One of the greatest failings of inexperienced AR teams, and occasionally even seasoned AR professionals is not focusing on the analyst needs. In a recent post about the Analyst Hierarchy of Needs we explained some issues of content. However, schedule is also a major consideration. Too often the AR plan is driven in the same manner as PR – with a focus on the company events, announcements, and products. Analysts live on a different timetable and are focused on clients, markets, and trends. Their needs, for scheduled research documents, potential speaking events, and in responding to client inquiries are the driving forces – not your announcement timetable.
As you develop your interaction calendar and plans for analyst contacts you need to focus on the triggers that matter to the analysts first, weaving your own issues in as a secondary objective. In essence this means sliding the control from the company-centric position on the left, to a nearly, but not completely, analystcentric position on the right. This means that it is critical to know the research agenda of your key analysts. It also explains why an analyst may not appear to have the time or interest for a briefing on your upcoming announcement.
During each analyst interaction you should be questioning the analyst(s) about any upcoming research, speaking plans, or the status of recurring research such as a Magic Quadrant. These ongoing questions will allow you to formulate an estimated editorial and research schedule as well as anticipate when the analysts will be preparing for speaking engagements. Some analyst firms, e.g., Forrester and Gartner, have posted limited publishing schedules on their websites, which can contribute data to your analyst editorial calendar.
It is also important to fully understand the areas of coverage for your key analysts, watching for changes in the analyst landscape. Ask if any new analysts have joined the firm and what areas they cover. Watch for changes in focus that might impact your target list, as well as new names that could have future influences.
Armed with a view of the analyst needs you can develop your own plans for how to educate the analysts on your products, services, and strategies. If you brief them on their own timetable it will address their needs and interests and it will be a simple matter of later updating them just prior to announcement or event.
- Create an analyst editorial calendar
- Document the speaking schedule of your key analysts
- Maintain the coverage interests of your key analysts and watch for new-comers
- Create your briefing plan based first on the analyst needs and then your announcement schedule
Bottom Line: Analysts are working on their own research agenda which may bear little relationship to your announcement schedule. Providing analysts with timely information that meets their needs will gain you visibility and place you into a proactive working environment. Any movement out of reactive mode will also improve your ability to plan and conduct your AR program.
Question: AR teams – What methods do you use to create and maintain an analyst research calendar? Analysts – Do vendors as you about your needs? Do you freely publish an editorial calendar?
Do you know your analyst needs? SageCircle can help – Our strategists can:
- Analyze your analyst interactions to identify skewing toward company-centric activities
- Provide techniques to create analyst editorial calendars
- Critique your AR plan and suggest changes in order to better address analyst needs
SageCircle strategists understand your opportunities, challenges and priorities because we have been AR practitioners and executives as well as industry analysts and AR researchers. SageCircle emphasizes the use of phone-based inquiry through its Advisory Service, which is your lifeline when you need timely access to an AR and analyst expert to exploit an opportunity or mitigate a problem. Advisory is available through an annual “all you can eat” contract or blocks of two or five hours “by the drink.” Click here to learn more about our advisory services.
To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.
Since 2000, SageCircle has helped analyst relations teams to focus on business value by encouraging innovative thinking that leverages insights and drives revenue.