Take a deep breath before responding to analyst commentary

Almost every week, SageCircle strategists do inquiries about how to respond to an analyst quote in the press or a piece of published research. Most often, the AR staffer is more than annoyed because the analyst’s words have caused a brouhaha with his or her management. Sometimes the AR staffer is so angry that he or she wants to call the analyst’s manager – or CEO – and complain, or put out a press release about the analyst’s shortcomings. While this could be satisfying emotionally, frankly it would be counterproductive. 

Rather than attacking the analyst by putting out a press release or talking to his or her manager, AR is better served by taking a deep breath, analyzing the situation, and developing a campaign to change the analyst’s opinion. Unfortunately, implementing a campaign to change an analyst’s opinion takes time and your executives probably want something done today. Consequently, one of AR’s challenges in this situation is how to manage the expectations of executives and colleagues who want immediate action.

SageCircle can help AR teams with managing executive expectations about changing analyst opinion. We have Executive Briefings designed to get execs to an “ah, ha!” moment about the analysts and their culture. Reaching this “ah, ha!” moment then gives AR the ability to rationally lay out a plan for changing an analyst’s opinion – or deciding to ignore them – and obtain executive buy-in.

Bottom Line: Not attacking the analyst could pay off in company sales. Because analysts talk to your prospects or potential prospects on a daily basis, an annoyed analyst has the opportunity to steer potential buyers to your competitors – and you would never know. On the other hand, a well-executed campaign to change an analyst’s opinion could result in more leads being generated for your company because a better-educated analyst would be more comfortable putting your company on appropriate short lists.

Question: How do you deal with problem analysts?  Have you had the opportunity to “train” your executives on the importance of written commentary as compared to the spoken word?

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