A lot goes into the PR agency toolkit these days – from content marketing to multimedia. But, with all the new ways PR pros are expanding their services in order to build better brand awareness and generate leads for clients, it’s still important to remember the basic tenets of what makes PR so effective.
In addition to traditional media relations, having a strong analyst relations program proves time and again to be a meaningful part of our PR campaigns.
Why? Well, there are three main reasons:
- They can refer you. Analysts receive inquiries on a regular basis, from both media and customers, asking for their opinions about the best solutions in any given market. Being in touch with core analyst targets on a regular basis through briefings will ensure our clients’ brands are top of mind for these key referrals.
- They can spot-check. Analysts are knowledgeable, visionary and have invaluable competitor and customer insights. Regular AR briefings will allow companies to test their messaging and gauge market perception for new products and services.
- They can give you free press. And, as more analysts are actually become “journanalysts” – a term we coined for the analysts who are becoming more prominent writers in the press and in blogs – this gives our clients more opportunities for coverage and third-party endorsements.
So, how does it work?
While the needs of each client will certainly vary, the same basic principles almost always apply. At March, we treat analysts like we would the media, through consistent, creative and proactive outreach. We achieve success through three basic steps:
- Strategic planning, which includes focused research to identify the appropriate analysts
- Targeted outreach, which delivers the relevant message about our client and their service
- Diligent maintenance through database upkeep, which ensures our clients brief relevant analysts and gain coverage through articles and reports.
The old adage goes, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know. But, at March, we recognize the value of both. We use our industry knowledge to build valuable relationships with the movers and shakers in the various industries our clients are ingrained in, helping them achieve third-party endorsements for when they matter most.
We’d love to hear from you, too. What are some of your some strategies for building strong AR programs?