• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    The 2016 Institute for Industry Analyst Relations’ awards seem to be rewarding firms for the scale of their analyst relations, rather than their quality. In a blog post on July 6th, the IIAR awarded IBM the status of best analyst relations teams, with Cisco, Dell and HP as runners-up. Together with Microsoft, which outsources much of its analyst relations to […]

For PR — Analysts can be a great sounding board for your PR campaigns

A good PR campaign consumes significant resources in time, money, and creative energy.  With today’s limited resources it makes a lot of sense to test out a campaign early in the process to ensure that it will meet its goals.

Analysts have a unique ear to the market, your customers, and your competitors.  They have seen the hype, FUD, programs, practices and other campaigns that work and those that fail. Frequently they have strong relationships with the press as go-to resources for quotes and story background.  Given a strong personal relationship with your AR managers they can be an incredible sounding board under non-disclosure.  By reviewing your plans in the early draft stages they can guide you in better addressing the changing market and avoid sounding like a “me too” repetition of your competition. 

SageCircle Technique:  The key element to successfully using the analysts to review PR plans is in the selection of the analyst.  AR managers know the backgrounds and fields of expertise for the key analysts.  They have previously established personal relationships which include knowledge of which analysts can be trusted and also know the market this campaign will address. 

An action plan might include:

  • Create a simple document with the campaign objectives and rough timelines that can be shared with the AR Managers and selected analysts
  • Have the AR Manager recommended several trusted analysts and provide you background information
  • Schedule an inquiry with selected analysts – this should be done in conjunction with the AR Manager to ensure compliance with any contract terms
  • The inquiry should begin with a very brief review of the plans, followed by open dialog.  You are not briefing the analyst, but seeking their opinion.  Listen carefully to questions and areas of push-back
  • Plan additional inquiry interactions as the campaign develops.

Using inquiry to ask analysts about their opinion is commonplace, but establishing an ongoing relationship for a campaign is not frequently done by PR.  While you don’t have to accept everything they say, reviewing plans under non-disclosure creates a personal buy-in to your work.  More importantly, they can provide feedback on plans that are misguided, incomplete, or off target for the market.  Allowing them candor can save you valuable resources.

In the end analysts that have contributed are also more likely to endorse you in the form of positive commentary, press quotes, or published research – this is a powerful ROI for letting the analysts be part of your team. 

Bottom Line: As a client of the analyst firm you have inquiry privileges that can be used to gain opinions on your marketing plans.  An ongoing set of interactions with key analysts develops the relationship and can result in many favorable outcomes – including a more effective campaign.

Question: PR Managers – Have you ever called an analyst to get campaign feedback? AR Managers – Are you working with your PR teams to understand their needs and offer potential assistance?

Analysts – What benefits do you gain by working with PR teams? 

One Response

  1. […] #2 – Earlier briefings about upcoming announcements. Too many vendors brief analysts only a couple weeks in advance when everything is set in stone. With enough notice the analysts can provide feedback that might be acted upon to improve the announcement. (see the posting Analysts can be a great sounding board for your PR campaigns) […]

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