Analyst briefings are essential components in your efforts to communicate news about your company and your products.
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Well organized analyst briefings lay the groundwork for a successful PR campaign, while a mismanaged briefing can culminate in a PR disaster.
Analyst briefings are very different from press conferences. Unlike a press conference, the purpose of an analyst briefing is to engage industry experts in a back and forth conversation.
Although you'll be expected to make a presentation, it's standard practice for analysts to interrupt you with comments, questions, and concerns. Here are a few more things you'll need to conduct an effective analyst briefing:
- Pre-briefing. Unless you're comfortable rolling the dice on the quality of your briefing, you'll want to organize a pre-briefing with one or two trusted analysts. Pre-briefing analysts can be individuals with whom you have a close, working relationship or someone you plan to hire for future consultations.
- Scheduling. Scheduling can be as complicated as the briefing itself. Most analysts have incredibly tight schedules, requiring at least 5 to 6 weeks advanced notice. But you also have to consider your presenters' schedules. As a general rule, presenters are capable of conducting more than four quality briefings per day.
- Other preparations. Organize your presentation team long before the actual briefing. Presentation teams usually consist of three people: A presenter, a backup, and a PR representative. The entire team should be given preparation materials about the analyst(s) who will attend the briefing including their areas of interest, prior experiences with the company, and goals or desired outcomes for the briefing.
- Presentation. Each briefing should last no longer than an hour. Presenters should come prepared with slides and, if possible, a product demo. You don't want to overwhelm the analyst with too many slides, since long presentations discourage dialogue – which is always one of your primary goals for the briefing. Expect direct and pointed questions from the analyst, even if he is inclined to respond positively to your company and products.
- Wrap up. Save the last five minutes of the briefing for final questions (from you or the analyst). As a matter of courtesy, give the analyst an opportunity to pitch you on his consulting services before you go your separate ways.