Turning Companies Into Respected Global Brands Through Cybersecurity and PR Solutions
How often have we heard of the ambitious dreams of starting a successful business that never quite come to fruition?
Fate often seems to have its unique way of deciding the fate of our endeavors, and for many, the dream of a successful business remains just that – a dream. But, for some, a business venture can become a reality. Those who are successful are often driven by passion and a strong desire to succeed, and it’s this combination of ambition and determination that can help take a business from an idea to a reality. It may not always be a simple road, but with hard work and dedication, those passionate about their business have the potential to make their dreams come true.
And one such passionate individual includes Yvonne Eskenzi, Co-founder at Eskenzi PR and Marketing, who always hoped to one day work for herself. An alumna of Loughborough University, having graduated with honors in Social Administration, Eskenzi co-founded Eskenzi PR in 1995, a boutique agency specializing in IT and IT security, building brands built on exit plans.
When she started at News International Exhibitions, she quickly developed a golden touch for launching massive consumer shows into success stories. She soon built a reputation for being an expert in the field, and before long, the cybersecurity industry was calling on her to do the same for them. Thus, Eskenzi was born, the Cyber-Security PR agency with Reed Exhibitions’ Infosecurity as its first client.
In the years that followed, Eskenzi became renowned for its ability to make even the most unknown cybersecurity companies into household names. With a sharp focus on making even complex topics palatable to the public, Eskenzi quickly established itself as the go-to PR firm for the industry.
It began as an unexpected voyage, but she embarked on it with open arms. Each passing day saw her confidence swell, and she tackled potential impediments without an ounce of trepidation. What could have been daunting challenges to someone else were mere bumps in the road for her.
From a mere dream of becoming an entrepreneur to a booming business on an international scale, Eskenzi has made a remarkable journey that has left many in awe.
As we join Yvonne on her incredible adventure, let’s explore her remarkable journey to success in greater depth.
Rising to the Top
“The business chose me,” she remarked.
She had worked hard to make it happen, and it seemed as if fate had finally put her in the driver’s seat. She had been working at News International Exhibitions doing public relations and marketing for new shows and had always hoped to one day work for herself. Her passion for events started back in university, where she spent time arranging them for various clubs and societies. It seemed natural that in her first two jobs, she couldn’t resist gathering people together and getting them to network. But this time, it was different; this time, her name was on the door, and her vision would be realized. She couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed but also incredibly excited.
At 31, she embarked on a journey with her husband that changed her life forever. She felt a sense of liberation and freedom missing from her life for so long. She knew, at that moment, that after a year-long journey away, she would never return to working for someone else again. She wanted to be in control of her destiny and believed that the only way to do it was to become the head of her organization. This newfound freedom and flexibility also enabled her to spend more quality time with her children, which she now wants to make happen for everyone who works for her.
Cybersecurity was undoubtedly not the career she dreamed of when she was younger. She never thought she’d end up in that industry, but she was passionate about the world of PR. When she decided to strike out on her own and set up her own business, the first client she got was Infosecurity Europe. It turned out to be a fateful decision that would shape her career for the next 28 years.
She quickly embraced the challenge of the cybersecurity industry, and her father’s advice never left her—to specialize as much as possible. She kept this mantra close in her heart, and it has served her well over the years. She never wavered from her chosen path, and it has allowed her to become what she is today.
Striking a Perfect Balance of Dependability and Innovation
Their mission is to be the pioneering cybersecurity PR agency that blazes a trail for others to follow. They are a creative powerhouse that doesn’t rely on white labeling but has people who are deeply entrenched in the world of cybersecurity, with a mastery of the technology and a visionary understanding that helps them to make sense of a complex subject matter in a way that resonates with everyone. They are motivated to make a difference, spark real conversations and push boundaries, to provide a unique and innovative approach to PR that never fails to make an impact. Their goal is to be the go-to agency for all things cybersecurity-related and to create a level of trust and understanding that surpasses all expectations.
She’s always had a dream of striking a perfect balance between being a dependable source for the press when stories break and making sure her clients are given the platform to speak their minds. Having a great team of US-based specialists means that she and her team can help the press and her clients around the clock. Her vision was always to be at the center of the UK industry when it comes to cybersecurity, helping to make the world a safer place to trade online. She wanted to be the agency that the press could trust when it comes to sensitive commentary, knowing that they would be able to find a few of her clients who are well-versed in the subject.
