The Dos and Don’ts of Analyst Briefings – Part One

We are often asked by our clients what the dos and don’ts of analyst briefings are. So, here’s a two-part series on how to get the most value from your analyst relations programme.

These hints and tips will guide you in planning briefings, presenting to analysts and ensuring you service your analysts in the best way possible to maintain a positive relationship and achieve impressive results for your client.

Know your audience

Analyst are not journalists. A simple rule but easily forgotten. Analysts value open dialogue, discussion of long-term strategy and detailed insight beyond the headline. To get value out of the relationship it is worth remembering this rule, when planning a briefing or event.

Don’t ever think of inviting an analyst to an event where they will have multiple briefings, a week or three before it happens. They won’t attend. Analysts have multiple roles. One of the most important is handling client inquiries. That’s right – analysts have clients and earn money for their employers. They do this every day.

Taking time out to attend an event must be justified from a cost and time perspective. You’ll have a greater chance of analyst attendance if you give plenty of notice – two or even three months will do the trick. And try and pay their travel costs. It shows you really do value their time.

Do the basics. Know what your analyst researches, which companies and technologies they are interested in and what have they been writing about recently. Some analysts will also have written short articles, blogs and commentary pieces and will be on the analyst’s company website. Or they might have been asked to author an article for a trade publication. This is easily searchable and valuable background knowledge.

Get your content in order

An analyst presentation needs to be fit for purpose. For example, if you are briefing an analyst on a new suite of products, provide detail on how customers are using it. Analysts want to see proof of the pudding and match what the product strategy is with what it provides.

If you are briefing an analyst wholly unfamiliar with your clients’ business, except a cursory glance at the company website, provide background details in the presentation. This initial briefing is an introduction, enabling the analyst to get to know a little more about your client so, while the background details do not need to be extensive, they do need to provide an accurate summary of how the business was created and got to where it is today.

Too much content is bad. No analyst will thank you for sending them a presentation with 50 slides. Keep PowerPoint presentations to around 25 slides maximum, but less is more as the briefing call itself should offer them the insight that they will want – the slides are just a summary for their information both before and after the call. Briefings typically last one hour so that time needs to be apportioned and spent wisely – do not waffle, instead get straight to the point and be sure to ask the analyst whether they have any questions at regular points of the briefing.

What is the information most relevant for that analyst in the briefing? Remember rule number one? Know your audience. Find out what the analyst researches, what their planned reports are and which clients they talk to. This information is gold dust for your client.

Look out for the second part of this series which continues to look at how to manage an analyst relations programme that brings value to your clients as well as to the analysts.