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Is your outreach hitting on all cylinders?

August 9, 2016

Summer is a great time to take a short pause and look at your business to see where things are working and where some things may need realignment. I think this is also true of your outreach programs including public relations, social media and analyst relations. Since market activity picks up rapidly after the summer in preparation for the upcoming industry events such as the Consumer Electronics Show, Mobile World Congress and other smaller events setting goals over the summer ensures you are ready to roll come September.

 

A coordinated plan based on understanding the strengths of your outreach programs is what will deliver the best business results based on my experience as an analyst, but also as a marketing exec and as someone who has run AR programs. Most companies today are bridging their PR and Social Media (SM) programs successfully. Unfortunately, it is the Analyst Relations (AR) program that is frequently not well integrated. In order to understand where the gaps may be, it helps to define what the role and expectations are for each of these programs. While each has its own individual role in market outreach, at Engage PR we know it is the interplay of the three that generates the most successful communications programs.

 

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas helps to identify where your resources are well targeted and where additional focus (or funding) may be needed. One of the most valuable services we offer at Engage PR are our PR, SM and AR audits and these provide a valuable baseline for your communications efforts. These audits offer clients an in-depth look into their own existing programs and offer an analysis of how they compare to top competitors.

 

Bringing AR into the fold
The ‘relations’ part of ‘analyst relations’ is actually quite different from ‘public relations’. Analyst interactions are more frequent and more involved than media interactions from both a time and effort perspective, requiring the sharing of detailed product and market information, and the exchange of ideas and insights. This is the hallmark of all AR programs. Where we see an opportunity to help drive positive business outcomes is in managing the analyst relationships to benefit both our client and the analyst.

 

In my previous blog post, I identified five common pitfalls clients may encounter when working with industry analysts. Those must be addressed before being able to leverage analyst insights for your outreach programs. We offer programs to augment in-house AR teams or provide outsourced AR program support.

 

Once these pitfalls are overcome, we maximize the time, effort and output of each analyst interaction. Every report, conversation or presentation can provide a tweet, quote or useful insight for the press and/or social media. As one corporate AR professional recently commented:

 

“Interactions with the analysts and the resulting research allow us to tell our story to key, third-party experts who influence the purchasing decisions of our existing and prospective customers. If we have a good story to tell and tell it well enough that could translate into positive reports, blog posts, quotes in the media, tweets, etc. That in turn could bring new customers to us or influence existing customers to buy additional services.”

 

So what is the key to an effective PR/SM/AR program that drives business results? Analyst insights, market share and size data are all used to support press releases with expert third-party validation, while social media connects these insights to key individuals and communities that are important to the company. With all three bases covered, your company is better prepared to deliver the best business results possible. You should ask yourself, is your PR, social and AR hitting on all cylinders? If not, engage us.

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