Top-performing analyst relations (AR) programs follow a simple model:
- Define the results they want to achieve
- Define and execute a set of activities designed to achieve the stated results
- Measure progress
This approach not only helps to keep the program focused, it is critical for gaining and maintaining executive sponsorship and support. Executives do not have time to learn the details and nuances of AR operations. They could care less how many briefings AR performs, how many e-mails were sent, or how many analyst requests the AR team supports. Executives want to know
- What are the business-relevant results the AR program will deliver
- Does the AR program have a plan (or is it flying by the seat of its pants)
- Is the plan reasonable
- How will the program prove its impact
Many AR programs lament their lack of strong executive support, yet have not committed the time necessary to develop the key ingredient for executive sponsorship, a pragmatic plan coupled with appropriate performance metrics.
Most AR programs are action-oriented. Given a set of goals, they are quite capable of defining and executing analyst briefings, e-mail campaigns, and other actions targeted toward achieving business results. The challenge for most programs lies at the beginning and end of the process: defining appropriate objectives and measuring performance.
- Develop an AR strategic and tactical plan that puts as much emphasis on results definition and measurement strategies as it does on activities
- Cross-link desired results with the ability to measure progress. If a result cannot be measured then delete or change the desired result
- Review current measurement and metrics to determine whether operationalmetrics are given more emphasis than performance metrics. If yes, refocus the measurement efforts on performance
- Develop a multi-level reporting approach in your executive sponsorship program that permits you update executives on a regular basis about your progress on achieving desired outcomes
Bottom Line: Leading-edge analyst relations programs start with planning and measurement to ensure efficient and effective application of AR resources toward generating quantifiable business value. In addition, a pragmatic plan, coupled with appropriate metrics, is critical to gaining and maintaining active executive sponsorship and support.
Question: Do you have a formal process for generating an AR strategic and tactical plan? How do you