One of the most important secrets of success for every company is doing analyst relations and media relations right. These are so important for creating a positive image in the marketplace for customers, investors, workers and partners. As an industry analyst and columnist for more than 30 years, I play in both the analyst and media side. And I have to say, even today there are still only a few companies do a great job at this important task.

The industry analyst and media communities are two separate sectors, yet they are both so important to a company’s success. Those who have strong programs are those who see positive results. Those who have weak or even no programs have negative results and wonder why.

The reason is simple. Both the analyst and media community are an important key to getting a good and positive perception among the consumer and business customer marketplace, investor and workers. So, what is the best way to win at this game?

Secret sauce for success with media and analyst relations

The secret sauce comes from the fact that the analyst and media community write about and talk about every competitor and every product or service in the space they cover. The companies who win are those who are active with these communities. They are actively putting out news releases and product announcements.

The thing is, the analyst and media community doesn’t have the time to write and talk about every story associated with every company and every product. There are so many. They must carefully choose what to cover and what to say about it.

If the company is putting out interesting and valid information into the marketplace, this is what most if not all will focus on. If not, these communities will choose what they will cover. And that is often not as helpful to the company.

Understand, only one way gives companies any level of control over what is covered and the content that is discussed in the marketplace. The other way is simply a crap shoot.

Smart companies understand this and that’s why they have effective analyst relations and media relations groups. Their job is to develop solid relationships with analyst and media players key to their ultimate success.

Staying on growing side of growth curve

The main goal companies should be focused on is getting positive coverage. This will attract customers, investors, workers, partners and more. This will keep companies on the growing side of the growth curve, which I frequently discuss.

So, who are the key analysts, columnists and media in the wider community that are important to your company? Who can help the most? This should be a small group which you should focus on. Managing this group correctly is key to your success. There is a larger group as well, which does not need the same kind of personal attention. However, keeping the entire group engaged with your thinking and ideas helps turn the odds in your favor.

Telecom, tech and wireless industry analyst briefings

Over the years, I have attended countless industry analyst meetings and media briefings from more companies than I can count. Companies you know like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, IBM and countless other big, brand names, and plenty of smaller companies.

Some lesser known companies will be successful and burst onto the radar, and others will not. There are many different reasons, but having a good analyst relations and media relations program are two key reasons.

As one example, think about the changing leadership in the wireless handset marketplace. In the 1990’s the leader was Motorola. Motorola didn’t have a good analyst relations or media relations program. They had a bad attitude and fell from grace quickly. Next was Nokia and Blackberry. They were better than Motorola, but not good enough. They too fell off the radar when the Apple iPhone and Google Android hit the marketplace. These two captured the imagination and are still in the lead today.

The question is, who will be next leader in this space?

Not every company that plays in analyst relations and media relations has great results. IBM is one good example. IBM Watson for example is important. IBM gets plenty of coverage from the analyst and media community. However, IBM has struggled with a weak stock price for years.

I have given countless speeches at company meetings, customer events and industry conferences. I have consulted with many different competitors offering my take on the changing industry, changing opportunities and risks, the competitive playing field and what I think every company needs to do in order to win.

Influence the key influencers

As an analyst, I give comments to the media on a daily basis on the stories they are writing. I also write columns sharing my opinion on companies, products, services and the changing industry. And there are several other key industry analysts in the market today. Analysts whose opinion is listened to.

So, how are you focusing on key industry analysts and media today? So much of what I cover is my take on the news companies put out. Companies who are very active with the analyst and media community and putting out press releases and product announcements, are more generally able to get their points into the public debate. That is important.

Bottom line, it seems many offer their opinion on breaking news. And no one has the time or ability to continue to write every story about every company and every product. So, this is wise of companies to try and steer the conversation as best they can. This often achieves positive results.

Just remember story ideas often come from the companies themselves. Companies who want to try and control the discussion around them. While they do not have that kind of power, they can have an impact if they do it right.

If not, the analyst and media community chooses what to focus on. If you are a company executive, which do you think has a better chance for positive or helpful coverage?

Many companies have programs to reach out to these vital influencer communities, but most do a mediocre job at best. They get some benefit, but leave so much more on the table. If only they would make the right changes, they could strike gold in these areas.

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