If you haven't heard of analyst relations, you don't know what you're missing.
A well-run analyst relations team can have a significant influence on the way your company's strategy, products, or services are portrayed in the media.
Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized business owners are either unaware or uninformed about the potential impact of analyst relations. Although some sectors and industries lend themselves to analyst relations more than others, nearly any small business can benefit from an analyst relations strategy.
What do analysts do?
Analysts are experts in their fields, often specializing in a single industry. Businesses consult analysts for informed insights about major purchases, strategic partnerships, high value sales targets, and the marketplace itself. The media, on the other hand, relies on analysts for professional perspectives on market trends, forecasts, products, and processes.
Business also use analysts as a PR-related resource. Like other professionals, analysts like to be the first to know about industry developments and new technologies. But it's a mistake to think that you can simply use analysts as a tool to promote a startup or the rollout of a new product. The most effective analyst relations strategies begin with an emphasis on relationship building.
Why is it important to build relationships with analysts?
Experts are quick to point out that analyst relations is not the same as PR. Even though the task of analyst relations is often handled by a PR department, analysts could care less about publishing a great story or news article. Instead, their focus is on understanding your event and why it's important in the context of your industry.
When you provide early information to analysts, you increase the odds of positive press coverage. Analyst relations professionals regularly brief analysts about company strategies, products, and services -- especially if the company is on the verge of a major announcement or rollout campaign.
However, industry analysts are most impressed when analyst relations professionals engage in a two-way relationship that is based on information rather than promotion. Analyst relations pros who organize analyst conferences, communicate analyst reports to key staff, and are upfront about challenges their companies face have more traction with analysts than entry-level PR reps who simply include analysts on a press release distribution lists.