Grand Prix 2016

Anglian Water
Cyber Safe – Don’t let them in
Agency: artisan creative

A criticism often levelled at some entries to the  CorpComms Awards is that they are outlining business as usual work, which, while good, is not really award worthy. No such criticism could be directed at Anglian Water.

The judges loved the creativity of its Cyber safe – Don’t let them in campaign, but what really made this entry stand out from the other winners this year was the fact that this was an initiative completely driven by the in-house communications team.

Every month brings a new story of a British company being hacked, and IT departments are constantly fighting off attacks on their systems. It might be a bored teenager in their bedroom trying to hack a system for fun, a threat with a ransom demand or a more sinister attack designed to cripple a company.

Anglian Water is not immune. Its rebranded Cyber Security team regularly fends off threats. But cyber security is not sexy. Recognising that this was not yet identified as a serious risk by its senior management, Anglian Water’s communications team employed behavioural psychology. People are influenced by the expertise of the person communicating the message.

It did not matter how often the in-house communications team raised the subject, they needed the experts to endorse them. So a host of Government-backed industry experts were brought in to talk to Anglia Water’s senior management team about the issue. This rapidly propelled cyber security to the top of the corporate agenda.

‘I love the way that they have used behavioural change theory to deliver results,’ said the judges. ‘There was no buy-in from senior management until they brought in the advisers.’

Engaging employees on such a dry subject is also not easy. The judges were impressed by the team’s creative approach. Cyber risks were defined as cartoon characters. They were identified as threats in both a working and home environment. Simple measures of prevention were spelt out. Anglian Water’s headquarters became a mass of cartoon risks, peeking out from behind the computer or trying to get into a window. The threats are everywhere was the message. Even the corporate logo was given a makeover, with a cartoon risk peeking through.

And it was all created in-house, with assistance on the cartoon designs from a local agency artisan creative. ‘The team understood the link between behavioural change theory and strategy,’ said the judges. ‘And they approached this issue in a creative way with highly demonstrable results.’