74% of CISOs Would Pay a Premium to Work With Thought Leaders

May 19, 2021

Research uncovers the importance of thought leadership influencing cybersecurity buying decisions

Security PR network, Code Red, released its global research report into the value of thought leadership – showing 74 per cent of Chief Information Security Officer’s (CISO) would pay a premium to work with cybersecurity vendors they regard as thought leaders.

Findings reveal that thought leadership plays a fundamental role in a CISO’s procurement choices with 97 per cent using thought leadership content at different stages of the buying decision process and 43 per cent when making a final decision on appointing a cybersecurity company.

Thought leadership is paramount even after a deal has been struck, with 35 per cent of CISOs increasing their business with an existing supplier because of strong thought leadership.

Trust is central to the way CISOs access thought leadership and make decisions. Three key means of obtaining trusted content that was clear was including independent research using keywords, reviewing content by networks of trust (friends, family, and colleagues), and reading trusted trade media publications.

Assumed methods for sourcing content such as paid advertising and direct EDMs ranked lower, while the way CISOs consume thought leadership content is shifting due to COVID-19, with 71 per cent preferring videos and webinars.

As the industry continues to shift and machine learning and data analytics continue to rise, it comes as no surprise that 28 per cent of Australian and New Zealand IT professionals ranked Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the most popular topic for decision makers.

Elaine Banoub, Technology Director at Primary Communication, Code Red’s Australian Partner said the speed at which cyberthreats continues to evolve has made it clear that cybersecurity is no longer an IT issue, but a business one.

“With the constantly changing threat landscape, it is critical that businesses have access to strategic cyber threat intelligence to be able to properly manage a risk. Technology disruption, regulations and cyber-threats are rapidly evolving in the cybersecurity sector, and CISOs are looking at experts in the field to provide valuable insights, opinion, and interpretation.”

Companies investing in long-term visionary thinking and discussion will gain an important competitive advantage, while building value for stakeholders in their own business. This new research provides invaluable insight into the minds of CISOs, that if used correctly can lead to an increase in engagement and sales for cybersecurity and technology companies.

PR professionals and cyber marketers need to improve the quality of their industry commentary and technology forecasting and deliver the content on the right platform for the audience,” added Ms Banoub. 

Other key findings from the 2021 Code Red Global Research Report include:

  • The top three places cyber professionals source thought leadership content are IT and cyber security trade media publications (54 per cent), direct keyword search online (46 per cent) and content shared by friends and networks on social media (31 per cent). The assumed marketing avenues of social media ads, online ads and EDM are bottom three sources.
  • 55 per cent of cybersecurity professionals spend 1-3 hours a week consuming thought leadership content.
  • Video (43 per cent) and webinars (38 per cent) as preferred formats for thought leadership content are on the rise, but trade media articles remain on top.
  • Network security (23 percent) was the most popular cybersecurity thought leadership topic, 21 per cent, opted for cloud security and cyber security software and services, while 18 per cent were more interested in AI and machine learning.

Code Red commissioned the report of 819 IT security decision makers from companies across 10 countries, including Australia. See the full report here.


Beyond buzz words. What do creativity and innovation mean in practice?

April 20, 2021

Today is World Creativity and Innovation Day. Two words that we often hear and use, but what do they mean in practice? Can creativity really lead to change? And how do we create something unique in highly competitive and evolving markets?

The past year definitely put a spanner in the works for how we create. Catching up in person became impossible and most businesses went through sudden change (including a shift to digital), as well as internal restructures. Many employers and employees stepped into the unfamiliar, and navigating uncertainty became a daily occurrence. Despite this, adversity led to rapid problem solving and innovation across the globe – from newly set up online community help seeking platforms, to virtual town halls.

At Primary, we faced all these challenges internally, while supporting clients to strategise, design and deliver key creative projects. How did we do this?

We had a chat to some of our account directors about what creativity and innovation mean across the areas of support Primary provide to clients. Here’s what they had to say.


