Archives for posts with tag: PR

I’m sure the title of the blog has given you a clue about the content of this blog, but we are delighted to finally be able to share with you our news, that we’ve been keeping under our hats (or perhaps crowns may be more fitting in this case) for a few weeks …

Eskenzi PR & Marketing has won a 2018 Queens Award for Enterprise!

The Queens Award is an incredible accolade, celebrating the outstanding achievement by UK businesses across a number of categories, from innovation to sustainable development. Eskenzi has been recognised for its contribution to the UK’s economy, and we are one of just 152 companies that have received the honour this year for overseas trade and International growth.

Having worked within the cybersecurity space since the very beginning, we are proud to be part of a sector that has grown from something very niche, where only those ‘in the know’ really understood its importance, to an industry which continues to dominate mainstream news headlines, and is discussed at everything from dinner parties, student union gatherings, board meetings and government debates across the globe.

We work tirelessly to do our bit in highlighting the challenges of cybersecurity, and bringing them to the attention of the masses; from DDoS attacks, phishing and Ransomware, all the way through to Nation State Hacking, GDPR and the Skills Gap, you can be sure that Eskenzi are there, finger on the pulse and ensuring our clients are in the right place at the right time to be positioned as the thought leaders they are. We couldn’t have done it without our fabulous clients, both past and present- so we extend a big thank you to all of you.

Our services span across the globe from the US, to France, Germany and Benelux- and of course, our headquarters in High Barnet, London. We are a tight knit, PR family, and we really do pride ourselves on delivering only the best. Each achievement we reach for our clients spur us on to aim for bigger and better the next time, and so as you can imagine, The Queens Award really does have us all pretty electrified here at Eskenzi HQ (and beyond!).  We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline, from a trip to the Palace and the presentation of the award at our offices – which we will of course, keep you all posted on.

For now, however, thank you all for joining us in whatever capacity you have on the incredible journey that Eskenzi PR has been on (so far). We’re almost certain our next chapter is going to bigger, better and even more wonderful than we can even begin to imagine.

 

–  Queens Awards Winners 2018, over and out!

 

 

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womens day

Today at Eskenzi HQ there was cake- we had our own ‘International Women’s Day’ celebration, and joined millions of others around the world recognising the need for gender parity. First implemented in 1975, International Women’s Day is a global celebration identifying the achievements of women; 2018 has already seen huge campaigns like the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements dominate headlines, challenging issues such as sexual harassment, equal pay, education and femicide (to name but a few), and the conversation is far from over (Hooray!).

Looking beyond just Eskenzi, PR is renowned for being inclusive of women- in fact, according the Holmes Report, women make up 70% of PR staff. However, when it comes to looking to the top, women only hold 30% of management positions in the sector- a figure which drops to 25% when looking solely at 20 of the largest PR companies. Of course it doesn’t stop there- the gender pay gap is all too apparent the industry, with PR Week reporting earlier this year that it can reach a huge £75,000 difference between men and women, at senior corporate levels. Unreal, right!?

Now, looking at the industry we work closely with, gender diversity in the tech has long been a talking point. Research shows that, despite industry growth, over the last 10 years’ female representation in the industry has stagnated- only 17% of those working in the industry are female and when looking higher up the ladder, things aren’t that much better – only 1 in 10 are IT leaders. With only 7% of students taking Computer Science at A-Level being female, there is a clear need for action to encourage young women to pursue a career in the field of technology.

It has been 100 years since women in the UK gained the right to vote, yet The World Economic Forum estimates it will take another 170 years to reach gender equality (shocked faces all round). Equality should know no bounds, yet we have reached 2018 and women of all ages, across every industry and in every country, are still having to fight twice as hard to be heard and to achieve.

As Hilary Clinton said- ‘“I believe the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st Century.” The time for change is now- together we can break every glass ceiling.

By Michelle Marriott 

… 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).

 

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.

In November we gained a new client called CertiVox; a Shoreditch-based cyber security company with a big vision to change the whole structure of the internet. In what we thought would be a normal meeting to get to know our new client, we were left gobsmacked at the big ideas and goals that this start-up had. The CertiVox CEO told us that trust on the internet is broken but he has a solution to fix it, as simple as that. It didn’t take us long to realise that this would be a very exciting client to work with, they had clear goals in mind and they wanted our help to achieve them.

CertiVox wanted a makeover and rebranding to become MIRACL. Our job was to take this new name that no one had heard of before and turn it into a well-known and trusted company. As if this wasn’t a mammoth enough job, it had to be done in time for their next round of funding this February.

