Talking to the Analysts vs. The Press
As I’ve noted before, I’ve worked almost all sides of this. I’ve been in PR, in AR, I’ve been the content expert/spokesperson, the quiet informer (somehow deep throat just seems wrong) and I’ve been the writer.
This week, I’ve been at a customer conference where we have analysts giving supporting presentations on SaaS and the Cloud. Most are the typical IT analysts, but there is one from a consulting group (nameless except that Lou Gerstner worked for them before IBM).
I had private conversations with the analysts at the event and we couldn’t wait to talk about what we are doing in 2009 and how everything from the credit crunch to IBM relationships are affecting what and how we are doing.
Conversely, there were press at the same event only one day (they didn’t really care about the event, just the story) and we had to sequester them for interviews and likely spent more time trying not to say something wrong or reveal more than what our goals were. In truth, the conversations we had with the analysts would have been above the technical level of most reporters, but that is why we tell the analysts. They help explain it to the reporters.
What a difference.
So knowing your constituency really matters. I’ve heard horror stories about when things got printed in the press that shouldn’t have been written. I almost got into that doghouse once, saved only by the fact that the actual mistake was committed by an incompetent PR manager who works at the company we sold the PC division to.
WHY I LIKE ANALYSTS MORE
It’s because of the depth and transparency of the conversation. Sure we get called to the floor more and are told far more often that we are wrong, off base, off message, off color, but when we go public, our messages rarely fail to improve.
The depth and breadth of the conversation goes from technology to economics to social implications. All of this is very enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.