How to track a lot of analyst blogs and Twitter streams without spending a lot of time

icon-social-media-blue.jpgOne of the side effects of the growing use of social media by IT industry analysts and analyst relations (AR) is a pending sense of doom that we are going to get overwhelmed by too… much… stuff. This certainly came out in discussions at the US Forrester AR Council panel I was on and in blog posts like When do we get work done? I certainly have felt that way in the past, but slowly and surely I have picked up techniques that permit me to monitor a fairly large number of social media streams (110+ blogs and 140+ Twitter streams) without spending hours a day doing so. In this post I will share these tips.

Note: These tip and tricks are not necessarily the absolutely best-in-class, merely ones that we have found to-date. Nor are the tools mentioned the results of systematic research and evaluation, merely ones that we have played with and decided to use. As we continue to expand the portfolio of tips and tools, we will make sure to share them with you.

The main tips are to use an RSS reader and to organize your feeds in folders*. This saves you the time of checking individual blogs that might not have any activity. The following example explains […]

An analyst has some advice for PR agencies

Redmonk’s Stephen O’Grady in Bad PR – The Bane of My Existence: Seven Suggestions for PR Workers has some practical advice for PR professionals at agencies. Here are his seven suggestions (details in the post):

  1. Analysts Are Not Press: Don’t Treat Them as if They Are
  2. Caller ID Works: Don’t Just Keep Calling, and Calling, and Calling
  3. Personalization: Don’t Address Your Notes “Dear Blogger”
  4. Press Releases: Don’t Use it as […]

Avoid like the plague – Using pseudo-Magic Quadrants in your analyst briefing presentations

After completing the in-depth Magic Quadrant series I was going to give this topic a rest for awhile. That is until I saw this tweet:

 

jowyang is the twitter handle of Forrester social media analyst extraordinaire Jeremiah Owyang. Jeremiah joined Forrester only last October and already he has seen so many vendors use a pseudo-Magic Quadrant that he is commenting on it. Can you imagine how bored and annoyed with this graphic other analysts that been around longer must be? I have seen pseudo-MQs that I swear were built on the idea of who is the leading vendor among left-handed IT managers who buy technology on Tuesdays in Guam.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the competitive landscape slide should be a component of almost every presentation made to IT industry analysts. There is no better opportunity to […]

Do your analysis before deciding to use social media like blogs or wikis

icon-social-media-blue.jpgBarbara French left an interesting question on SageCircle announces the Analyst Relations Wiki*, a tool to help AR teams be more efficient and effective. Basically, she asked why use a wiki instead of deploying more efficient PDF search technology on the existing PDFs?

We picked the wiki technology, because it became the logical choice after we did an analysis of the situation using the POST framework from Forrester’s Groundswell research: People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology. This same analysis process is valuable to AR teams for their own decision making.  Here is an overly simplified summary of our extensive analysis in making our choice:

  • People – AR managers are strapped for time. They have different levels of experience and as a consequence need access to different levels of information. They also have different levels of on-line sophistication.
  • Objectives – Save AR managers time and make them more effective by […]

Using five rights to avoid a wrong when it comes to purchasing Gartner or Forrester services

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You can minimize analyst firm price hikes by buying the right services from the right firms at the right price.  This post is the first entry in a series* that will discuss how buyers of industry analyst services can manage their analyst contracts and minimize the impact of price hikes on their budgets.

Since Gene Hall took over as Gartner’s CEO in August 2004, he has diligently worked to raise Gartner’s ASP (average selling price) by eliminating discounts, enterprise-wide agreements and competitors while instituting price hikes for legacy products and launching new premium services. Under the cover that Gartner offers, other firms – especially Forrester – have been raising their prices as well. While it is entirely the firms’ right to price their products as high as the market will bear, these price increases are putting a burden on clients’ budgets. As a consequence, IT managers and vendor market research buyers need to carefully evaluate their analyst services purchasing decisions to ensure that they are maximizing the return on their purchase.

There is the old saying in the US and perhaps elsewhere that “two wrongs do not make a right.” For this series, we are going to flip that saying around with the idea that “five rights avoid a wrong.” The right actions that analyst services buyers need to take are: 

  • Right reasons – Evaluate why you are purchasing analyst services
  • Right services – Align the services you buy to better match the […]

Nifty idea for raising awareness of vendor staff at an analyst summit

One of the quandaries I’ve had at analyst summits is how to introduce the analysts to on-site staff so they know who to go to for assistance and with questions. Seth Godin in his post Saying thanks in a conference presentation has a simple technique that can be applied to this purpose. It does not require the AR manager to use time during the opening “welcome” presentation and frankly is much more effective than simply verbally listing the names of AR team members and other support staff. Here is an extract from Seth’s post:

“The solution is pretty simple, thanks to Powerpoint and digital cameras.

Prepare for the talk by taking pictures of each person. If they’re shy, you can even do photographs in groups of two or three. Good photos, clever photos, funny photos… photos that are interesting are best.

Then, create a new presentation. Put each photo on its own slide, preferably with a well designed ID below it (it should be on […]