1. I apologize if I ever misspell a word, or post an phrase that is grammatically challenged on my blog again. Please accept this apology for any past transgression that fails to pass your opinion on what constitutes acceptable blog writing.
2. If you are going to reference one of my blog posts and use it to represent an opinion, please get the sentiment correct. Dinging someone on a spelling or grammar error may be great sport (as you did with some other analysts), but one could argue that taking the lines "I was thinking how it might evolve differently... " and "there are lots of better options but I was just thinking out loud..." and portraying them as "somewhat negative" to suit your own purposes (selling your own services) is a perhaps worse that an honest typo.
3. If you understood my post (apparently you did not), and the nature of social media, then you would have understood the flow that occurred from the blog post to the Twitter stream conversation and why it made sense to go back to the blog post to capture that idea and recognize the contributor. The ebb-and-flow of adjusting perspectives based on the conversation is kinda (oops, sorry for the spelling here) basic to social media which you claim to understand.
4. I find your recommendations inadequate. First, if you knew my coverage area (you do watch us don't you?) - you would know that I do not cover consumer technology. So why would Cisco ever anticipate a blog post on the Pure Digital acquisition coming from me? The only reasons I posted a blog entry was because I was "connecting the dots" between a consumer announcement and how that might derivatively impact Cisco's WebEx and UC efforts.
5. I do not "shoot from the hip". Again, if people are supposed to find you credible and buy your services - no one who knows me in this space would label me that way in terms of how I analyze my research areas and share my opinions on Collaborative Thinking.
6. "Give them the sound bites you want them to release." I'm actually chuckling over that one. Really - do you think we're that simplistic...
7. I encourage all of my AR contacts to follow my blog as well as my Twitter stream. My blog does indeed reflect my thinking, positions, recommendations, etc. I try pretty hard to be as accurate and transparent as possible and share as much as possible. I do not say one thing on my blog and something else in my written research. If you lined up my research and blog postings in chronological order - there is a consistent and evolving narrative. When I am trying to capture a thought or start a conversation, I will share posts that I try to couch as "thinking out loud" - the point is to socialize ideas, etc.
8. My conclusion: people might want to re-think how well you know the analysts you supposedly watch and the level of understanding you have regarding social media. Clearly, you do not know me, or my coverage areas - and based on this post, I am skeptical that you understand social media.
9. I did spellcheck this post - just had to admit that...
SageCircle has previously commented on the growing importance of social media in the analyst relations ecosystem and the need for teams to become engaged. The growth in blogs and the increasing use of twitter provide a method for analysts to broadcast their opinions without the “filtering” and “editorial restrictions” that are part of standard research reports. The lack of any review cycle by either vendors or the firms themselves allows for very timely posting, but can represent a real challenge to AR teams.
Last week Cisco announced an acquisition that quickly prompted several divergent analyst opinions, which could also have benefited from some proofreading.
- Van Baker posted rather negative commentary on his Gartner Blog Network blog closing with “While the purchase may be pocket change for Cisco it is still likely to be wasted money for Cisco.(sic)” He noted his post on twitter which certainly drove traffic to the blog post.
- Joshua Martin posted a speculative but generally positive post on his Yankee Group Blog stating “This scenario is all well and good. It will improve the value of Cisco’s devices while promoting it’s (sic) ecosystem.”
- Mike Gotta of Burton Group posted a somewhat negative report on his personal branded blog (not Burton Group) that was later updated to a rather positive position because of a twitter comment he received. The comment was not from Cisco.
- A day later Ted Schadler of Forrester authored a relatively positive post (and then corrected his typo) saying “It wasn’t a surprise to see networking expansionist Cisco buying Flip”
Now this is not to single out Cisco, but it was a recent example of things we have seen repeatedly. All this blog activity was done within hours and without the filtering of the “research process” or the scrutiny of the firms’ Editorial departments. So how should an AR team react?
Several important best practice process steps come to mind:
- Know the analysts in your market that use social media regularly and ensure they have the company position and key messages the moment the news breaks. These analysts, unlike their non-social media using colleagues, are likely to “shoot from the hip” in order to get something posted quickly and won’t give you a call for details. Give them the sound bites you want them to release.
- Know the commentary the moment it occurs. Have alerts and feeds that inform you when your analysts, your products, or your competitors are mentioned in social media as well as traditional research.
- Know your AR team policy for commenting on blogs or twitter. Can you quickly post a response that corrects inaccurate statements or counters uniformed opinion? How is this stated in your AR Strategic and Tactical plan?
- Track social media as part of your analyst perception trends metrics. Unfiltered social media might closely approximate the verbal commentary analysts are providing during client inquiry where it is having revenue impacts.