Community Engagement

Chris Downy
Executive Director, Primary Engage

Conversation is the birthplace of creativity.

Our program design always starts at the objective each client is seeking to achieve. We then map out the issues landscape and identify strategic options to achieve the desired outcome – essentially developing a community engagement strategy is problem solving at its finest.

The key ingredient to successful engagement is understanding your audience (their pleasures and pain points) and connecting with them in creative and meaningful ways. Talking and listening to the people most affected by the client’s project (grassroots engagement) provides invaluable insights into improving existing products or developing new products. In the past year technology became an important tool in communicating with audiences and led to innovative engagement – the use of virtual town halls being one example.


Public Relations

Elaine Banoub
Senior Account Director, Primary Communication

Creativity is the secret sauce for any successful PR campaign. A creative approach & strategy can help cut through the noise, add new perspectives, and can really bring home your message to the right audience.  A creative and relevant campaign will keep your audience captivated and provide the outcome you are looking for if executed correctly. Take for instance, the Black Lives Matter campaign that went viral globally. In addition to people supporting the cause in public spaces and conversations, the movement dominated social media to shine the spotlight on the matter.

We were all challenged last year with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Events were cancelled, and individuals were forced to work remotely in lieu of social distancing. While this has been an extremely challenging period for many, it’s provided businesses and individuals with a chance to step back and reconsider their programs and their go-to-market strategy.

At Primary, we approach every brief received with a brainstorm session that involves the entire team. No idea is a bad idea, and some of our best campaigns last year, despite the challenges, resulted from our initial virtual brainstorm session, which included a healthy mix of creative input and strategic approaches.



Lincoln Graham
Creative Director, Primary Create

I’m a firm believer that the key to creative success is simplicity and that’s why it’s often so difficult. In fact, the difficulties we faced over 2020 in many ways paved a way for a more simplified and streamlined approach, delivering new efficiencies and greater effectiveness. We were able to work with clients in a more collaborative manner from the outset, in setting strategy, building briefs and executing creative. Our clients became part of the creative process in more ways than one, offering their own services, using their own channels and often featuring in their own campaign assets.



Chris Hall
CEO, Primary

Pre 2020 we wouldn’t have conceived of a future of work away from the office. In 2020 we all worked from home which presented some challenges, but it didn’t stop us committing our energy and imagination to solving challenges for our clients. In March last year we began daily hacks dedicated to finding client solutions in a viral world without face-to-face connection. This grew into virtual workshops for clients spanning home offices, living rooms and bedrooms with some of Australia’s biggest companies and departments facing unprecedented challenges. Through thorough preparation we unleashed a wave of creativity collaborating with clients talking into webcams harnessing ideas and delivering real outcomes.


Do you have an idea that you want to bring to life? Get in touch with our team.

Real stories create real impact: A case study

March 10, 2021

15,000 women experience homelessness each year in NSW alone. But many wouldn’t know this, because women’s homelessness is invisible.

On International Women’s Day 2021, Blur Projects and Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia launched UNSEEN – a collaborative arts project situated in Sydney’s CBD sharing the hidden experiences of some of those thousands of women who live without a home.

Primary provided pro bono media relations support to represent the truth of women’s diverse experiences, increase public understanding of the issue and drive change. This included the development of key messages, media release, talent coaching, briefings, pitching of exclusive content and interview arrangement.

The result? A feature placement on 9news.com.au, which was the second most read article of the day with a potential reach of more than 8 million people. Real stories make real impact.

To find out more about UNSEEN or get involved, visit: www.unseen.house 

The Wonderful Women in Our Lives

March 8, 2021

Today is International Women’s Day, and this year is about celebrating women who have stood at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, as health care works, caregivers, innovators, community organisers and national leaders. 

Women lead on a global, national and personal level.

At Primary, we are lucky to be surrounded by incredible women in our workplace and personal lives. So, we’re celebrating by sharing a bit about the women who make a difference in our lives.  

