Well late summer is now upon us, and if you work in a PR or comms discipline, we tend to call this time of year “silly season”. It’s that time of year when the news torrent slows down to a drip, everyone’s out of office is on and if you’re in Europe, particularly the continent, you’re likely to be on permanent vacation until September!
If you are in the office and planning your next few months’ Analyst Relations strategy, now’s really the time to reflect on your outreach strategy, especially as you have some down time to prepare before the inevitable onslaught of industry trade shows and events begins anew with GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas, VMworld and IBC to name but a few.
In case you’re grasping for ideas, here’s a quick list prepared for you by CCgroup’s Head of Industry Analyst Relations Suz Archibald on getting your “to do list” up to scratch:
See if there’s any way to check in with old analyst acquaintances. Now is a great time to reach out to them, before they get stuck in a September report writing haze, and have umpteen industry event invitations to parse through. And it’s hard to believe, but analysts are already starting to get invites to seasonal parties for November and even Christmas (!) so now’s the time to start thinking of your top tier analysts, and speak to them soonest, or at least start a list of those you want to thank during the holiday season before you risk contacting them too late.
Outline your out-of-the-gate strategy for Q4. As I said earlier, industry events and trade shows kick off anew in early September, as well as many more service provider-focused events that may require an analyst’s undivided attention from a market monitoring perspective. Ready your influencer and analyst relations support strategy now in time for October and November, and to a lesser extent December (but remember: analysts don’t really take time off until Christmas, at least here in the UK). Make sure you and your team are ready and start preparing your priorities now.
Like (no, love) your analysts more. Make them feel appreciated; get back in touch with those you connected with in the first half of the year, but couldn’t arrange briefings for due to spokesperson availability or internal company pressures. Ensure your messaging is up to snuff and if they’ve been frustrated by your slow response times in the past, tell them you value them now, and would like to learn more about their current research schedule by arranging some face time (or phone time) to learn what you can do better.
Embrace the downtime. As above, take the holiday period as a time to take a breath, cool off, as well as a time to realign your AR/PR, content and market messaging priorities. Realise what’s important for you as a business, and don’t sweat the small stuff. If for instance you intend to make pitching for inclusion in landmark reports a priority, why not think about whether you as a company have the right strategic vision and the customer references?
If you need go-to-market advice, charge your internal analyst relations lead with sourcing some analyst RFPs for you based on the remaining budget you have for 2018.
Ready your 2019 plan – time for an analyst audit? It might sound way too early to some, but in addition to having your AR/PR event outreach planned for the rest of the year, you should start to prepare your plan for approaching analysts as of January 1st. It’s not too soon to start considering an industry analyst audit. How do they feel your 2018 strategy resonated with them? What could you do better? How must you adapt as a business to meet competitor or industry developments?
CCgroup’s happy to work with new clients, and existing ones, on industry analyst mapping and audits – so do get in touch with us if it’s of interest.
Out of office plan – have one! If you are the AR or PR lead on all things Analyst & Influencer Relations, ensure your deputy is well versed on what the latest activity is, how to reach out appropriately, and what your company’s holding response is while specific SMEs are away.
So, some of you may have noted it: my paragraph headings created a word clue: pulled together, it reads ‘SOLERO’ (my favourite sweet treat when it’s scorching outside). And yes, thanks to this blog I’m now craving an ice cream. Young of heart, and all that… I hope you found some of these tips helpful.
Do connect with us any time on AR@ccgrouppr.com if we can provide any more industry insights or advice on all things Analyst & Influencer Relations!