In the first few days of working with MIRACL, before we had even met them properly, M&S had some technical glitches. So we practically threw the MIRACL CEO into a cab to the ITV News film crew in London to discuss the breach on national television. Not a bad way to kick off work with a new client.

Once we had time to catch our breath after the excitement of ITV news, we sat down and came up with a PR strategy to match MIRACL’s ambitions. We decided on a timeline to issue press releases surrounding MIRACL’s partnerships and work with big companies such as NTT and Experian. What we found particularly interesting was that Experian had selected MIRACL’s M-Pin technology to provide secure authentication for the millions of UK citizens who use the Gov.Verify service to log into any government activity websites such as DVLA and HMRC.

This coincided nicely with the tax return deadline of January 31st which would require anyone filing their tax return online to login using the Gov.Verify service. So we came up with the idea to carry out a survey on scams around tax returns. We then turned this into two press releases which achieved 180 pieces of coverage in publications such as the Metro, Yahoo News and MSN.

While all this was happening, we were also looking out for news stories around certificate authorities on which MIRACL could comment so that their voice can be heard on the issue, and it certainly has been in publications like SC Magazine and TechCrunch. Of course we also provided comment opportunities on big news stories in the industry such as the recent report which found that “123456” was still the most popular password. This achieved 30 pieces of coverage including the Guardian, Mirror and Metro (again!).

There was also the recent HSBC Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack; terrible publicity for HSBC but great exposure for MIRACL’s CEO whose comments were included in publications such as International Business Times and Computer Business Review. On the following Saturday we had a call from a small television channel you may have heard of called BBC, asking for someone to talk about the Lincolnshire county council ransomware incident. We managed to convince the reporter to send a cameraman to Brian’s house for some ‘on the ground’ reporting and before we knew it, MIRACL’s CEO was on the evening news.

With appearance in online and print publications, television and radio and over 300 pieces of coverage for MIRACL since we started work for them in November, I think it is fair to say we have got their name out there loud and clear for the next round of funding and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

You may or may not have heard the news last week that a Snapchat HR employee fell for a phishing email in which a cyber criminal impersonated Snapchat’s CEO asking for employee payroll information. Worryingly, the employee was unable to recognise that this was a scam and gave the criminals the payroll information of present and former employees.

As no customer details were disclosed we knew that this wouldn’t be a huge story, yet as Snapchat is one of the most popular and wide spread apps on the market, it was a relatively safe bet to assume this would be written about. So we shared the story with our clients and Jonathan Sander, VP of Product Strategy at Lieberman Software came back with a great comment explaining that “the fact that Snapchat got snagged with this shows that being young, cool, and high tech doesn’t protect you from being a phishing target” and even millennials with their tech savviness will not be putting cybercriminals out of the phishing business.

Snapchat-flashy-features

Jonathan’s interesting comments achieved coverage in the Guardian, Computer Business Review, International Business Times and three other publications. Proofpoint also provided comments on the story which outlined just how sophisticated phishing attacks have become that even with training, people can still be fooled. These achieved coverage in Tech Week Europe and Information Security Buzz.

At Eskenzi we also get tens of phishing emails each day and we also received emails impersonating our CEO asking us to transfer money. Luckily, we were able to spot the scam however if we had fallen for it, it could have been detrimental to our agency. So while the Snapchat story resulted in good coverage for our clients we urge businesses to provide appropriate and ongoing training on how to spot even the most sophisticated attempts and plead everyone to be alert to suspicious emails.

By now, the media has been pretty well saturated with the news that the FBI has asked Apple for help in decrypting data from the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters under the All Writs Act of 1789.  Under the 227 year old law, the US Federal Court is authorised to issue any writs it sees fit.   Without getting too much into the technicalities (there is some uncertainty about what the FBI is actually asking of Apple – i.e is it really a “backdoor” or is it simply help in unlocking one phone belonging to a terrorist?)

  • applefbi

Apple hit back at the FBI with an open letter to customers saying that it is a “dangerous precedent” to set because “the government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location…” and so forth.  This could be a stretch in this particular instance, but it’s brought to light serious issues with regards to technology manufacturers and national security – issues that have been around for a while now.  Teresa May suggested a bill four years ago (nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter) that is still being discussed in Parliament and David Cameron even advocated for weakening encryption in order to tackle terrorism and crime something that has had the security professionals raging. 

