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Marketers Are Friends,
Not Food
Kara Drapala
Agenda
• About Me/Intro
• NLPRank Case Study
• Communications 101
• Help Us Help You
• How to Not Go Crazy While Helping U...
About Me
Kara Drapala
@kdraps
Social Media
Specialist
OpenDNS/Cisco
Alignment: CG
Why This Talk?
• Designed to help you get the most out of a relationship with
your Comms team
 Featuring: Real! World! Ex...
NLPRank:
• What: NLPRank is a threat detection model that utilizes Natural
Language Processing techniques.
 A “malicious ...
NLPRank: Timeline of Events
• Jeremiah writes blog detailing his work with NLPRank
• Andrew forwards the blog to Communica...
From a Research Perspective
• The Good:
 Seized an opportunity for timely, newsworthy research
 Traveling from Research ...
From a Comms Perspective
• The Good:
 The researchers followed the process! OMGOMG!
 We got coverage on an innovative se...
Results
• Research team and Comms team established working
relationship
• Large amount of interest and coverage generated
...
Takeaways
• Communication is key
• Research needs to have an impactful story
• Sometimes you’re not the best spokesperson
...
Reporters != Researchers
 Inhabitants of two separate universes
 They need things explained in a way they can understand...
Communications 101
• Who should you be looking for?
 Anyone with Communications or Public Relations in their title (varie...
What can Comms do for you?
• Translation:
 Making sure your story fits the overall marketing strategy
 Making sure repor...
Help Us Help You: PROTIPS
• Communication is key, communication is key, communication is key
 More insight = 10x media ou...
Getting Help Without Getting Crazy:
• Be patient
• Just like attribution, trust is hard. But you should definitely trust u...
Speaking of red flags:
• How to get on the bad side of Comms:
• Acting on your own
• Not cooperating
• Not communicating
•...
If You Remember Nothing Else:
• Communication is key
• Patience is a virtue
• Be prepared to get edited and hear the word ...
Thanks!
• kdrapala@cisco.com
• @kdraps
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Marketers Are Friends, Not Food: DerbyCon 2015

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This presentation aims to aid understand between security research and marketing teams, with the goal of streamlining workflow and increasing understanding of roles and responsibilities. Also, how to not go completely crazy working together.

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Marketers Are Friends, Not Food: DerbyCon 2015

  1. 1. Marketers Are Friends, Not Food Kara Drapala
  2. 2. Agenda • About Me/Intro • NLPRank Case Study • Communications 101 • Help Us Help You • How to Not Go Crazy While Helping Us Help You
  3. 3. About Me Kara Drapala @kdraps Social Media Specialist OpenDNS/Cisco Alignment: CG
  4. 4. Why This Talk? • Designed to help you get the most out of a relationship with your Comms team  Featuring: Real! World! Examples! • We’ll cover best practices and potential pitfalls • Hopefully give you some actionable advice you can use on Monday • Maybe we will also have fun
  5. 5. NLPRank: • What: NLPRank is a threat detection model that utilizes Natural Language Processing techniques.  A “malicious dictionary of the Internet” to detect threats in real time  Predicts opportunistic phishing attacks and attacks targeting high- value victims • Who:  Research: Jeremiah O’Connor, Andrew Hay  Communications: Stephen Lynch, Lynne Cox
  6. 6. NLPRank: Timeline of Events • Jeremiah writes blog detailing his work with NLPRank • Andrew forwards the blog to Communications Team • Communications Team decides blog is newsworthy • Meetings are held to fully understand concept and message  Q: What is the “message”? • Pitching begins • Blog is picked up by numerous outlets, including Ars Technica, ThreatPost, etc. • Jeremiah launches to world-wide acclaim* and all phishing** is gone forever *Okay maybe not exactly world-wide acclaim. **Also phishing may still be a thing.
  7. 7. From a Research Perspective • The Good:  Seized an opportunity for timely, newsworthy research  Traveling from Research Land to Production Land to Media Land  “You can’t have your research in the dark.”  Pleasantly surprised by industry reaction • The Meh:  Had to let go of the name  Percival who?  Not concerned with press, mainly with getting a working system • The Bad:  Marketing and doing blogs takes away from dev time  Video
  8. 8. From a Comms Perspective • The Good:  The researchers followed the process! OMGOMG!  We got coverage on an innovative security story  The Research team saw the system produce results • The Meh:  Delayed for 2-3 weeks:  Meetings  Pitching • The Bad:  Having to prove skills to researchers  Communicating an extremely complex idea to the media, while keeping stakeholders happy
  9. 9. Results • Research team and Comms team established working relationship • Large amount of interest and coverage generated • Higher profile for Jeremiah • Solidifies our position as security innovators
  10. 10. Takeaways • Communication is key • Research needs to have an impactful story • Sometimes you’re not the best spokesperson  A reporter’s time is precious, and opportunities are valuable  Your words have consequences, whether you’re independent or repping a company • Reporter != Researchers
  11. 11. Reporters != Researchers  Inhabitants of two separate universes  They need things explained in a way they can understand  Need to see dead bodies, smoking guns, blood, etc.  Hacked ATMs, cars, etc.  Vuln logos! Shiny!  Reporters gonna report, researchers gonna research  Their story isn’t just about you  You can’t dictate what’s interesting to them, or when they can talk to you  Relationships matter, and your Comms team is managing those relationships
  12. 12. Communications 101 • Who should you be looking for?  Anyone with Communications or Public Relations in their title (varies w/org), and who focus on security (if possible)  May also work with Content Managers • Internal/External  Home team v. Agency • Typical duties include:  Media Outreach  Media Planning  Content Creation  Social Media  Executive Communications  Crisis Communications  Etc.
  13. 13. What can Comms do for you? • Translation:  Making sure your story fits the overall marketing strategy  Making sure reporters know what the real story is  Telling your story without making you look like a whackadoo • Editing  Reports  Blogs  Speaking submissions • Personal brand management/protection • Media training (Happening this weekend!)  Interview support  What to do when a reporter goes off the rails?
  14. 14. Help Us Help You: PROTIPS • Communication is key, communication is key, communication is key  More insight = 10x media outreach  Let us know what you’re working on so we can ID potential stories ahead of time • We’re not the fun police: we’re not babysitters, we’re not censorship bodies • Be ready to explain how your work affects a larger audience • Be okay with hearing no  Kill the baby • Don’t blow us off  We know what’s newsworthy and what’s not — it’s our JOB to know • Commit for the long haul  Don’t adopt a “one and done” interview mentality
  15. 15. Getting Help Without Getting Crazy: • Be patient • Just like attribution, trust is hard. But you should definitely trust us. • If your Comms team is just the worst, you have options  Product Marketing  Product Managers • Be cool with edits  The technical details are up for discussion, but not the message  Researchers write for researchers, and that’s okay. • Look for the red flags  If someone doesn’t ask questions after you’ve explained something  If they can’t repeat it back to you in an accurate yet simplified manner
  16. 16. Speaking of red flags: • How to get on the bad side of Comms: • Acting on your own • Not cooperating • Not communicating • Ditching interviews • Missing deadlines • Taking things personally • Lashing out at reporters or other third parties • Worrying about things you shouldn’t be worried about
  17. 17. If You Remember Nothing Else: • Communication is key • Patience is a virtue • Be prepared to get edited and hear the word no • Remember that your Comms/Marketing team is on your side, and that they are professionals • Reporters != Researchers
  18. 18. Thanks! • kdrapala@cisco.com • @kdraps

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