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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: Hotwire PR - The Cyber Defence Report

28th August 2013


Company: Hotwire PR Campaign: McAfee – The Cyber Defence Report Category: Best use of Evaluation - South - WINNER Objective The FBI has stated that cyber-weapons will one day surpass terrorism as the greatest threat to the USA. The latest evidence for the growing threat was provided in May 2012 with the discovery of Flame. Described by the United Nations as a significant espionage tool that could affect critical infrastructure, Flame is the most complex malicious code ever found. Given the secrecy surrounding national security, how can a brand meaningfully explore the ability of governments to defend against cyber-attacks? At the beginning of 2012, this was the challenge that confronted McAfee, which wanted to kick-start a debate with global policymakers about the steps government and industry should be taking to shore up national cyber-defences. McAfee’s Cyber Defence Report overcame this challenge to bring an informed discussion into the public domain and before policymakers at the highest levels of national and international governing bodies and defence organisations. At the outset of the campaign, McAfee set three objectives: • Provide recommendations, which should reach the highest levels of international government, on the key measures needed to safeguard national defences from cyber-attack • Enable governments and national security experts to understand how their cyber-defences compare to other countries and organisations • Encourage greater collaboration on national security between private sector, public sector and international security bodies Achieving these three objectives would also serve to demonstrate McAfee’s thought leadership and implicitly highlight its role in helping governments to address the rising threat of cyber-conflict. Target Audience Understandably, there is a natural reluctance among those responsible for national cyber-defences to reveal too much publicly. McAfee’s strategy for achieving the campaign objectives was to create a forum, which would allow global experts in national security to freely exchange and air their views. To bring these sensitive discussions out into the open, McAfee partnered with a highly regarded think tank, an organisation skilled in generating public debate about vital policy matters. Action McAfee commissioned Security Defence Agenda (SDA), an independent Brussels-based think tank which specialises in security and defence, to conduct an assessment of cyber-preparedness across the globe. Formed under the patronage of former NATO secretary generals, SDA presents itself as “a neutral meeting point for defence and security specialists from NATO and the EU.” As such, it already had in place relationships with high profile security experts across the globe. Under the UK PR team’s direction, SDA surveyed 250 leading worldwide authorities and conducted in-depth interviews with more than 80 cyber-security experts in government, companies, international organisations and academia. Participants included high-ranking officials from NATO, the USA and ministries of defence across Europe. Interviewees quoted in subsequent McAfee press materials included Stewart Barker, the former assistant secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush, and Isaac Ben-Israel, the Israeli Prime Minister’s cyber-security adviser. To complete the research, SDA conducted stress tests of 21 countries to assess their resilience to cyber-threats according to an internationally recognised framework. The McAfee and SDA study, Cyber Defence Report, generated some alarming, surprising and newsworthy findings: • 57 per cent of global experts believe that an arms race is taking place in cyber-space • 36 per cent believe cyber-security is more important than missile defence • 43 per cent identified damage or disruption to critical infrastructure as the greatest single threat posed by cyber-attacks with wide economic consequences • The state of cyber-readiness of the United States, Australia, UK, China and Germany all ranked behind smaller countries such as Israel, Sweden and Finland Recommendations cited in the report included the need for real-time global information sharing, the provision of financial incentives for critical improvements and the development of best-practice led international standards. The report was launched to the public through two events and traditional and digital media channels: • Journalist pre-briefings under embargo • Launch events in Brussels and Washington – panel discussions on the Cyber Defence Report’s findings with speakers including NATO deputy assistant secretary general, Jamie Shea, and Demosthenes Ikonomou of European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) • Full global media launch and promotion of collateral across McAfee’s social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter Results Since its launch, McAfee’s Cyber Defence Report has delivered on all three initial objectives and made a significant contribution to the debate on global cyber-security. Attendees at the Brussels and Washington event included Neelie Kroes (vice president of the European Commission), Gabor Iklody (assistant secretary general of NATO) and over 140 other world leaders. Most importantly, the Cyber Defence Report – a project which was devised, led and executed by the agency and in-house UK PR team – has facilitated discussions for McAfee with the highest levels of national governments across Europe and the USA. It has also become a valuable resource among the national security community, having been downloaded more than 2,000 times – a record number of downloads for a McAfee campaign promoted solely through PR and without any other marketing support. Hotwire has been utilising their own version of the AMEC Valid Metrics Framework, with an aim to measure more tangible business outcomes, away from the traditional reliance on AVEs. These results are in line with that measurement practice: • 136 pieces of national, print and online coverage • Potential audience reach = 46.6m people • Increase share of voice during the period from 18 per cent to 21 per cent • Distribution to 41 key UK public affairs contacts, including 4 ministers, 5 advisers, 2 select committee chairs and 25 officials • Twitter audience reach: 80,646 • Social media mentions, including re-tweets: 287 • Swedish Minister for IT, Anna-Karin Hatt, tweeted about the report • 23 per cent increase in McAfee EMEA page views during week of launch • 23 per cent increase in McAfee sit visits during week of launch • More than 2,000 downloads of full report URL http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-sda-cyber-security.pdf The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.

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