I’m often asked if analyst relations programmes add any value.My answer? In a word: yes!
Some view analyst relations as old hat. I beg to differ, although I acknowledge that the market has changed vastly. Of course there are provisos on usefulness, depending upon the sector you’re in, budget, and who your customers are, but like any other PR tactic, it’s relevance depends on what your PR campaign aims to achieve.
Analyst opinion counts with specific groups of people. And if those people matter to you, an analyst relations programme is a sensible investment – a ‘no brainer’. They are key influencers in the purchasing and investment cycle (although be warned – some PR people only apply the term ‘influencers’ to the online World, with influence measured by online noise levels - which does have it’s place, but is a different topic altogether).
“We have Google,” I hear you cry. “Why would anyone not just surf for information?”
Google makes no claims to only serving accurate information – it makes no moral judgement or qualitative decisions about what’s being presented. Key in a minor rash and before you know it you have a rare disease or need to spend hundreds on the latest superfood.
Analysts live and breathe depth of information. They understand their sectors and know which questions to ask, and spot (if you’ll excuse the expression) BS at ten paces. They study, define, refine and analyse information, well beyond what’s available as a Google source, providing an informed, impartial resource and it’s for this that they are paid.
Where lots of money will change hands, there’s a lot at stake, and it’s therefore no surprise that analysts remain a popular source for many decision makers. Making an investment in informing theses analysts can prove an invaluable exercise – some of them may have a direct line into your customers, some to the media.
Most industries, from aviation though to healthcare, have someone who watches – and advises on – the market and the people who serve it.
Financial analysts, for example, serve their role in reaching investors, and having a PR consultant equipped with the right skills and contacts is vital. (It’s not my personal area of expertise, it’s one I refer to financial PR specialists).
Technology analysts vary hugely, and which to engage will depend upon your goals. Some reach corporate IT departments. Some partner with other technology companies. Some reach channel partners. And some write for technology publications.
For start ups through to mid-sized businesses, an analyst relations programme can look like an expensive exercise. But a good PR consultant, one with an eye on your business success, will be able to tell you which, if any, analysts can help you reach your business/organisation goals, and include them in your PR programme.
Because PR, contrary to common belief, doesn’t simply stand for ‘press release’.
If you want to know if an analyst relations programme may be useful for your business, I’d be delighted to talk you through what this involves (and whether I’d be a good partner for you if appropriate).