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How Eleven Hundred Agency reinvented the cyber security PR norm

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Published Date 05.07.2023

NormCyber – aka Norm – is managed cyber security services provider (MSSP) that protects organisations from ransomware attacks, hacks and other cyber security incidents which could impact both their operations and their reputations. The company also ensures that customers always comply with strict UK and EU data protection regulations, as otherwise they could be hit with business-breaking fines.

Founded in 2015, Norm has a 50-strong team of cyber security experts and data protection lawyers based in Fareham, Hampshire. Specialising in helping mid-sized organisations, it operates in a highly competitive market, and has many well-known competitors.

In Autumn 2021, Norm decided that – in order to go toe-to-toe with its much larger competitors – it needed to double-down on PR. The company began to search for a specialist technology PR agency which truly understood its market, had established contacts with key media, and could ultimately help make Norm stand out from the crowd.

Following a competitive pitch process, Norm appointed London-based tech B2B PR agency Eleven Hundred Agency in November 2021. Being new to working with a PR agency – but established in the business of metrics – Norm set an ambitious metric at the start of its campaign.

Starting at zero, it wanted to capture 25 percent share of voice from its direct competitors in the UK market within just six months. This share of voice would measure the relative online audience size for each competitor. Considering Norm’s starting point and the status/number of competitors (ten) this was a hugely ambitious target, but one that was necessary if Norm was to surpass its better-known rivals.

To help achieve this brand awareness goal, the Eleven Hundred team also set a series of targets around key PR deliverables – news stories, thought-leadership columns, top tier placements, and more. These types of granular targets would be a necessity if Norm was to secure the online media exposure it craved.

Hitting the ground running

The target audience for this campaign was mid-sized organisations which could be seriously impacted in a cybersecurity incident or lapse in data protection, but which did not necessarily have the in-house expertise or resources to secure their operations – at least not without specialist help.

To kick off the activity, the agency team embarked on a hard-hitting campaign around a new study into how CEOs’ personality traits can increase their susceptibility to cyber threats, placing a series of news stories and longer form articles across a range of top tier titles in the business media, the general IT media, as well as in the more niche security media.

The early days of the campaign also focused on placing rapid-fire media commentary in response to breaking news stories about major security breaches. Expert commentary about the future cyber threat landscape of the logistics sector generated 14 media stories, with a potential readership of half a million.

To keep Norm in the limelight, the PR team built a busy news agenda, including new product and service launches, new hires, event attendance, expansion news, CSR campaigns, certifications, partnerships and more. This was supplemented by a far-reaching thought leadership campaign across the trade and technical media, as well as mainstream titles such as the Sunday Times.  

To round out activities, the team also instigated an analyst relations campaign and took charge of entering Norm for some of the cyber security industry’s most prestigious awards.

From zero to media hero

The campaign worked. Within the first six months, Norm’s share of voice against its competitors went from zero to more than 36 percent – eclipsing Norm’s lofty target for 25 percent. The success didn’t stop there. A year into the campaign, the figure had risen to 45 percent, while there have been some key award successes along the way, too. Norm is now well and truly on the map.

As Peter Bowers, NormCyber’s COO says: “Working with Eleven Hundred Agency has demonstrated to us the real, measurable value of PR – and it certainly exceeded our expectations. Beyond increasing the awareness and visibility of Norm in the market, the campaign also opened new doors for us and reinforced the validity and importance of our services and message to business leaders about cybersecurity and data protection.

“What has been particularly impressive in the short time we have been working the agency team is how they’ve listened and developed their knowledge to fully understand our business, how we help our customers and the wider market we serve. I sometimes think they know it better than we do!

“It has been a most fruitful partnership, which we are excited to continue.”

Shortlist is the icing on the cake

The results of the campaign haven’t just moved the needle in regards to Norm’s digital brand awareness, they have also been hugely gratifying to the PR team at Eleven Hundred Agency, who were tasked with coming up with a creative and impactful programme from scratch.

Being shortlisted for a highly prestigious award like the UK Digital PR Awards – especially as it recognises a business-to-business tech campaign, where results are sometimes hard-fought – only increases that sense of accomplishment.

The Norm and Eleven Hundred Agency teams can’t wait to be there on the night to celebrate everyone’s successes!

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