Now and then, we’ll highlight a customer case study that looks at the challenges, the solution and the results of a specific PR program. Here, we’ll show how our team helped Cybrary, the world’s first and only no-cost massive open online course provider for cybersecurity, become the largest cybersecurity community on the Web and provide free cybersecurity training to people all over the world. This program earned Weiss PR a Gold Award in the 2016 PR World Awards for Technology Campaign of the Year.
There is a significant shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals and more than a million open job postings for cybersecurity positions around the globe. This lack of cybersecurity talent puts companies, organizations, and data at risk – all the while, cyber threats continue to advance. Further complicating this is a lack of resources available to properly train existing cybersecurity professionals. Additionally, the barrier to entry into the cybersecurity field is high while the costs of classes or certification programs can be cost prohibitive – especially for someone exploring a new career in cybersecurity. Similarly, if an employer is unwilling to pay for training, cybersecurity career advancement and skills stagnate. Cybrary is a massive open online course provider and was created to provide no-cost cybersecurity training options for underserved and disadvantaged people seeking to break into cybersecurity or move ahead in their careers. Because Cybrary was a startup it faced many challenges: it had zero brand awareness, its training programs and content were unproven, and budget was limited. Additionally, cybersecurity professionals are by nature suspicious and skeptical of things seemingly too good to be true, such as free cybersecurity training.
Weiss PR designed a media and influencer relations program that focused on reaching highly influential media and bloggers that covered cybersecurity, continuing education, employee training, and technology issues related to cybersecurity. The primary goal was to garner media coverage that would influence people of all skill levels to seek free cybersecurity training through Cybrary, making Cybrary the go-to destination for cybersecurity training and one of the most important cybersecurity communities on the Web. The PR program included an official launch of Cybrary, leveraging a series of initiatives, partnerships, and product announcements for promotion, both proactive and reactive pitching, growth and funding releases, and awards opportunities. Additionally, Weiss PR provided social media support to ensure that all media relations activities and results were being maximized across all applicable channels.
The PR program created by Weiss PR resulted in more 100 unique placements and mentions in influential media and blogs, including Forbes, Fortune, CIO Magazine, ComputerWorld, Homeland Security Today, ComputerWeekly, IT Business Edge, Dark Reading, The Hill, and more. In Cybrary’s first year, Weiss PR helped Cybrary grow to become one of the world’s top 30,000 most highly trafficked websites, and the largest online community devoted to cybersecurity. Approximately 35% of Cybrary’s web traffic can be attributed to media placements generate by Weiss PR, and 18% of Cybrary’s daily traffic can be attributed Weiss PR’s efforts. The Weiss PR program also helped drive 100,000+ of the site’s 370,000 registered users, and as many as 13,000 in one month. Weiss PR also helped Cybrary grow an active Twitter following of over 30,000. With Weiss PR’s help, Cybrary outpaced Github, Twitter, Tumblr, and other Unicorn startups in its first 12 months of user growth. The media coverage of Cybrary created by Weiss PR was also instrumental in helping Cybrary secure a $400,000 round of seed funding only seven months after launching.