers, articles, comments or blogs, we will continue to showcase our writing skills next year and beyond.


5. We will focus even more on SEO

Whether it be links back to client’s sites or links to social media, every piece of content we produce will have to deliver SEO value.


6. It will become increasingly difficult to sell the value of PR

This is undoubtedly a challenge every PR agency will continue to face. What impact does PR have on the bottom line? What sales growth are we seeing for PR? How is PR different from advertising? When we get these questions, and we will, we need to assure clients that PR can be critical to the success of a company. People can very easily spot the difference between a paid for placement and true editorial, and a good piece of PR coverage is one of the best ways to build trust and reputation between an organisation and its target audience.


So that’s our take on what we expect to see in the PR industry next year. Roll of 2019 and let’s see if we are right.

By Yvonne Eskenzi director and co-founder of Eskenzi PR

After nine years of working for Imperva, I couldn’t be happier or prouder that they’ve been bought by Thoma Bravo for $2.1 billion. 

It’s a little like having a baby and watching it grow up through childhood, go through the teen years and then leave home. We’ve been through so much together from finding their first client at Incapsula, to various acquisitions, an IPO and now the ultimate dream. It’s been a marriage made in heaven. and now we must say goodbye – leaving the whole Eskenzi team feeling a bit sad – but that’s just like being a proud parent – our job is done!


As is the Israeli way, Imperva have gone on to spawn so many other great companies over the years which we’ve been lucky to also be involved in. and we’ve also made so many wonderful friends too including the loveliest man of them all Amichai Shulman alongside Kim DeCarlis, Criss Marshall, Lisa Croel, Rob Rachwald, Tami Casey, Barry Shteiman, Marc Gaffan, Mark Kraynak,Morgan Saunders, Edgard Capdevielle Noa Bar-Yosef, Christine Royston, Diane Ashfield, Courtney Ostermann, Winifred Shum and Tim Matthews.

Good luck Imperva and Thoma Bravo on your journey together.


To find out more about how we helped Imperva on their journey, please contact


By Conor Heslin, senior account executive at Eskenzi PR


As someone working at a PR agency who are deeply embedded in the cybersecurity sector, I’ve been provided with a window into an industry which, for the large part is hidden from public view. When the general public think of cybersecurity, a good portion of them still think of unsuspecting companies being targeted by hackers in hoodies in darkened rooms. What they don’t think of are the teams of dedicated security professionals who aren’t stealing credentials, or hacking into networks, but are stopping the bad guys from doing so! So, if you’re a young graduate in a STEM subject reading this, and don’t know a lot about cybersecurity career opportunities, this should help to explain why it’s such an interesting career choice.

  1. It’s well paid!

One of the most important things to consider when starting any new job is of course the salary. According to graduate jobs and work experience website Prospects, starting salaries for cybersecurity analysts start between £25-35,000. Within several years, the salary can be expected to rise to £50,000, with leadership and management roles receiving in excess of £75,000. Not half bad!

  1. There’s plenty of jobs to go around

As it stands, the cybersecurity industry is desperate for talented employees to fill all of the necessary positions. As more and more companies, organisations and even nations begin to take cybersecurity more seriously, the need for staff continues to go through the roof. An estimated 3.5 million security jobs will be unfilled by 2021 according to one prediction. While this is bad news for employers, it’s good news for potential employees!

  1. The industry is incredibly accepting of neurodiversity

While this is not a reason that will apply to everyone, it’s still an incredibly important one. Neurodiverse individuals, particularly those on the autistic spectrum often struggle to find any kind of work, let alone work which celebrates their differences; this is not the case in the cybersecurity world. According to the Disability Horizons website, people with a forensically keen eye for detail (such as those across the autistic spectrum) and those who have the ability for hours of intense focus are perfectly suited to careers in cyber.

