Are you wasting time on the wrong analysts? Announcing “Ranking and Tiering,” a SageCircle webinar

seminar.jpgOne of the biggest ongoing mistakes that AR professionals make is not using a rigorous methodology for managing their analyst lists. This often leads to too many analysts on their lists and too many analysts designated as “Tier 1.” This state of affairs leads to inefficiency and ineffectiveness as AR teams are spread too thin to effectively influence the most relevant analysts. Another problem is a list that is missing relevant analysts, which can lead to uninformed analysts negatively impacting your sales cycles. While bad enough in good economic times this mistake can be fatal in recessions when all corporate functions are being scrutinized for efficiency as well as contribution to revenues and corporate/business unit objectives. The quality of your analyst list brings up a number of key issues for AR:

  • Do you have a formal analyst list management process that can withstand executive scrutiny?
  • Are your list management processes efficient enough to permit quick changes to reflect the changing company priorities or upheavals in the analyst community like layoffs?
  • Do you have the content to educate your stakeholders about how analyst lists are managed and the importance of prioritizing the analysts?
  • Are you prepared for the analysts to “go around” you and interact directly with your executives to get their “tier” upgraded?
  • Do you have the tools to efficiently manage and share your lists?

To help out AR professionals and teams take a strategic approach to creating and maintaining analyst lists, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on the methodology for creating an airtight analyst list.

In this SageCircle AR Webinar, we will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you develop a solid and efficient analyst list management process. The agenda for the 90-minute session includes: Continue reading

SageCircle is extending its AR Seminars to the Seattle area

seminar.jpgDue to popular demand, SageCircle is expanding our seminars beyond the Silicon Valley. The first location is Bellevue, strategically placed between Seattle and Redmond. In addition, for those of you in Portland, it is only a three-hour drive (faster and much less expensive than flying) up lovely Interstate 5.

Seminars are held from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm on day one and 8 am to 11:30 am on day two. This approach has two benefits. First, out-of-town attendees can use the morning of day one to travel to the conference site and then return home the afternoon of day two. Second, full day seminars can be like drinking from a fire hose with fatigue settling in the middle of the afternoon. Our approach gives attendees a chance to absorb the first half of the content and then start the second half refreshed and armed with questions about the content from session one.

The afternoon-morning approach also gives us a chance to schedule a happy hour for networking.

You can sign up for either (or both) seminars by visiting www.SageCircle.com and clicking on the appropriate link on the right side of the page. Call 503-636-1500 or e-mail “info [at] sagecircle.com” to schedule a call about how SageCircle can help take your career and your AR program to the next level.

Please spread the word and let’s see if we can get a great turnout in the Pacific Northwest.

SageCircle seminars in Seattle

AR and analyst gathering in the Silicon Valley on Monday, January 12th

Analyst Relations Meet UpA regular part of SageCircle’s AR seminar is the happy hour after the first day’s afternoon session. This gives seminar participants and strategists an opportunity to chat over adult beverages and finger food about the topics covered, applying them to specific situations, and discuss other issues about the analyst ecosystem (… or restaurants… or current events… or anything else). It has proven to be a nice relaxing networking opportunity. 

As an experiment, we are opening up the happy hour to all AR professionals and analysts that would like to drop by to network and chat. We won’t be using this as a sales opportunity for SageCircle and there will not be any formal presentations. Nor is this a meeting of SPAR or IIAR. Rather the purpose is to promote the community around the analysts.

As a further experiment, we are also inviting analysts and research managers to drop by as well. Even end-user clients of the analysts might want to drop by to chat with AR professionals about the information vendors provide the analysts. This could help the end users be more effective research consumers.

The gathering will be in at the Cupertino Inn (De Anza exit off 280) in the heart of the Silicon Valley. It will start at approximately 5:45 to 6 pm PT and goes to who knows when at least to 7:30 pm or later. So drop by after work.

If you think you might be showing up for this booze-and-schmooze, please let us know so that we can arrange for an appropriate meeting area and enough booze (you will be supplying the schmooze). Contact us at 503-636-1500 or info [at] sagecircle.com.

Please spread the word to AR, analysts and IT managers. If this works next week, we might make it a regular feature of our monthly seminars.

