Should AR respond to an analyst blog post or dismiss it? The answer is “Yes.”

icon-social-media-blue.jpgNext question? Seriously, this is not an either/or decision but one based on the circumstances of a particular blog post and governed by the communications policy and decision process that the analyst relations (AR) team has put into place.

There are many factors that will go into a decision framework to determine whether and how to respond to an analyst blog. These include visibility of the blog and individual post, relevance of the analyst, relevance of the topic, intensity of the opinion expressed, perceived motivation of the analyst, and so on.

Likewise, there are options for how AR responds to an analyst blog post. In some situations, AR can and should ignore responding to a post. In others, AR should pick up the phone and call the analyst or send an email. In yet other cases, AR should leave a comment on the blog post to correct factual errors. On other occasions, AR will find it useful to engage in a comment-based, asynchronous “conversation” to not just correct errors but to discuss differences of opinion when it comes to the analysis in the post. If the vendor or AR team has an appropriate blog, it can also be a platform for responding to an analyst’s blog post.

The one thing that AR cannot do is ignore analyst blogging and tweeting. AR needs to monitor all forms of communication, both traditional and social media, by their most relevant analysts and use insights to determine actions.

SageCircle Technique for Analyst Relations:

  • Update or develop a communication policy that addresses the various ways analysts promulgate their commentary
  • Update or develop a service level framework that includes how and how quickly to respond to analyst blog posts
  • Update or develop an analyst commentary monitoring program that examines both traditional and social media
  • Track the evolution of  influence in your particular markets
  • Update or develop a analyst list management framework that incorporates the evolution of influence
  • Respond appropriately to analyst blog posts based the situation using a well thought out decision framework

Bottom Line: Determining when to respond to analysts is becoming more complex as new forms of communications, like blogging, start to become more common. While AR might want to ignore some commentary because it is in a tweet, blog post or community discussion, this could prove to be politically dangerous with key internal stakeholders if it looks like AR was unprepared when a negative and damaging analyst opinion gets traction in public perception. It would be wise for AR to invest in developing the policies, frameworks, and processes today in order to be prepared when more critical analyst commentary starts showing up outside of traditional venues.

Question: AR – Do you have a communications policy for traditional forms of analyst communications, e.g., published research notes, speeches and press quotes?