Please brief analysts BEFORE offering journalist briefings

For product news stories in particular, many publications like (and some prefer or even insist on) a quote from an industry analyst (e.g., from Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Yankee, or one of the independents and smaller groups, like ESG), or other third-party expert.And most PR folks, at agencies and in-house, know this.

Yet, oddly, for a number of the news stories I’ve done lately (I’m currently doing roughly one a day for for InformationWeek SMB), when I’ve asked the names of an analyst or two to call (I only need one, but I can’t count on a given source being available in time), the answer is, “We’re briefing them next week.”

In some cases where I’m being pre-briefed (that is, ahead of the official announcement — under embargo and NDA, of course!), the analyst briefings are scheduled to be done after the announcement is made.

This doesn’t make us journalists happy (assuming we want or need an analyst quote). And the analysts don’t like it, either, since giving these quotes is part of their free (other than the cost of their time) marketing/advertising. Plus, (some) analysts don’t like saying “Huh?” when cold-called for a quote.

So: when possible, call and brief an analyst first.

P.S. I’ll be briefing an industry analyst about this blog post next week.

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