Building an expert’s brand

Battling misinformation and election meddling

Challenge + Strategy

Mission North has been working with Graphika for a year and a half, providing PR support beginning with Graphika’s landmark research report identifying the scope of Russian influence operations on the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The New York City-based startup was launched in 2013, earning respect in academic and D.C. circles for its rigorous scientific academic work highlighting serious social issues online. Graphika was a first-mover in the space — early to use social listening to uncover election-related disinformation. But it needed support getting its message to the media and building its reputation as a technology company.

The challenge for Mission North was to help Graphika raise its profile in Silicon Valley and build relationships with tech, cybersecurity and business journalists. Another goal was to help build a personal brand for Graphika Chief Innovation Officer Camille François, who leads the company’s work to detect and mitigate disinformation, media manipulation and harassment. She previously worked on Google’s Jigsaw project, served as special advisor to the French Prime Minister’s Chief Technology Officer, and is a Mozilla Fellow, a Berkman-Klein Center affiliate and a Fulbright Scholar.

Since Camille and other executives are busy growing the company, conducting research, testifying before Congress and partnering with Facebook and others to combat online trolling and harassment, the media and thought leadership strategy had to be high-value and highly targeted. The goal has been to focus on the quality of coverage over volume.

Given the significance of Graphika’s election-related disinformation research and the widespread concerns of 2020 election interference, Mission North leveraged Camille’s unique expertise to create momentum. Mission North identified the top media, speaking, and awards opportunities that would drive the highest awareness for Graphika and Camille, while mapping back to corporate goals.

Execution + Results

Given Camille’s unique background, her many accomplishments and rising profile, Mission North recognized her potential for garnering mainstream and business-level attention. Camille’s work on election disinformation inspired a timely CNBC profile. Not long after, Marie Claire issued its 25th anniversary edition highlighting women shaping the future, featuring Camille as “The Troll Hunter Who Could Stop Russia From Hacking the 2020 Presidential Election.” While the CNBC story drove attention within the business and investor audience, the Marie Claire profile brought recruiting benefits, including emails from women interested in getting into the field and working with Graphika.

Camille also was named to the prestigious MIT 35 Under 35 Innovator List in 2019, which inspired her inclusion in TIME Magazine’s inaugural TIME 100 Next list. In commentary explaining why she received the honor, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called her a “brilliant researcher” who had “helped us uncover a vast assault on our democracy.”

To further establish her and Graphika’s credibility in the tech and cybersecurity industry, Camille secured speaking spots at leading industry events including SXSW, Black Hat 2019 and Forbes 30 Under 30 2019. At RSA, the cybersecurity industry’s biggest conference, Camille brought Facebook, Twitter and Google together in a panel to talk about disinformation for the first time ever on stage.

Graphika and Camille continue to have the ears of lawmakers as they set policy ahead of the election. In addition to the numerous reports uncovering continued disinformation campaigns on social media, Camille testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing on disinformation and online imposters in September 2019. As a result of Graphika’s unparalleled research, first-mover advantage, and timely research, Camille and Graphika are go-to sources for media, officials and lawmakers seeking to understand the complicated world of social media trolling and info ops.

Graphika is a SaaS and managed services provider that helps organizations navigate complex online networks for digital marketing and disinformation analysis purposes. The technology leverages the power of artificial intelligence to create the world’s most detailed maps of social media landscapes.

Graphika is a SaaS and managed services provider that helps organizations navigate complex online networks for digital marketing and disinformation analysis purposes. The technology leverages the power of artificial intelligence to create the world’s most detailed maps of social media landscapes.

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