Announcing the SageCircle Webinar “AR in a Recession – Refocusing Priorities and Activities”

Analyst Relations (AR) programs often get caught in the downdraft of a recession experiencing budget cuts, headcount freezes or reductions, and less analyst interaction support from executives and domain experts. If AR is to avoid being the target of budget and headcount cuts is it critical to ensure that it is aligned with corporate priorities and is demonstrating positive economic contributions. While this seems obvious, too many AR programs are so caught up in reactive mode or simply doing normal day-to-day tasks that they don’t see the danger forming. As a consequence, these programs have a greater likelihood of getting cut than those AR managers and teams that proactively or preemptively move to change their focus. 

When AR programs are considering what has to change during a recession they often focus only on cutting spending. However, this is not enough. AR professionals should remember to both work as well as spend differently. Only doing one is not enough.

In this SageCircle Webinar (see agenda below), our strategists – who have experienced recessions both as AR professionals and as a top Gartner analyst – will provide succinct and practical advice on how AR programs need to work and spend differently in this recession. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them survive the current recession and thus provide their employers with a competitive advantage by continuing to influence the industry analysts. Key issues that will be addressed include:

  • How should AR conduct a zero-based rethink of its priorities and activities?
  • What is the impact of the recession on the AR measurement and reporting program?
  • Does the recession change the priority given to an AR-Sales partnership program?
  • What AR spending cuts should be considered and how will analyst contract reductions impact relationships?
  • Should AR shamelessly market its contributions to its executive sponsors?

There will be plenty of time for your observations and questions. See below for the agenda

The cost of this information-packed session is only $95. You can register by Continue reading

Announcing SageCircle’s Advanced AR seminar “STRATEGIC ISSUES: Challenges for the AR Team”

The advanced AR seminar has been finalized!

“STRATEGIC ISSUES: Challenges for the AR Team” is the newest addition to SageCircle’s AR training portfolio. Thanks to all of you who participated in the survey on what topics should be included in the seminar. This seminar is designed for experienced AR staff and managers who need to move beyond the fundamentals.  Spread over two half-day sessions it includes information, checklists, and templates to create actionable AR programs that can demonstrate true business value.  The seminar will be January 13-14 in Cupertino and you can register on our website. Here is a sneak peek at the agenda (click here for the brochure with full agenda):

  • Planning – Creating a strategic plan that moves the team into proactive activities, promotes AR with executives and colleagues, and incorporates new methods of dealing with analysts.
  • Strategic Projects – Five key groups of AR activities that build the AR program. These include strategic messaging, influencing Magic Quadrant positioning, Customer case study programs, merger and acquisition projects, and new category creation.
  • Innovative Analyst Interactions – Breaking away from the traditional to deal with difficult analysts, create a plan to influence major analyst events, or alternatives to consulting days.
  • Measurement – Creating a cohesive metrics plan that tracks performance and AR impact.
  • Sales – Planning an AR-Sales partnership program that demonstrates AR ROI

For more information call us at 503-636-1500 or send an email to info [at] sagecircle dot com.

Stay on top on what is happening in the analyst ecosystem by having a SageCircle strategist talk at your next staff call

icon-crystal-ball.jpgThe analyst landscape and AR trends are volatile

All aspects of the communications and IT industries are in a state of flux.  The industry analysts are not immune to the change, which drags AR along.  Issues like what is the impact of social media on AR, are the analysts still influential, what is the Fog of Influence, how does analyst firm consolidation change the game and others bedevil AR teams.

SageCircle’s free Trends Presentation

The Trends Presentation is a 30 to 60 minute discussion of top trends facing AR professionals.  It is offered free one time to non-clients and unlimited times to Annual Advisory Service clients.  AR managers pick the trends that would be of most interest to their teams and SageCircle strategists construct a slide deck and talk track that will get everybody involved. 

If you would like a Strategist to share what we see in our crystal ball, call 503-636-1500 or send an e-mail to info [at] sagecircle dot com. Click here for a PDF brochure.

SageCircle featured in Public Relations Tactics magazine

PR Tactics MagazineSageCircle was the featured expert in Are You Ready? Socializing Analyst Relations by Ryan Zuk published this week’ “Public Relations Tactics,” a publication of the PRSA. 

This is a good article with quotes from Gartner’s Scott Nelson and former Forrester analysts Charlene Li as well.

To read more about how social media is impacting the analysts and AR please check out this blog’s social media category, which will link you to more than 50 posts.