So here’s the kicker – it’s taken a singular case involving Apple to finally get regular people to sit up and care.  Suddenly it’s real because it’s a big brand, despite the technology industry shouting about it for years.  Friends and family of mine were talking about Tim Cook’s open letter to customers, posting to Facebook – people who have never cared about this kind of stuff before.

Makes you wonder though – did Apple see this as a chance for some publicity?  Ask a pen tester or someone in the know, and they’ll tell you they hack iPhones all the time; it’s not a big deal.  Does the FBI really not have the resources to do it themselves?  I’m sure they could if they wanted to.  So was the request to Apple a mere courtesy that Apple has taken advantage of?  There are lots of questions around this that seem to be unanswered, but the main thing that sticks out is how Apple has managed to capitalise on the situation.

But hey, anything that makes the public consider their data security and privacy ought to be a good thing, right? Or is that spoken like a true PR person? ;0)

Last week, password management firm, SplashData released a report announcing the most used passwords of 2015 and the results were shockingly bad with “123456” and “password” at the top of the leader board. The results showed that people’s terrible password habits have hardly improved since 2011. Although this is terrible news fo
r the poor souls that will have their data stolen this year d
ue to their lazy password choices, this was a great opportunity for our security experts to rant on a national stage.Login Box

On Wednesday we received a request from a journalist at Press Association
asking for comment on the password report; which is really hitting the jackpot in our line of work as it means that the story will likely get

syndicated across tons of publications across the country and maybe even
overseas. So, we forwarded the request to our security experts and they were quick to provide commentary on the story, then we all did our rain dance chanting for coverage, which seemed to work for our two lucky clients, ESET and MIRACL.

Throughout the day we eagerly watched the coverage rolling in, from BT, the Mirror and Metro to local papers such as Yorkshire Post and Wigan Today. Both clients achieved coverage in around 30 publications from this story which is a great start to the year! However, we weren’t done just yet. We sent the comments out to further journalists and the Guardian also used them their own article. To put the cherry on top, a journalist from BBC World Service radio also called us asking for a quick interview. Of course, we dropped everything we were doing, and so did MIRACL’s CEO, to take the interview within half an hour of the request.

The end results were 7 pieces of national coverage and 21 pieces of regional and technology publications.

We really are grateful to have such influential journalists coming to us for comments and we are lucky to have such great clients willing to drop everything for a good PR opportunity, it certainly makes our job easier. So a massive thank you to them all, and here’s to a 2016 filled with more success stories than our blog can handle.

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So, week two of 2016 here at Eskenzi was most definitely no shrinking violet compared to last week’s phenomenal results!

This week, Microsoft released its final patches for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 along with an “End of Life” notice, to encourage users to switch to Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge, currently only available on Windows 10.

These changes were originally announced back in August 2014, and it is estimated that these older, legacy browsers could account for more than 20% of web traffic. Computerworld reported that as many as 340 million Internet Explorer users are still using IE 8, 9 or 10! NetMarketShare estimates that Internet Explorer accounts for 57% of the browser market, compared with 25% for Chrome, 12% for Firefox and 5% for Apple’s Safari – That’s a lot of people using browsers that are now potentially unsafe, and can no longer be patched.

This means that Internet Explorer won’t receive any more security updates, or other patches. Those still using the browsers could be vulnerable to security threats and even hacks; depending on what other (if any) security software is installed.

A story of this type throws open the rapid response doors for Eskenzi clients, many of which had sound advice on what users, who still use Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10, can do to ensure they stay protected, despite this news.

Four Eskenzi clients commented on this story – ESET, Tripwire, AppRiver and Bromium – and one from our sister agency, SmileOnFridays – Tenable, which resulted in over 250 pieces of coverage across National newspapers, business publications and trade press.  The coverage obtained was truly global, with publications in the UK, United States, France, Germany, Kenya, Japan, Ghana and Argentina (and many more!) reporting on the news with commentary from our clients included.

Hits include the BBC, The Metro, Business Reporter (included with The Daily Telegraph), BT, SC Magazine, Dark Reading and Yahoo! News.

Several journalists reached out to Eskenzi for specific commentary, as we are so well known to those who report in the security and technology space, knowing they would get great quotes to use in their stories, as well as sound advice for businesses and consumers alike.

We’re lucky to work with so many amazing clients who can, at the drop of a hat, pull amazing quotes and advice out of the bag. I wonder what week three will deliver.

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