You might be putting a good deal of effort into media relations, but are your analyst relations getting short shrift?
When the practice of analyst relations is done right, organizations have the chance to differentiate themselves from their competition, expand their presence within their industry, and sell their products or services.
Often, many people steer away from working with industry analysts because they automatically assume that they’ll be dealing with financial analysts, which isn’t the case. Financial analysts are experts within their industry, but their main focus is the financial state of an organization.
Like reporters, industry analysts are typically interested in learning about your business or nonprofit and what sets you apart from your competitors. Analysts carry influence within their industries and are reliable sources for reporters. They advise your customers, produce reports, blogs and podcasts, which are all opportunities to have your company mentioned.
Analysts are quoted regularly in news and feature articles and can even offer you as a source to other companies and reporters.
The first step in starting a successful analyst relations program
is to identify the analysts covering your industry. Remember that not all analyst firms cover all markets. There are many firms that specialize in specific markets or technologies that may not be a fit for your client. Some markets or product categories have more analyst coverage than others, and you may find lots of potential contacts or only a few depending on your company’s product set.
To start your search you can use tools
to find analysts that are similar to those you use to find traditional media contacts. At M/C/C we use Vocus. A little old-fashioned Googling won’t hurt either. Read analysts’ profiles. Find out what they’re covering. If in doubt, ask. Generally, analysts are happy to recommend the appropriate contact at their firm for the topic.
Once you find the right contacts, you’re ready to roll. If you haven’t worked with analysts before it’s a good idea to set up initial meetings to introduce your company. Have a basic presentation ready to share with the analyst that provides background information on your company. Remember that your goal in the call isn’t to sell your product to the analyst. It’s more about explaining how your company fits into the marketplace. Analysts are ultimately researchers, not reporters.
Stay in touch
After having an initial call, regular communication is a must. For the most part, any time you send out a press release to the media send it to analysts, too. Your communication can also be informal. You’ll want to make sure you’re sharing newsworthy stories and company successes on a consistent basis.
When you do chat with analysts remember to ask questions. Find out what reports analysts are working on in the next quarter. Analysts are more likely to include you in future reports if they are already briefed on your company in advance. This can allow you to show up alongside the competition making you a part of your prospective customers consideration set.
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In the end, building relationships with analysts is an important way to establish yourself among influencers, and to build name recognition and credibility in your industry.
Rebecca Renfroe is a PR engagement manager at M/C/C, a marketing communications firm based in Dallas. A version of this story originally appeared on the agency's blog.