Reason #1,486 why I love working with industry analysts – they tell it like it is! What other third-party resource knows your client’s industry inside and out? They know who the competition is and what they are doing and they are NOT afraid to tell you the honest to goodness truth.As a strategic PR firm, we always recommend an industry analyst program as part of our ongoing PR efforts for most (if not all) of our clients. Industry analysts are the eyes and ears of many industries (from advertising/media to energy, and of course tech) and, unlike journalists these days, they LOVE a good background meeting. With shrinking newsrooms and continuous deadlines, most reporters aren’t interested in spending an hour (or a half hour for that matter) listening to your client babble on about themselves. But an analyst will! They are patient and engaged and most importantly, they always ask the right questions.
Just the other day on the phone with IDC, a tier-one industry analyst group that we pitched and coordinated a briefing with, the analyst and my client went on for more than an hour discussing the market and the future of the telecommunications industry. Suffice it to say, the analyst and my client are now “buddy-buddy” and I know she’ll be coming to us with more questions and requests for background info in the future.
But besides the feel-good stuff that analysts do by providing an ear to bend, they write reports (read by our clients’ customers), they talk to the press constantly, they speak at many large venues with key target audiences, they tweet, they blog, they publish books, they adopt puppies… I’m not entirely sure about the last one, but I wouldn’t be surprised!
The only thing that you must be aware of is that industry analyst programs do NOT produce instant results. Like most PR programs, you need to invest time and effort by following up with the analysts and keeping them up to speed on the latest news and product releases from your client. Like some media outlets, they also like to know about things in advance, which might mean letting them “see behind the curtain” to a new product or service that is not quite fully baked yet. This can be difficult (or very easy) depending on the client. But in the long run, these types of programs do pay off. So if you aren’t incorporating an industry analyst program into your public relations campaign, I hope this has, at least, helped you to consider it.
(Photo Credit: Mike Arauz)