  1. You’re on the front-line of a brave (and sometimes terrifying) new world

Cybersecurity seems to be gaining more and more influence over our lives by the day. Whether it’s phishing or malware leading to the mega data breaches we’ve seen over the last few years, connected devices expanding at an alarming rate, or hostile governments engaging in campaigns of fake news, cybersecurity exerts a significant amount of influence on life in 2018. Working in the sector allows you for a chance to be at the coal face of this seismically important industry!

For more information on some of the fantastic companies who operate in the cybersecurity space, please visit

Melanie Johnson, Account Director – Eskenzi PR

The whole communications industry is changing at a rapid rate, and for a long time now the PR industry has debated whether the traditional press release is dead.

In today’s fast paced world, people are consuming news in a different way, and this is the same for how journalists pick-up stories. Nobody has time to read through a page and half press release about a product announcement or company update, so as an industry we need to look at how we are sending that news out and how people are consuming stories.

Content, content, content


Content is king, that is a very cliché saying but it’s true. What you write in your press release has to be of interest to the journalist, their readers and the industry. Just talking about the new features or widgets of your company’s latest product won’t get covered in those top tier publications (unless you’re Apple),but talking about the challenges and issues it helps the end user resolve will. People want to know why they should buy that specific product and how it will support them in their drive to be successful.

Think about unique research too. To support your story, try and compile some industry research that offers knowledge to the reader. For example, stats on industry issues, how many people are targeted by hackers or how much money is lost etc. It creates a talking point and then you can follow with how your company can help with those issues.

We all know momentum releases are there to keep shareholders happy, but bear in mind, people don’t like reading a story about a company blowing its own trumpet. So, make sure you have a good story to tell, and not just that you’re opening another office in San Francisco.

Tailor news


One thing that will get your news noticed by journalists is if you tailor the news to the publication and its readers. For example, a financial title will want to know numbers, so make sure you have these if pitching your press release to the FT.

Also, take time to get to know the journalists you’re pitching to. Read what they write, follow them on social media to see what makes them tick, and try to find out what will get their attention. Unfortunately, in today’s world a one press release fits all approach no longer works. In fact, some journalists like pitches via Twitter which means you only have a few characters to get your pitch across. And that point leads me nicely onto…

Different platforms


The rise of social media now means you have to split your press release up to different formats for Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Also, it means that your target to get your news our there may no longer be just journalists, but ‘influencers’ too. Always prepare these social media updates along with the press release to make sure you get them right. You could look at creating a blog/article for LinkedIn rather than just pasting you press release.

Be controversial


Why not be a little ‘out there’. Say something different in the press release that will get people talking, but not too controversial to cause issues.

So, is the press release dead? I think not, but the way the communications industry approaches drafting that release and the way it is shared must change.

It is still a vital tool to make sure the company, its spokespeople and press targets understand key messages around an announcement, but once it has been finalised, it does need to be broken down into various forms to spread the news and gain interest.

As we all know PR is changing and so must the traditional tools we used.

By Yvonne Eskenzi, co-founder and director of Eskenzi PR


Three years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to run a week totally dedicated to cyber-security awareness as part of European Cyber Security Awareness Month.  Since then, Security Serious Week has developed into a series of fun, entertaining, informative events that get the industry together and, at the same time, educate those that aren’t necessarily from our industry but want to learn how to become more security savvy.


This year, it kicked off on 1st October with a flash mob in Trinity Square Gardens which had over 70 companies offering their one-liner tip on how to become more security savvy in 10 words or less.  Canon UK, who is a great supporter of the Week, printed each slogan on a huge canvas for each company to hold up as part of the flash mob. We had a whole wealth of supporters from Government departments such as the Department of Culture,  Media and Sport, ActionFraud and The Home Office through to Police constabularies from Bedfordshire to the City of London. Companies such as Publicis Groupe and Channel 4 attended with lawyers from Cordery and Cooley, as well as representatives from large cyber-security vendors from the very biggest to the very smallest.  Mimecast then kindly invited everyone to the pub for pizza where there was more pizza than we could ever have eaten in a week – so we all ended up eating it for days after; and let me tell you, heated up pizza in a frying pan is something else!!


