Cybersecurity Awareness Month:

Susie Evershed, Secureworks

Susie Evershed is an experienced PR professional with more than 15 years in the Tech B2B PR industry. She has worked for a broad range of companies in the B2B technology sector, with a focus on security, fintech and enterprise technology. Highlights over the years include the PRCA B2B Award for the Digital Science #BrexitScience campaign and landing the front page of The Financial Times in July this year for cybersecurity organisation, Secureworks. 

What attracted you to cybersecurity as career path in comms?

“When I worked agency side, I always had cybersecurity clients on my roster, and they’ve always been the ones that excited me the most. So, moving into an inhouse role in cybersecurity made sense for me. It’s a really challenging landscape, the threat actors are constantly evolving and the world of eCrime, nation state and cybercrime is interesting – if also a bit terrifying.

“As a comms professional it’s not only fascinating but it’s an important subject that people need to understand better. It needs a clear strategy to explain what’s happening in a way that stands out from the crowd – creating insightful narratives, not generating fear.

“Cyber touches everyone, and although my family don’t always know what I do as a PR person, they do know about cybersecurity!”

What do you feel is the most significant change in cybersecurity comms since you entered the industry?

“There was a time when as long as you could share a quote from someone with a good job title and be quick off the mark then you could get your client into a breaking news story. But that has shifted. Understanding of cyber security, the threat actors and tactics they use, has grown significantly. While the pool of media covering it has been badly impacted by title closures and redundancies meaning journalists are really short on time.

“All this means there’s a real emphasis on the value add of what you are saying, making sure the story, and what you are adding to it has validity, as well as being able to make it accessible to a wider audience.”

Is there still a place for events and trade shows in 2023? If so, which one’s a can’t-miss in your calendar?

Trade shows are a tough one. I do enjoy going to them with the opportunity to learn and network. But from a PR perspective there is limited value these days in shows as media are less likely to be there and those who do make it have a news quota to hit, which tends to come from keynote talks. 

What’s your favourite campaign/activation from another cybersecurity company in the last year or two?

“I’m definitely on a continued learning path and so I like to absorb as much as I can from different sources.

“I really enjoy the series of explainer videos from This really speaks to that need from audiences to get the relevant “What is it? How can it affect me? What should I do?” information.”

Cybersecurity is a famously crowded space – from a PR/marketing perspective, what makes a company stand out from the crowd?

“Quality of insights and trust are crucial to standout. It’s important to work through the wealth of information we have and build a strategy that means we are being really smart about what we are sharing, and how we do it.

“Beyond that, relationships with media in this space are very much a two-way street. It’s not just about pursuing your own agenda and constantly sending out information. When media have a story, they also need to have sources so they can check the veracity of their information. Making time to build trust and be that resource even with no immediate visible coverage outcome is critical.”

What’s been your biggest challenge?

“My biggest challenge really has been about understanding my own way of working and embracing it. I need clear deadlines in order to prioritise (I’ve had to learn to give those to myself at times), I dedicate reading/learning time in the week, so I have that focus time, and I always set agendas to my meetings to keep them focused and purposeful.

“Doing this has allowed me to achieve a lot more, and take ownership of both the successes, and failures that go along with it. I think for a lot of comms people we’re great at promoting other people and the organisations we work for, but less so at doing our own PR! It’s a challenge I’m working on.”

What are your comms predictions for 2024?

I hate making predictions – I think that comes with the territory! But I don’t think we’re on the cusp of any seismic shifts. We’ve seen the emergence of some new media titles which is really refreshing amongst the bad news of layoffs and smaller journalist teams. I’d like to make the prediction that we’ll have less talk about needing diversity of spokespeople and start hitting the stride of seeing more diverse spokespeople regularly, but I think that’s still a way off.