Bottom Line: Social media is starting to edge into mainstream usage as a communications tool to use with influencers. While not relevant for the entire analyst community, AR teams should start experimenting with social media today to ensure you are ready to exploit it to the fullest potential when appropriate.

Question: Have you incorporated social media in your AR toolbox yet, even at the experimental level? If not, why not?

SageCircle has a full lineup of advice and best practices in the Online SageContentTM Library as well as training available to help AR teams get up-to-speed on the fast changing social media and AR landscape. Give us a call to learn more how we can help you.

Analyst Twitter Directory breaks 200 mark and other news

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIf you have not checked out the Analyst Twitter Directory lately you might want to take a look. Over the last few weeks we have seen a significant number of additions as analysts are starting to evaluate Twitter.

A new member of the SageCircle directory portfolio is the AR Contractor Directory. Listings are free so I you do AR contracting or know someone who does, please contact us to be included. info [at] sagecircle dot com.

Don’t forget that if you are an analyst relations (AR) professional and you have a Twitter handle then you should be in the AR Twitter Directory. Just send us your twitter handle and we’ll add you to the directory. Follow Carter at @carterlusher and Dave at @daveeckert

Last, but not least, is the Vendor Analyst Events listing. If you have an analyst summit or analyst conference coming up, this year or next, please let us know. The value for AR to participate in this listing is avoid the problem of scheduling conflicts that hurt everybody.

Are you or do you know an independent AR contractor?

SageCircle is working on our newest reference page, the AR Contractors Directory. We are looking for names and contact information for people to add to this directory.

Definition: An AR contractor is an individual who will conduct day-to-day analyst relations tasks (e.g., set up and execute analyst briefings, monitor analyst opinion) in a non-employee relationship. AR contractors could bill by the hour or project. While PR firms do this type of work, they are not included in this category. This market category is focused on independent individuals or small specialized boutiques.

Directories can be found in the Pages box at the top of the left navigation menu.

Bottom Line: If you do contact work or have contact information for AR contractors you know, please send it to “info [at] sagecircle.com”

Question: AR managers – Why do you use – or not use – AR contractors?

 

Get onboard the AR social media train

Announcing “Introduction to Blogging for AR,” a special SageCircle webinar

While there are hundreds of analysts that blog, the big dog in the analyst market has been a Chihuahua not a mastiff in the blogosphere, even discouraging its analysts from having personal blogs. However, that is changing in a big way as news has gotten out that Gartner has upped the ante on analyst blogging by encouraging analysts to start blogging with 47 blogs already on the new Gartner Blog Network (see below for list with links) with more being launched. What is even more interesting is that Gartner is encouraging its analysts participate in the online conversation by leaving comments on blogs – we found this out after a Gartner analyst left a comment on the SageCircle blog. This new emphasis on blogging by Gartner brings up a number of key issues for AR: 

  1. Are you prepared to monitor analyst blogs?
  2. Are you prepared to engage the analysts via their blogs?
  3. Are you prepared to use an AR blog to engage the analysts?
  4. Are you prepared for the analysts to “go around” you and Continue reading

Accessible Expertise from SageCircle

Got a problem analyst? Screaming won’t help.

That primal scream of frustration from the throats of many AR professionals often comes as a reaction to something that a “problem analyst” has said or done. Be it the killing of a promising sales deal or an uninformed but highly visible press quote, problem analysts can wreck havoc on the AR team’s plans and standing within their own companies. How should AR professionals react when they are confronted by the wrath of an executive screaming?  What activities should a team plan to turn around negative analysts?

An approach that rarely works is for the AR manager to turnaround and scream, whether at the analyst or the analyst’s boss.  What does work is for the AR manager to step back, take a deep breath and calmly analyze the situation.

One issue that AR has is determining whether or not it even makes sense to invest any effort into turning around or countering a problem analyst. Frankly, many problem analysts are not worth the effort because they have little influence. The next issue is to determine the type of problem analyst you are confronting (e.g., pragmatist, know it all, budget vampire, well-known press hound, rock star, among others) because different types of problem analysts require different approaches.

The critical step – if the decision is to turn the analyst around – is creating a plan to address the situation. Oh, don’t forget to equip your sales force with information and tools to mitigate negative commentary in the meantime. Of course AR has to do this while your executives are breathing fire down your neck.