What scares me is, like a mad woman, I then decided to hold our third Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards on Wednesday 3rd, where we ended up having queues of people waiting to get into our “piss up in a brewery” party – with over 200 people attending.  Eskenzi does love to hold a party, especially if it means loads of wonderful food and drink; and this really was a party to be remembered. What’s more, everyone got to circulate, meet new contacts and do business at a very high level.  I’m a true believer that’s how business is done, over mini fish and chips, pork sausages and a gin and tonic.  Honestly, the real reason for holding these awards was in protest to all those horrid award ceremonies I’ve been subjected to over the years where I’ve had to pay exorbitant amounts to sit next to dreadfully boring people and clap unwillingly for vendors who have paid to win.  We all know what a farce they are, so the idea of these awards is to celebrate the very people who do the work at the coalface, not products but people who work tirelessly behind the scenes protecting our systems and workforce.


The awards were over in 30 minutes and (pretty self-deprecating), with a little heckling with wine or beer on tap so no one got bored. There is nothing more wonderful than presenting the winners and runner-ups with huge silver trophies (that they can keep) and watching them come onto the stage with great pride and joy!! Now that’s what these awards are all about. The winners’ names can be found at


As if two events aren’t enough to keep us busy during the week – we then decided to issue our Hacker Tales – Bedtime Stories – a series of short fictional stories to make your hair stand on end, to scare you into taking security seriously.  They’re like a wake-up call to do something about your own security with over a dozen short stories and helpful hints and tips at the end.  The book is free to download from  If you would like to contribute to the next edition which will be coming out in January, then all you need to do is submit up to 1500 words on a scary scenario and make it riveting and exciting.  Send it to


We’ll be doing Security Serious Week again next October and always looking for fun ideas to get the industry together, so if you have any just let me know or if you would like to sponsor the awards we’d be delighted to have you on board.

By Lara Lackie, Account Director at Eskenzi PR


One of our main goals as a PR professional is to secure press coverage for our clients, but reporters are busier than ever before thanks to the never-ending news cycle.

Since the dawning of the social media age, consumers expect news in real-time, which means journalists are inundated with emails, press releases and phone calls all day, every day. With so many people vying for their attention, you need to build strong relationships with the media and make sure your pitches are on point, as well as crafting attention-grabbing email headers to make them want to even open your email in the first place!

I’ve lost count of how many pitches I’ve sent to reporters over the years, but you learn pretty darn quickly that blanket emails or non-relevant pitches won’t get you anywhere. Here are a few tips and tricks for pitching media, which will not only help secure meaningful coverage for your clients but will also help cement a great working relationship with reporters.

Research is Key


Before even thinking about drafting your pitch, it’s worth refining a media list and working out which reporters will be interested in your story. A good way to do this is by conducting some desk research using a tool such as Meltwater. You can run an influencer search using keywords, which will help you discover reporters who have written on a specific topic. You can then tailor your pitch exclusively for them.

Keep in mind the type of media outlet you’re contacting. National newspaper journalists are often up against very hard deadlines, so think carefully about how and when to reach out to them.

Speaking to a reporter on the phone gives you more leverage to be persuasive and sell in your story. However, it seems to be that more and more journalists don’t want to be called by PR folks, so find out how the reporters you’re pitching like to be contacted. Resources such as Cision will flag whether a journalist prefers emailed pitches vs. being called on the phone. Some even specify contacting them on Twitter, so you then need to contend with condensing your pitch into 240 characters or less!

Make it Personal


Never take a one-size-fits-all approach to media pitching and sending out a mass email is a big no-no. Spend time developing different angles for different reporters.

Once you’ve determined the angle for each outlet or journalist, it’s time to put the research you compiled to work to further personalise your pitch. Let them know why you’re reaching out to them specifically. This is a great time to reference works they’ve published that led you to believe they’d be interested in your story. You’ve committed time to do research — make that clear to them.

