As a newborn PR department head, starting Analyst Relations (AR) in our agency has been a very exciting new journey. Although, it’s very different than relationship building with the media and shalt not be treated the same. Both groups are experts in their space and need that attention-grabbing outreach, yet the messaging frame and research process has to be far more adjusted for analysts. I’ve also come to find research on how to begin these relationships is a little scattered across the web. While I’m still new to the practice, these 3 steps below are what I’ve found to be the most impactful.
Develop Your Strategy
Before you make any moves, tweet any influencers or even start creating your list, build your strategy. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the message you’re trying to get across?
- Who is the audience and the audience of that audience?
- What benefit will you provide to them?
- What will come out of this relationship for both parties?
- How will you keep this relationship going over the next three months?
- What methods of outreach will you implement? (email, physically mailing information packets, planning group dinner meetings?)
Start your strategy off with a simple introduction between your client and the influencers list you’re going to build. Explain the company you’re representing, what data you can provide and a specific angle for how you believe this will aid their audience and workbook. To start a strategy, begin by writing a company briefing to help you best articulate all of these introduction points to someone who may have never heard of your client or their company before. This will be your first impression on industry thought leaders. Explain briefly who you are, why you’re reaching out to them and who they help and what their mission is. That’s it! The initial outreach is brief and welcoming.If you're treating your media and analyst relations the same, read this: Click To Tweet
From here, build a three-month calendar including goals, deliverables, deadlines and an open box for outcomes so you can track what tactics work and what falls flat. This will help keep you and your client on track for where these relationships are going in small increments.
Build Your Targeted Community
When communicating with the media and handling earned media, we’re researching specific outlets who would benefit from client content the most and reaching out to those contacts individually. When beginning relationships with industry influencers, we do what is known as a large PR no-no; build a list and send out a big hello to all who needs to hear what we have to offer. When you’re building AR, you’re building a community of sorts.
The reason this is okay in AR is you should still take time researching specific analysts, bloggers and freelancers who would enjoy hearing about your client’s product and hopefully eventually feel inclined to write about it. Desired outcomes with the media include building relationships, but with media we want coverage on general company practices or thoughts and ideals we’ve written. Desired outcomes for analysts are more about giving influencers those “ins” on industry trends that your clients are making happen and helping them spread the word.
Adjust to Shifts
You’ve built your initial strategy, but once you’ve reached out to your first batch of analysts, hopefully your client is receiving a few nibbles of interest. Your strategy frame will remain the same, but should be flexible to meet the requests of analysts who have shown interest in building a relationship with your client’s product. Once you gather a few interested influencers, request an RFI (request for information) so you can split your strategy to cater to each analyst.How to build the best analyst relations strategy for your next product campaign: Click To Tweet
Take your expertise, attention to detail and friendly conversational skills from media relations into your AR plan, but remember these above tactics when building out your big strategy. The base of your relationship building with analysts should be well thought out, discussed between the PR professional, the project manager of the client and the point of contact for the company you’re presenting to industry influencers.