Automating AR activities with an ARM like ARchitect

icon-tools.jpgLast week in Las Vegas Dave attended the ARchitect™ Users Group meeting, which was hosted by ARInsights.  This Analyst Relations Management System (ARM) and its features has been discussed in previous posts.

ARchitect’s new “briefing book” feature, which is about to be released, was previewed which sparked a lively discussion.  This new functionality allows clients to create “templates” in Microsoft word which will then be populated with information from the database.  The template process allows each client to create very custom pages including headers and footers, company logos, and company standard layouts.  ARchitect then returns a complete report in word format which can be further edited as needed.

A best practice for using this new feature, as well as the standard features for any ARM system, is to carefully determine the desired results and then ensure that the data needed to create the output is properly entered into the system.  AR teams need to take the time to establish goals for their reports, including metrics reports, and then work toward data consistency that will automate these routine tasks. This is actually an easy process that does not take a lot of time, but has a huge payback. 

In the case of the briefing book, SageCircle recommends that you think carefully about how you hope to use the output.  Most executives will be happy with – or likely prefer – a very concise and targeted page that explains who this analyst is, why they are important to the company, what to expect for questions, what are hot issues or potential trouble spots, and a description of the analyst demeanor. Frankly, the average executive will not read a tome the size of “War and Peace” so short and sweet is best.

So how do you automate such a process?  Well the photo, firm, and contact information are easy to obtain.  The rest takes some human intervention to become a useful summary.  Teams may wish to assign each team member the responsibility to create summaries for a handful of key analysts.  The raw data for this process can be generated by creating a report that includes the basic info, the analyst biography, selected publications or quotes, and a list of recent interactions.  This source information can then be summarized into an “executive focused” paragraph that can be placed back into the database.  In the case of ARchitect there is a convenient data field called “Our Take”.  Again this will not require much time to do as the AR team members probably already have an “elevator pitch” in their heads about each of their primary analysts.

Over time the team member assigned for each analyst should do a periodic review of the paragraph and update it as the relationship with the analyst changes, new issues arise, or information of interest to the executive is learned.

Now the team can create and share a report template that automatically generates a briefing book based on a defined group of analysts.  As each need for the report arises the AR manager adjusts the current group of analysts and quickly creates and then final edits their briefing book.

Using an ARM in this way reduces the workload of the team while generating information which is of much greater use to the executives, keeping them current on the state of the analyst relationship.

SageCircle technique:

  • For all AR reports take the time to articulate the goal of the report
  • Establish team standards for data entry
  • Create and share templates that allow for automated reporting

Bottom line: Both AR teams and their executives need concise and useful reports to prepare for analyst interactions or to summarize analyst relations performance.  Carefully looking at the objective and format for each report will help team members know how to best enter the data to reduce their future workload.

Questions:  Are you getting the most benefit from your ARM?  How does it reduce your workload while improving your program?

SageCircle has a series of best practice sessions that will help AR teams get the most from their ARMs like ARchitect.  You can arrange for us to briefly participate in your regular staff meeting to give a short 15-minute presentation to stimulate conversation and promote collaboration.  Contact us at “info [at] sagecircle dot com” or 503-636-1500.

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