FIRST aspires to bring together incident response and security teams from every country worldwide to ensure a safe internet for all.
Mandy Queen PR was initially hired to help FIRST during their Annual Conference in Bangkok in 2013, as they were in close proximity in hong Kong. This went well, as per the feedback below:
"Mandy provided Public Relations support for our annual conference (in Thailand). She was able to hit the ground running - from networking with our top sponsors and Board members to managing a VIP arrival and press conference logistics. She provided our group with overall PR strategy and input on key messaging for volunteer press corp members. Her support and expertise were outstanding, and we hope to work with her again in the future!"
A few years later, in 2018, FIRST invited MQPR to put a proposal together to do global marketing communications for FIRST, covering global media relations, social media marketing, quarterly newsletter and annual report, which we were awarded. In addition, we also created and updated an annual crisis communications plan and acted as a consultant on a variety of issues, including sanctions. FIRST's goals were to improve the quality and professionalism of FIRST's outputs, maintain consistent public relations response and key messages, act as a press office, proactively identify opportunities to promote FIRST's initiatives and objectives across the global media, leverage media outlets to increase participation in FIRST events and initiatives, as well as drive association membership growth through strategic media outreach.
Through a combination of a communications audit and stakeholder analysis, we produced a communications strategy that encompassed global media relations, social media marketing, newsletter and annual report creation and design, stakeholder engagement, global PR agency briefing and securement, and a crisis communications plan that helped us to position FIRST as a global authority on cybersecurity.
Measurement & Evaluation
While it is difficult to ascertain how much impact the marketing communications campaign had on its own, as it was part of other membership outreach work, membership increased by 40% from 2018 to 2023, and other results included:
The aggregated reach of global media coverage was more than 100 million, and in one year - 600 million
LinkedIn increased 230% between 2018 and 2023 from just over 2,000 followers to over 7,000
Readership of the quarterly newsletter increased year-on-year.
"Mandy Queen supported FIRST's corporate communications for four years, providing a global press office service, producing and distributing press releases worldwide; managing the associated social media marketing; sourcing, briefing, and managing freelance PRs around the world to support our annual conference; and, the writing and designing of our annual report and quarterly newsletter. Mandy also created a comprehensive annual crisis management plan and helped us prepare statements for any issues we encountered.
Mandy was professional, reliable, and knowledgeable and able to work with different cybersecurity experts from different cultures across the world to coordinate several communications activities for us and identify potential news stories. She was able to quickly understand our specific sector, repurpose highly technical information, and make it accessible to our global members and media worldwide while protecting and expanding the reputation of FIRST." Chris Gibson, Executive Director.