Around 2006 / 2007 I began blogging and tried to get into video blogging. Although I’d been working in information security for 7 years up to that point, I wasn’t well-connected in terms of what conferences ran, who the influencers were, or who the editors of any of the numerous security magazines or websites were.

I wanted to go to Infosec Europe and interview a few people on camera, but didn’t know the best way to go about it. I sent out a few dozen emails but didn’t hear any response.

Eventually I found a contact for the PR agency which was in charge of Infosec Europe. A company named Eskenzi PR. Why would they respond to someone like me, when much smaller websites had refused to even acknowledge my email? I didn’t think about it too much and sent off an email thinking that I’d have to make do another way.

Much to my surprise I got a call back from Eskenzi Neil Stinchcombe. I’d later learn that Neil founded the company along with his wife Yvonne Eskenzi.

Neil took the time to hear out my plan and proposal, and provided some valuable tips as well as pointing out some of the flaws in my approach. He offered me a press pass to Infosec and helped setup all the video meetings I requested, and some more for good measure.

Now, I maybe didn’t end up getting noticed by the BBC and ended up with my own TV series. But I’ll always be grateful for the help Eskenzi provided, when it would have been easy for them to have ignored me with no consequence.

Over the years, my relationship with Eskenzi grew. When I moved to 451 Research as an analyst, they would be one of the agencies that would pitch briefings and stories from their security clients. A job they would consistently do to a high standard.

When I joined AlienVault three years ago, I was pleased to see that Eskenzi PR was our UK agency.

As I reflect, Eskenzi PR is the longest-standing professional relationship I have; one where I like to think of Yvonne, Neil, and many of the people as colleagues and friends.

So, I was particularly happy to hear that Eskenzi has been honoured by receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2018, recognising its achievements in International Trade.

I can’t think of a company more deserving, and I’m glad the Queen agrees.