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28 Mar 2017

NBlog March 28

With just days remaining until the March 31st deadline, the general staff security innovation awareness materials are almost finished, the management stream is well in hand and the professional stuff is, well, sulking in a dark corner until I clear enough head-space to push on with that. Thankfully most of the heavy-lifting is complete at this point. The key awareness messages have crystallized out already leaving just a few remaining thoughts rattling around loose in my skull - it's merely a case of capturing them before I forget!

Always one of the final items to prepare every month is the newsletter. We have a sketchy view of its structure and a few odds-n-sods of content tucked away already, including snippets culled from public materials during our research over the previous few weeks - relevant quotes, interesting news items, that sort of thing. From time to time I have toyed with using note-taking apps to grab snippets and the source references directly from the web pages, PDFs etc. ... but somehow there's never quite enough benefit to justify really getting to grips with the apps, so I fall back on simple plain text files (barely one step up from scraps of paper and a pen!). 

The newsletter revolves around the news, of course, the more 'topical' the better, both in terms of being on-topic for our chosen area of concern, and recent, within a few days ideally or a few months at most. We're not in the business of re-hashing old news or 'fighting the last war': awareness, teaching and training materials have to be bang up-to-date otherwise we might as well hand round a few dusty old textbooks and head to the bar. Aside from anything else, old news is like old chewing gum: stale, tasteless and you can't seem to shake free of it. 

Another thing that often happens around this time of the month is that we rationalize the content for the three distinct audiences. Some of the things we've brought up in the staff stream, for instance, turn out to be inappropriate for the general audience, perhaps too detailed, technical or conceptual for most people. Usually it's a simple matter of cutting a slide or two from the staff seminar and pasting it into one or both of the others. Sometimes it involves updating the wording to change the emphasis a bit, perhaps picking up on a different perspective. The net result is a reasonably balanced suite of materials, meaningful to the respective audiences and yet with enough touch points to prompt conversation between them.


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