September 6, 2020
Last week in Part One of this update, we outlined our ideas and approach for creating a strategic press and analyst coverage plan. As a quick review, a strategic press and analyst coverage plan should be sustainable overtime, leverage many different coverage types and consistently broadcast growth. The alternative of one-off interviews and unconnected coverage will not deliver any long term benefits and may create confusion about a vendor in its market.
Equally as important, without strategic press and analyst coverage a vendor runs the risk of keeping its company and innovations hidden from the market and potential sales channel partners in local markets.
In this Part Two of this update, we are providing our recommendations for a typical coverage plan and detailing the benefits to a vendor’s sales channel partners.
Typical Coverage Plan
In a previous update, we introduced our concept of Press and Analyst Coverage and segmented the different types of coverage items that can be included in a strategic coverage plan.
Below is a typical coverage plan that we often recommend:
|Press Release + News Coverage|
- Press releases – one press release per quarter is a good target. Additional press releases can be added, although current coverage needs must be balanced with ability to consistently make announcements and broadcast news over time. These press releases can be used to announce new products, partnerships, customers and similar corporate milestones.
- News coverage – for each announcement, multiple news coverage items can be obtained in relevant publications. There will certainly be news coverage opportunities in the online publications covering a vendor’s relevant vertical markets and, depending on the topic of the press release, in wider technology and business outlets. News coverage can come in a variety of forms, such as unique articles resulting from an interview or exclusive content provided to selected journalists.
- Press coverage – the publication of interviews unrelated to press release announcements can also be targeted on a quarterly basis. These interviews are a good opportunity to highlight a vendor’s technology innovations, customer success stories, go-to-market strategy and overall value proposition. The coverage resulting from these interviews will likely be in the form of a quote in a feature article or the publication of a full Q&A article.
- Guest articles – at least two guest articles throughout the year can be targeted. Guest articles often provide the opportunity to discuss a selected topic in more detail than the content that is typically published in a press release or interview. Many companies like to use these guest article fill the downtimes during the slow months of August and December.
- Analyst coverage – briefings with all relevant analysts to introduce the company and present its product portfolio, R&D roadmap, customer base and overall value proposition should be methodically scheduled. From our experience, scheduling briefings with one to two analysts per month will raise the awareness of the company among the analyst community and should lead to at least two analyst coverage items over the course of the year. Examples of analyst coverage include an analyst report profiling the company or the inclusion of the company in a market study.
- Awards – it is worthwhile to target winning at least one award recognition from widely recognized award program per year.
For clients of our full business acceleration service, this typical press and analyst coverage plan provides a solid baseline for attracting the attention of and engaging with sales channel partners and support their sales activities.
This typical press and analyst coverage plan can also support other corporate initiatives and marketing programs, such investor relations, lead generation, brand promotion, social media campaigns, SEO optimization and more.
For more insight, please read our previous update on Finding the Balance – What Communications Strategy is Right for Your Company?.
Benefits to Sales Channel Partners
A typical coverage plan based on the above ideas can provide a technology vendor with consistent press and analyst coverage on a monthly basis that is sustainable over time.
Each coverage item can be used by a vendor’s business development team to facilitate interaction with potential and existing sales channel partners. In turn, these sales channel partners leverage this press and analyst coverage to push forward sales processes.
A vendor’s business development staff must consistently share ongoing press and analyst coverage with its sales channel partners. Strategic corporate announcements – meaning press releases – along with press and analyst coverage from valuable third party sources provide sales channel partners with influential content to facilitate new sales opportunities and revisit sales activities that previously had gone dormant.
The importance of sharing press releases and other coverage items with sales channel partners cannot be overlooked or underestimated. The sales channel partners we work with around the world always thank us for sharing client coverage and tell us that this coverage is an essential part of the sales processes they are managing in their local markets.
In our upcoming updates, we will go into detail with our recommendations on how to approach each coverage type. Press releases will be the first coverage type that we will address. As a quick preview, we will explain how press releases can be leveraged by a technology vendor as a central element of its strategic press and analyst coverage plan to broadcast important company news and messages to the market.
Is your company starting to think about its sales channel partner program for 2021?
If yes, please contact us through the form below and we will be glad to schedule a time to discuss how our approach to strategic press and analyst coverage can improve the market outreach of your company and drive new revenues through new sales channel partnerships.