In the technology business, industry analysts play a very important role in the definition of new markets and helping end-user organizations understand new technology.
Analysts represent a vital audience for every technology firm, and Technology PR people spend a large slab of time communicating with them.
Elizabeth Albrycht has been discussing some of the difficulties involved in working with analyst firms. She details the difficulty in getting to talk to analysts through the often byzantine scheduling process. The tight economy has of course exacerbated the problem, every briefing request is a potential sales lead and the Analyst sales people are all over it like a rash.
The tougher question is the divide between church and state. There’s a new generation of small boutique analyst firms emerging, who focus on a tight industry segment and can quickly build a reputation as an expert on a given area. Some of these firms are about as ethical as Al Capone.
One recently told me that, to be included in their reports, discussions with the media etc. we had to take a full subscription to their service. End of story. Needless to say we refused, blackmail is not something I’ll countenance. Furthermore this firm has a wide variety of competitiors who are just as focused and don’t have the “advetorial” policy. I’ll be working with them thank you very much.
One thing that can ease the pain of Analyst Relations is personal relationships with given analysts, which can help you sometimes to side-step the sales process, but it’s not easy.