There are many drawbacks to using PR agencies to conduct analyst relations – not the least that most analysts hate dealing with agency staff. Sometimes, however, communications and IT vendors have no choice but to farm out some analyst-related activities. To minimize the chance of agency staff causing problems with the analysts, vendors need to carefully evaluate whether or not a PR agency is actually competent in analyst relations before hiring them.
A technique SageCircle has developed is asking a series of questions in the form of scenarios about AR situations. The responses to the scenarios can then be graded for compliance with AR best practices and insights as to how the analysts work. As always, it is important to weight the questions because some will be more important than others. In addition, it is critical that a standard evaluation framework be established so that responses from different agencies will be graded consistently.
The killer questions should not just be asked of the agency’s senior executive that is trying to win the business, but also the staff that will actually be doing the work. Reluctance by the agency to introduce you to the staff should raise red flags about the breadth and depth of AR expertise in the firm.
The first killer question to ask the PR agency rainmaker and staff is (more…)