By Lauren Edwards
Even when you’re writing about the past, make it about the future.
Readers can’t take actions or make decisions about events that are already in the past. For this reason, most old news is automatically less engaging. So, to give new energy to old news, comb your material for:
- lessons learned
- obstacles overcome
- future deadlines
- new capacities
This will give you better material that’s still derived from the past but now aimed at future usefulness, from your audience’s vantage point.
Below is the full text of a nicely done blog by Cynthia Ryan. I met her while giving a workshop for engineers, marketers and other technical and business people at MobileIron. She and her colleagues, like so many others at tech companies these days, are asked more and more often to write blogs for the company website — in addition to their business and technical responsibilities.
Cynthia has also worked for Amazon and HP, and she got her MBA from MIT — so she knows her stuff! (She’s also an accomplished musician, but that’s another story!)
After the workshop, she took me up on an offer to talk in advance before her next writing project.
I didn’t edit a word of this, but I did give Cynthia a new way to look at the assignment. She’d been asked to sum up MobileIron’s biggest business developments of the past year — a classic year-end story that was meant to appear right before New Year’s Day.
I asked her questions and gave her a different framework for the exact same info:
Turn the post into new things customers can do in 2019 (as a result of the big changes in 2018). She loved the idea and has OK’d my request to use her post as a great example. Thanks, Cynthia!
- Friendly language reads like dialogue, not an essay.
- Sentences are half a line to one line across the page, sometimes as long as two lines.
- “You” is frowned on in some PR circles, but it’s highly recommended for blogs.
- The information is clearly for and about readers, not just about MobileIron.
2. The business news from MobileIron’s point of view — successful partnerships with McAfee, Microsoft and Cisco — is much to be proud of, for sure! But Cynthia’s rendition is packaged for reader relevance.
- The verbs that start each subhead are actions that IT decision-makers can take at their own companies.
- The first three to five words of each paragraph start fast. A skimmer knows that this read won’t be long-winded or company-centric (yawn!).
3. It’s energizing and gives readers a clear set of next steps.
- Each subsection ends with a link.
- Each link is preceded by a zingy encouragement.
- Each encouragement is preceded by business and technical data that boosts credibility.
4. Even skimmers can easily digest the main points
- Only one paragraph is four lines across the screen. Most are one or two. The resulting extra white space is inviting and gives skimmers more places to re-engage.
- Messaging, features and benefits are included, but in short bursts amid the larger context.
- She ends with what journalists call “a kicker,” very short and often especially vivid last lines that come full circle back to the opening words.
There’s much to admire here.
To give you one main takeaway, though, let me reiterate my own main point:
Find a way to make the past be mostly about the future. Cynthia’s post now has a long shelf life. It’s still a recap of last year’s great news but packaged for high relevance to readers’ lives, decisions and actions.
By Cynthia Ryan, Business and Corporate Development, 12/29/18
You don’t need a fortune teller to know that 2019 can be better than 2018.
Why? Because MobileIron’s Technology Ecosystem team spent our 2018 making sure your 2019 would be safer and more secure.
How? By teaming up with cybersecurity players across the industry to bring you new capabilities that enhance the platforms you already know and love (and probably have!), and extending their proven functionality into the world of mobile endpoints.
Here are three things you can do right now to take the mystery out of creating a better 2019.
Leverage the first Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) integration with ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO)
Since its spinoff from Intel last year, McAfee has established itself as an undisputed giant in the cybersecurity industry with an estimated 85 million corporate endpoints under management at 75% of Fortune 500 firms.
This year, MobileIron Core, our on-premise solution, became the first (and as of this writing, the only) UEM solution to integrate with ePO, McAfee’s centralized security management console. MobileIron complements the McAfee product portfolio with its ability to deliver mobile-specific data to McAfee solutions. Now endpoint admins and security operations teams can get a holistic view of their endpoint estate, regardless of operating system or device.
With the MobileIron integration, ePO admins can do things like incorporate mobile device information in queries and reports as well as initiate common mobile device management actions (such as lock/unlock or wipe) directly from the ePO console.
The benefits go beyond ePO as well. Because the integration also supports Data eXchange Layer (DXL), security events for mobile devices can published on the DXL fabric and consumed by a wide array of security partners, enabling an even broader set of automation and orchestration use cases.
Likely, you’re a McAfee customer. So get started by reviewing the McAfee ePO Integration Guide.
2. Okta, Microsoft:
Extend your Identity Provider (IdP) capabilities into the Cloud
According to IDC’s 2018 Cloud Computing Survey, 100% of the 550 companies surveyed planned to have some form of cloud computing by 2021. It’s been estimated that the average enterprise uses 1,427 distinct cloud services, and most of those services have their own unique security model.
So, how can you reliably secure this proliferation of cloud services?
Integrate your existing IdP with MobileIron to deliver both user trust and environment trust. Our smart policy engine combined with multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO) provides adaptive security that reduces the risk of data breaches.
Using a standards-based approach, MobileIron now easily integrates with industry-leading IdP solutions such ask Okta and Microsoft Active Directory. In addition to verifying the user’s identity in a seamless manner, this configuration also verifies the state and posture of the device and app being used. If the login request is made from an unauthorized endpoint or app, the user is provided with an easy to follow remediation workflow. Capabilities such as one-touch setup, passwordless SSO and intuitive remediation workflows simplify the user experience
You have cloud services. You need to secure access to them. Start by reviewing our Okta and MobileIron Configuration Guide.
Deploy the new Cisco Security Connector (CSC) to gain visibility and control of your corporate managed iOS devices
With revenues of nearly $50 billion in their fiscal 2018, Cisco remains the largest player in the networking space. They established a partnership with Apple in 2015, and delivered another important solution for iOS devices late in 2017: Cisco Security Connector.
Cisco’s Security Connector app brings the same manageability to corporate-controlled iOS devices that have been available on desktops for years. CSC combines two well-established Cisco products: Clarity (advanced malware protection) and Umbrella (secure, cloud-based internet gateway). With these products working in tandem, the CSC app provides:
- Visibility into network and device traffic (Clarity)
- App inventory for each device (Clarity)
- Automatic blocking of phishing sites and reports identifying users who clicked on phishing links (Umbrella)
- Blocking of connections to malicious domains to keep sensitive data protected (Umbrella)
With MobileIron, you can seamlessly onboard, configure, and manage all your iOS devices even in DEP mode and simultaneously ensure all security controls are enabled and applied. Additionally, MobileIron manages the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and publishes apps, including the CSC app.
Get started by reviewing the Cisco Security Connector Setup Guide for MobileIron Cloud.
You don’t have to visit a psychic to know that more cloud services and mobile platforms will be deployed in 2019 and beyond. But with MobileIron and our technology partners, you can make the predictions for a more secure future a reality today!
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Lauren Edwards is a former reporter for the Associated Press. She has been creating, customizing and delivering workshops for science and technology teams since 2000.
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