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  • Jessica Barker

How to create an award-winning cyber security awareness campaign

We were thrilled to win 'Best Security Awareness Campaign' in the recent Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards, for the phishing awareness campaign that we created as part of our volunteer work with CV19 in April this year.

We are committed to having a positive impact on society and keen to raise awareness of cyber security as much, and as well, as we can. That's why we were happy to lead the CV19 awareness project, using the expertise we’ve honed delivering awareness programmes and campaigns for global clients. Following our triumph at the awards evening, we're going to share some of that expertise with you: our top tips for creating an award-winning security awareness campaign.

Starting a new campaign can be daunting. Creating something that is simple, yet effective, is harder than it looks! When creating your award-winning campaign, here are five top tips think about:

1️⃣ Key theme Pick one, don't overcomplicate it. When it comes to cyber security, there can be a tendency to try to tell people everything, which honestly usually results in them absorbing nothing. You lose the attention of your audience when you overwhelm them. Instead, focus on key risks and behaviours you want to promote. With this focus in mind, it was clear to us that our first CV19 campaign should be on phishing.

2️⃣ Tone of messaging and imagery Think about the look and feel of your campaign, and what emotions you want to evoke. For the CV19 campaigns, we followed one of our core approaches in awareness-raising: empowering individuals with action-orientated positive messaging. We know that this approach is much more likely to result in positive behavioural change rather than fear-mongering.

3️⃣ Campaign resources Consider who your audience is, how they'll see your campaign, what channels will be the most engaging and what will have the most impact for your organisation. With most of us working from home, this throws up new challenges for how to run virtual campaigns and what resources will have the greatest impact.

For our CV19 campaigns we were targeting both frontline hospital workers and back office staff. We knew that hospital workers were rushed off their feet and that physical posters would be the most effective way to attract their attention, whilst a digital flyer would work well for the back-office staff. We also recognised that both groups would be on social media and therefore an animated video of the campaign would engage both, as well as healthcare influencers. All three resources contained the same messaging but were slightly adjusted to the target audience.

4️⃣ Engage key stakeholders Avoid the mistake of thinking you can do it all alone. For our CV19 campaigns, we developed the designs and produced all of the content in-house. We were then supported by the amazing PR team at Chameleon to refine our messaging and reach as big an audience as possible. We also had the backing of the amazing group of CV19 volunteers, who helped us translate messaging into different languages and push the campaigns on social media.

When it comes to your organisation campaigns, you’ll probably have an internal comms team that you'll want to engage with early on. Likewise, getting the backing of senior executives and influencers in your organisation, such as security champions, will help you have the biggest impact possible.

5️⃣ Campaign launch When the big day finally comes to launch you'll want to secure that big impact. It is important that you think about the day and time you launch, who you have engaged to launch, what channels you're going to use and if you can get support from senior executives or influencers. Again, virtualising this launch can be difficult, but not impossible! Consider how you can optimise digital channels.

Creating a successful campaign is a big job and there are lots of things you need to consider, but it's so worthwhile when you see the positive impact a successful campaign has.

If you’d like more information on how we can support you in creating your own award-winning campaign, please get in touch💜

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