She is the brains behind a global presence that she is proud of and passionate about. Her role is to build a strong and capable team of professionals who are able to provide aid and support to their ever-growing base of clients.
With her unmatched leadership and remarkable vision, she has been able to bring together a diverse group of experts who are dedicated to providing the best possible service to all of their customers. She makes sure that her team has the necessary experience and knowledge to tackle any challenge that may arise, and her unwavering commitment to excellence is a testament to the success of the organization.
Pushing the Boundaries of Cybersecurity Solutions
Eskenzi PR goes beyond what is expected of a conventional PR agency. They have continuously pushed the boundaries of their work in order to expand the scope of their services. In their mission to provide the best cybersecurity solutions, they have created their news website, the IT Security Guru, which has become one of the top publications in the field. With around 30,000 regular visitors, the site is dedicated to keeping readers up-to-date with the latest news in cybersecurity, as well as offering product reviews, interviews with industry experts, and much more. In the ever-changing world of cybersecurity, Eskenzi PR is committed to staying ahead of the curve and providing the best possible solutions for its clients.
Events are the very essence of her life; she loves them so much that she ends up organizing multiple of them every year. This allows her team, who also shares her enthusiasm for events, to experience a variety of tasks every day. Kicking off the year 2023 is the European Cyber Security Bloggers Awards at Infosecurity at the Excel center in June. In addition to this, they are responsible for the PR of the International Cyber Expo, and they manage their press office during the event. Moreover, they host the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards annually, which she dubs “an award show run by the industry for the industry.”
They are the makers of the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards, an event that has been shining light on remarkable female talent and applauding their accomplishments. Another achievement she is particularly proud of is the IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum, which has been running for an impressive 17 years. This two-day event brings together the world’s best analysts and emerging cyber vendors in an exhilarating ‘speed-dating’ networking experience. To end things off, a round-table discussion is held with top-notch CISOs from major companies, making for an incredibly enlightening experience.
Eskenzi is the go-to creative powerhouse that goes beyond the norm to deliver unforgettable results. Not only do they host events, but their clients come to them knowing they will be taken to new heights of ingenuity. Just a few years ago, they made history by setting the Guinness World Record for the most attended cybersecurity training session ever. Their commitment to providing a wide range of services with expertise and passion for surpassing expectations truly sets them apart from the rest.
Investing in the Latest and Greatest to Provide the Best Service to Clients
Eskenzi PR is fortunate to have a co-founder with a real passion for technology; Neil Stinchcombe is a confessed techie and an early adopter of the latest and greatest tech on the market. His enthusiasm for new technology means that the team is always trying out new press distribution services, apps, and software to make their lives easier and ensure that they can continue to provide the best possible service to their clients. They’re not afraid to invest in technology if it’s going to make their staff happier and help them offer an even better service. Eskenzi PR actively encourages their team to experiment with new technologies and to collaborate and share ideas on how they can use them to their advantage.
The power of working remotely is becoming more and more evident, and with that comes the need for secure and efficient technology. To make sure everyone has the tools for success, their company recently invested in new technology specifically designed for PR people to maximize their efficiency and get ahead of the competition. They’ve seen immense benefits from this new technology, as their team is now able to jump on stories before the public knows they exist, making us the go-to source for all things newsworthy. With this new technology, they’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve and provide their clients with the best service possible.
It’s clear that this investment was an incredibly smart move, and they’re reaping the rewards every day!
A Remarkable Journey From Freelance to Global Powerhouse
Eskenzi PR has truly redefined her professional life—it’s who she is and always will be. As a freelancer, she was just looking to take on a few clients while her kids were growing up and she never expected that it would grow into something as big as it did. Suddenly, out of the blue, her client list boomed to 35 global clients and she was responsible for leading a staff of 25 people!
It was a truly remarkable journey and she worked hard to make her business a success, but it was all worth it.
Now, Eskenzi PR is a global powerhouse that is respected the world over and Eskenzi herself is an inspiration to many.