Make it Easy for Them


As previously mentioned, journalists are very busy, so you need to make sure that your story is an easy win for them. This comes back to doing your research beforehand. If you’ve narrowed down your pitching pool, consider offering your story as an exclusive to the outlet that would be the most interested in your news.

Cultivate and Maintain Your Relationships


Contacting the journalists and influencers you already know well (and that already like you) is much easier than going in cold, which is why it’s so important you get to know the reporters that make sense for your clients. If you only reach out when you want coverage, that will be obvious, and they’ll probably start to ignore you.

Remember to not hassle them! Send your pitch once and, if you think your story is strong, try them again. If they haven’t responded after two rounds of communication, they’re likely not interested and pinging them a third time is a no-no.

Feed these relationships by staying in contact, and when you do receive coverage, always post them across your social media channels, mentioning the reporter in your post.

Do the journalists you’re trying to reach take time out of the office for meetings with CEOs or other spokespeople? Possibly not. But it’s important to know and cultivate those that do.

As a PR person, you can offer to take journalists out for coffee or lunch – this will give you a great opportunity to quiz them about what they’re working on over the next few months.

A well-crafted pitch requires hard work on your end, but the resulting coverage you secure will speak volumes. By doing your homework, being thorough and taking a personalised approach, the media will appreciate your efforts.

Even if your pitches don’t always land, you’ll develop stronger media relationships that will help you secure quality media placements down the road.

By Melanie Johnson, account director at Eskenzi PR


Video is a much more convenient medium to absorb a message. Nowadays, people lack the time to sit down and read articles on the way to work or at lunch, but you regularly see commuters on a busy train watching a video.

Rather than ploughing through 500 words or more of mundane content, people want a short snappy video that clearly demonstrates what the ‘brand’ or company is wanting to say or trying to portray to the potential customer or even an engaged user without much effort. Video also allows the viewer to see the product or service being used in a real-life situation or an environment they are familiar with.

Done right, creating a video can have a massive impact on engagement from costumers and potential clients, plus separate a company from its competitors, but how does one go around creating an effective and engaging video? Below are some top tips for getting that video right:

Start strong


Your video needs to grab the attention of someone when they are scrolling through Twitter or browsing LinkedIn quickly. This means you need to start strong. Make sure your video opens with a breath-taking moving image or provocative statement, one that takes the viewer back to keep their attention and wanting to see more. This could be taking a look at the challenges your customers are facing and creating a question asking them if they’ve experienced that problem or creating a video of that situation they can relate to. Grab the viewer straight away and tell them why they should care.

Make it aesthetically pleasing

This is one of my favourite phrases and probably one I repeat too much, but people like to watch things that are pleasing to the eye. Visual story telling helps people to grasp concepts and data far more easily than just words. Add graphics, infographics, footage of real people and customers so they can relate to what you’re trying to tell them.

Keep it short


No one has time for a 15-minute video, or event two-minute one at times. Keep your video short and snappy and keep it flowing with rhyme and pace. Find some music with a steady beat, and why not speed up and change the pace of slow parts of the video. If you feel the video is still too long, why not break it down into a short series. This will not only create shorter videos but more content that can be shared over a longer period of time.

Get them thinking and wanting more


If the viewer has lasted to the end of the video, you’ve got them hooked but how do you keep them engaged for the next video? This is there you need to drive home that part about ‘why they care’.

You could simply create a summary of what you have said or ask them a question to continue thinking about the issue or challenge. For example, “Is ethical hacking actually ethical?” and ask them to leave a comment or share your video. Also, make sure you tell them what the next video will be about, when it will be available and where to find it. Always have a call to action at the end.

Have fun!


I think my last point is just to have fun when you’re making videos. No one is going to watch a video where the presenter, interviewee or subject looks bored or totally unengaged. The only way to overcome this is to make sure everyone involved in the project (or video) is having fun, I mean, if you believe in what you’re talking about, plan well and everyone feels comfortable in what is being produced the ‘fun’ will come across to the viewer. The worst videos out there are of awkward CEOs, CISOs and other board members not enjoying being videoed in front of a company logo.