Bernadette: “My incredible mother is my inspiration and life coach. Juggling motherhood and a career whilst making time for herself, family and friends; she taught me a woman can do anything she sets her mind to.”

Mia: “My colleague Mary-Anne is one of my greatest mentors and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her kindness, support and great advice. She pushes me to succeed and motivates me to not only work hard but to always believe in myself. Her intelligence and work ethic inspires me every day.”

Elaine: “Both my mother and mother-in-law inspire me every day. They are both carers in their roles and despite various challenges, they are always positive. They teach me every day to be strong, especially in tough times and to stand up for what I believe in.”

Liz: “Thank god for sisters! I have two older sisters who shower me with love, support and empowerment every single day, always without judgement! For 3 women from the same family, we couldn’t be more different…yet the same. Striving to be the best version of ourselves every single day & learning from each other as we go.”

Frank: “My mamma. A book of adjectives does not do her justice but let’s go with the most intelligent, kind, giving, gentle and yet strong woman whose insights have helped make me a better version of myself and whom, no matter what the time of day, will whip up a pasta dish for you (including lasagne like you have never tasted).

Renee: “Mary Jackson, NASA’s first female black engineer. As one of few women to enter Aeronautical Engineering in the 1950s, Mary had to not only contend with rampant sexism, but also racism in a then-segregated society. Mary demonstrated that it was both possible to break through the glass ceiling, and help remove the ceiling as well for future generations. In her 27-year tenure at NASA, she worked tirelessly to change the organisation’s culture to encourage and inspire the next generation of female engineers.”

Mary-Anne: “I am inspired by the women at Primary. Each and every one has enriched my days in one way or another; whether it’s professional or personal advice, mentoring, or collaboration/support on a project. I feel that the level of care and support that each one shows daily is inspirational and contributes to the whole team.”

Chris: “My wife is amazing. As the mother of three young children, she is the centrepiece of our family and somehow finds time to hold down a big job. She inspires us all to be better.”

Cora: “My sister Therese. She taught me that life is for exploring, living, challenging yourself and to always try new things. Don’t limit yourself. The world is your oyster. Be brave enough to go after what you want.”

Danielle: “My mum is my rock. The past year has been a tough one, so much uncertainty and forever changing plans, but having my Mum as a sounding board created a sense of calm in the chaos. I like to think her resilience is rubbing off on me, and her humour.”

Annabelle: “A moment in time from Sheila Swaine, chairman of my uni (Mitchell CAE) in the 1980s which I often quote. “Chairman is a position described in law. I doubt anyone will confuse me for a man or a piece of furniture.  I am the Chairman of Mitchell CAE.””

Primary gets behind Barcelona Principles 3.0

March 2, 2021

If there is one thing Primary has been passionate about for a long time – it is embedding best practice communication measurement and evaluation across our campaigns and projects.  

Our team is committed to educating clients and staff on the Barcelona Principles, an industry-wide framework for PR professionals established by the International Association of Measurement and Evaluation in Communications (AMEC) in 2010. 

The latest 3.0 iteration of the Barcelona Principles released in 2020, reflects some important updates that address the evolving nature of the communication industry. 

Primary is pledging its support as an official supporter of the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s Barcelona Principles 3.0 program, which we believe is an important reminder for the industry to continue striving for excellence in measurement and evaluation. 

Every month, we will take a deep dive on different aspects of the Barcelona Principles 3.0. 

An important step is to become familiar with the 7 Principles: 

  1. Setting goals is an absolute prerequisite to communications planning, measurement and evaluation
  2. Measurement and evaluation should identify outputs, outcomes and potential impact
  3. Outcomes and impact should be identified for stakeholders, society and the organisation
  4. Communication measurement and evaluation should include both qualitative and quantitative analysis
  5. AVEs are not the value of communication
  6. Holistic communication measurement and evaluation includes all relevant online and offline channels
  7. Communication measurement and evaluation are rooted in integrity and transparency to drive learning and insights

Check out the PRIA’s Measurement and Evaluation Library for everything you need to know about the Barcelona Principles 3.0 here