It was a journey she never expected to take but one she embraced along the way. With each day that passed, her professional confidence grew and expanded. What some might have seen as overwhelming obstacles, she simply took in stride. Nothing phases her anymore; she’s become so resilient, and she approaches every day with enthusiasm, always ensuring that her work is of the highest quality. She wants to make sure that every single day she’s in the office is a day she loves. If that ever stops being the case, she knows it’s time to pass the baton onto someone else and move on to the next chapter of her career.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Being one of the top 25 tech PR agencies in the UK and one of the top 100 PR agencies in the country, as reported by PR Week, is an incredible feat for any company! It is an indication that the agency is doing something right and has earned respect and attention from its peers and the industry. Keeping track of their rankings and success is critical for motivating the team and keeping their momentum going. It is, however, equally important to keep an eye out for clients who have stopped using their services. Monitoring the number of clients is a great way to get an insight into how well the agency is doing and any potential challenges that may need to be addressed.
If Eskenzi PR loses a client, she takes it very seriously and dives deep into why. No stone is left unturned, and all angles are considered before considering a new approach or strategy. As her company grows, retaining clients is of the utmost importance, and she takes it seriously. Equally, if they lose staff, she does not take it lightly, as she understands that staff is the backbone of her business. She takes the reasons for the loss into account and does her best to ensure that it doesn’t happen again by listening to her staff and understanding their needs. She understands that without a strong, motivated team, success is impossible to achieve, and she works hard to maintain a supportive and inspiring environment for her employees.
From Soaring Beginnings to a Force to be Reckoned With
Being a business leader is not for the faint of heart. It takes a certain type of person to be able to make tough decisions, take risks and remain resilient in the face of adversity. She has been lucky to have her husband as her co-founder, so they’ve built the business up together, navigating the trials and tribulations of the entrepreneurial journey. Over the years, she has become a force to be reckoned with, learning from her experiences and becoming far tougher and more resilient. Her ability to stay the course has been an invaluable asset to her staff, allowing them to understand that bumps in the road are parred for the course and that they must remain focused on their goals.
She has found it tough to manage staff and balance the demands of the business. As an entrepreneur, she knows that no one taught her how to grow a business, run it, or manage people. But at the age of 60, she is still learning how to be a good boss. She has come to realize that the key to being a successful leader is to be an active listener and give people the opportunity to make and learn from their mistakes. Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to watch talented individuals grow and become great leaders in their own right. As she continues to manage her business, she hopes to pass on the skills and knowledge that have helped her become a successful leader.
Modest Beginnings to Global Success
She never dreamed of world domination; instead, she found contentment in growing a successful business. With a modest 30-35 clients, she was able to nurture and watch her staff blossom into top-notch PR professionals. She enjoyed the sense of satisfaction that came from helping others reach their professional goals, which was more rewarding than any kind of global success. She was proud of the tight-knit team she had built and was content with the size they had achieved.
She wants Eskenzi’s US arm to continue to soar and expand, and to that end, they’ve recently taken on some of the brightest interns from some of the top universities in the US. She is keen to keep them on board, as they will be a vital part of the team in achieving the growth she has envisioned. Already, they have made impressive strides in the US, with almost as many clients as they do in the UK. However, she believes the Middle East could be a huge area for growth, where Eskenzi can make its mark in the world of IT. She is confident that with the right team in place, the sky’s the limit for Eskenzi.
With her daughters by her side, she’s been crafting the ultimate Wellbeing and Productivity App—The Zensory—to assist those in the workplace in becoming more centered and tranquil. Eskenzi was so impressed with the efforts that they decided to take them on as clients!
After the overwhelming success of their PR initiatives, they’ve already earned a new client in the wellness sector! Having been a renowned cybersecurity PR agency for nearly three decades, they’re now looking to expand their horizons and create an entirely new division that helps businesses establish their presence in the health and wellness tech industry. This is a field that the team is incredibly passionate about, and they would love to cultivate it with a team of dedicated employees.
A Moment of Unparalleled Joy
It was a moment of sheer jubilation when they won the Best PR and Marketing Campaign award at the Exhibition Awards for the International Cyber Expo. An absolute privilege for her to be presented with the illustrious Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Rejoicing the success at Buckingham Palace was an astonishing moment of satisfaction and delight for her, acknowledging the difficulty of triumph in business. Acclaimed for an incredible six years, only 120 companies are chosen annually to collect the honor – she is indeed one of the fortunate few.
Nothing quite compares to the feeling of when a client expresses their gratitude for a job well done or when they decide to take us along for the ride to their new gig. That’s the highest form of recognition.