April 1, 2014

Creating Real Security Awareness: Step 6, Execute

Put that plan into action!
Welcome to our Create Security Awareness series' seventh installment, step 6 execution. This is when you place your awareness material out there, however, you should first review the communication plan developed back during step four. Remember, the communication plan is the road map you came up with for getting your message across to your audience. It lays out what communication platforms you previously selected.

Now it's go time!

How short or long the awareness campaign is completely up to you. You can have it spread out over a week, month, or a quarter (three-month period). This is depended upon how much material you have, the workload, and how in-depth you want to get. Whatever length and intensity you choose, I recommend spreading the material throughout the campaign's time frame. You want to start and end on a high note with your best material, while having everything else sprinkled throughout the middle. Don't do a major blitz of information at the very beginning. You need to give your audience time to digest the information, and they do that best in chunks.

When in the execution phase, keep these things in mind.

1) Be consistent and stay on message. Have all material supporting one key concept.

2) Be adaptable and capitalize on opportunity. Other opportunities to present your message may become available. Sometimes you'll come across articles or other items that could easily supplement what you are trying to do. These are freebies to add diversity to your awareness campaign.

3) Create word-of-mouth buzz. When I start a campaign, I give the leadership an opportunity to review the material before distributing to the rest of the workforce. Typically they will see something they like and recommend it to others within the organization without me prompting them.

Even though the write up plan is short for step six, I find it takes up most of my energy. Placing information out there for public consumption can be draining.  Fortunately, there are various digital platforms that permit you to pre-load material and schedule releases. This helps you place part of the campaign on auto-pilot while you take care of other items. If you're using printed media (i.e. posters, handouts), try talking to facility managers, department administrators, or similar type positions about having them hand out or post material in their spaces. You would be surprised about how many people are willing to help out.

Articles in the series:
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