Announcing the SageCircle “Dealing with Problem Analysts” Webinar

Our SageCircle AR Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you analyze your situation and determine Continue reading

Time to Vote! SageCircle’s bracket now up on the PRWeek website

As we mentioned earlier in the week, SageCircle has been nominated to be part of PRWeek’s 10th Anniversary PR blog competition. Just getting nominated is a honor and we hope we can use this competition to highlight the value of PR and AR cooperating and collaborating. But we need your help! Please visit the PRweek page and vote for good old SageCircle.

It is super easy and does not require registration or anything else to vote. A couple of clicks and you’ll be finished.

To vote: 

  • Visit the PRweek 10th Anniversary page www.prweekus.com/Tenth-Anniversary/section/404/
  • Scroll down to the blog competition section where you will see four voting boxes with pie charts
  • SageCircle is in the lower left box
  • Click on “Sage Circle” to vote

Time is of the essence. The voting bracket that SageCircle is in will only be up for a couple of days. The previous bracket was suppose to be up through tonight, but they jumped the gun and put our bracket up a day early, so there is no guarantee that you will be able to vote for more than just today, so please visit now.

A big Thanks! to everybody.

PS: There is still time to sign up for the SageCircle Webinar “Introduction to Twitter” (click for info and agenda). You can register by clicking here or visiting www.sagecircle.com/

SageCircle is in the PRWeek Blog Competition!

PRWeek is holding an interesting competition to have readers select their favorite blog. We are honored that SageCircle’s blog was nominated to be one of the 32 blogs. Yes, SageCircle concentrates on the analyst ecosystem and analyst relations (AR). However, the IT and telcomms analysts are an important resource for the technology and business press, helping reporters make sense of complex technology issues and providing pithy sound bites.

SageCircle has long advocated that AR and PR collaborate to ensure that the IT and telecoms analysts are used effectively, both as advisors to PR and other marketers, and by the press. Here is a roundup of some of the relevant PR/AR posts: 

The voting is being done by brackets. The first eight blogs have Continue reading

Announcing “Introduction to Twitter,” a special SageCircle webinar

After we sent out the email last week about the AR Twitter Directory, we received a great response from tweeting AR professionals that wanted to be added to the directory and page views were quite high. However, we also got a lot of emails along with comments like: 

            “I only have a vague notion of what twitter is!”

            “I’m thinking about trying out Twitter soon”

            “Would like to, but how do I get started?”

            “How do I find the time?”

            “I’m a bit skeptical about it …”

            “…unfortunately I am not hip to the Twitter scene yet …”

There are over 120 analysts in the Analyst Twitter Directory with new names being added weekly. So if some of your top analysts are on Twitter, shouldn’t you be on Twitter as well?  To help out AR professionals and teams get started with Twitter, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on using and understanding this bleeding edge form of communication.

In this SageCircle AR Webinar, we will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you get up-to-speed on Twitter as a user, and help you understand the implications for AR. The agenda for the 90-minute session includes:

  1. What is micro-blogging and Twitter
  2. How are analysts and AR professionals using Twitter
  3. Getting started on Twitter
  4. Tips on being an efficient Twitter user
  5. Setting up an Continue reading

SageCircle launches the AR Twitter Directory

Today SageCircle has added a new feature to the blog, the AR Twitter Directory. This new directory, with an initial 52 entries, complements the Analyst Twitter Directory, which has been very popular. You can find both directories in the “Pages” section at the top of the left navigation menu.

Please take a look and send any additions or corrections to info [at] sagecircle dot com. Thanks.

Online SageContent Library – time running out to get the Charter Member price

First off, yes we changed the name of the SageCircle Wiki for AR to the Online SageContentTM Library. When we came up with the original name, we committed the classic mistake of focusing on the hip, cool technology instead of what it did. After talking with a number of prospective subscribers, it became clear that what they were focusing on was the time they would save. Our initial clients saw the value of not re-inventing the wheel because there is an online library of tools, templates, checklists, best practices and such that they can just simply download and use.

The regular annual subscription price is $495. However, until August 1st, the Charter Member pricing gives you a $100 discount. For more information and to order click here.

WordPress is having a problem with displaying images

We use the WordPress blogging platform and it’s having some problems displaying images. You might see some blank squares with little x’s where one of our images normally reside. Kind of annoying as SageCircle is a heavy user of graphics to add value to our posts. Here is a notice from WordPress:

“Notice: Because of an issue with Amazon’s S3 service, some images maybe unavailable for viewing after upload. We are working on resolving this issue and will update the following forum thread with more information as it is available.”

The first vendor analyst event for 2009 has been posted

Tip o’ the hat to Susan Pullin, VP of Industry Analyst Relations at CSC, for the tip about CSC’s Innoventure 2009.

Don’t forget to submit your analyst summit or conference for a free posting on the Vendor Analyst Event calendar. You can find the calendar in the “Pages” box at the top of the left navigation bar.

We received the first submissions to the “Vendor Analyst Events” calendar

Tip o’ the hat to Rachel for her tip about the Avaya Analyst Conference. Another tip o’ the hat to Shelley for the tip about Iron Mountain’ analyst event. A double tip o’ of the hat to Daniel for the two-fer tip about Deloitte’s Americas and EMEA AR Summits.

Remember, there is no charge to have your event listed. The goal of the calendar is to help vendors avoid  splitting analyst attendance at analyst summits or conferences, which can occur if vendor events are scheduled too close together. As Shelley said:

“The AR event calendar is a great idea and I hope all of ‘us vendors’ will share that info with you.”

SageCircle launches calendar of Vendor Analyst Events

Twice in the last couple of weeks, we have received requests – one from an analyst and one from a vendor – that SageCircle put together an online calendar to track vendors’ major analyst events. The idea is not new as it has popped up a number of times over the last few years as AR professionals express their frustration on trying schedule major events. Too often a vendor would find that its event was scheduled too close to another vendor in the same market so that both vendors ended up splitting the potential analyst audience.

Today SageCircle is launching a new “Page” (see left hand navigation menu) called Vendor Analyst Events. It is a simple listing by month. Please send us the dates and location of your events and we will post them for free. The events we are interested in are major events like summits and conferences (see definition below).

 Why would a vendor share the date of their analyst event? Wouldn’t that just be giving Continue reading

There is still time to sign up for SageCircle’s AR Seminar on Monday, June 23rd

SageCircle Training - AR Effectiveness SeminarThere are still seats available for the SageCircle AR Effectiveness Seminar that starts on Monday, June 23rd. The price includes the 155+ page binder. To learn more, click on the graphic to the right to download the brochure in PDF.

Click here to register for the seminar. Cost is $995. Annual Advisory clients received one seminar ticket with their subscription, so please check to see if you have used the ticket yet.

Looking forward to seeing you in Cupertino.

Heads up about next week’s Coffee Talk on Monday and webinar on Wednesday

There are two exciting events for analyst relations (AR) professionals - did I actually use “exciting” and “AR” in the same sentence? – events next week:

Monday, June 16th, at 8:30 am US Pacific Time - “Does it make sense to set up an AR-Sales Partnership program?” This free session is part of SageCircle’s Coffee Talk series. Coffee Talks have only a few minutes of presentation as their primary purpose is go get members of the AR community talking and asking questions. Click here to register.

Wednesday, June 18th at 8:30 am and 4:30 pm US Pacific Time – “Spokesperson Best Practices for Analyst Interactions” This webinar costs only $95 and provides actionable, practical best practices in a short and succinct manner. There is ample time for questions and answers to complement the presentation. Click here to register using a credit card.

 

Announcing a new “Page” – Analyst Tips for AR

There are many interesting blog posts by industry analysts providing tips to the analyst relations (AR) community on how best to interact with the analyst. This is very useful information for AR professionals, both to improve their AR execution, but also to get insights into their analysts.

For awhile, SageCircle has kept a running list of links to these suggestions in a blog post originally published in early February and then updated periodically. The problem is that this particular post is not easy to find unless you knew to look for it. Starting today we have elevated this information into a “Page” called Analyst Tips for AR. A Page is a non-dated post and always shows up in the “Pages” box, which we have at the top of the left navigation bar. A feature of this Page will be a list of updates. This should make it easier for SageCircle readers to keep up with the tips and tricks that the analysts are offering.

In today’s rather large update we have added 14 34 suggestions from three nine analysts. However, because we got a bit behind in updating the list, there are going to be new links added throughout Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.