Merv Adrian sparks a debate on giving analysts Powerpoint

Merv Adrian’s posting reminded me how being given vendors’ Powerpoint after a briefing was really useful for me when I was an analyst. You can go into the outline view and cut and paste the heading into Word, then type up your notes often reusing their headings if they were factual. That could lead to a great outcome for most vendors, with key points being mentioned (even if analysts didn’t always accept the vendors’ points).

Getting the slides beforehand is even better, because analysts can review the slides, develop better questions and as a result have a richer discussion in the briefing.

So what vendor would not what that to happen? I remember covering PeopleSoft, and their rapid changes meant that sometimes the new marketing VP might not have even heard of the centrepiece of his predecesor’s slides.

That hints at the real advantage; if the analyst gets the slides then so does the AR manager, and that helps spokespeople to be more coherent over time.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As the head of CCgroup's analyst relations team, Chapple directs programs that increase the value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.

There are 2 comments on this post
  1. April 04, 2009, 6:45 pm

    One hopes that AR’s involvement in presentation content is more proactive than you describe here, Duncan, although of course it is often a great battle to get there. Ensuring that messages have been tuned to the analysts being briefed, and to the (defined) objectives of the briefing are among AR’s key contributions. AR professionals that don’t get the organizational clout to do so are fighting a losing battle and ought to find another place to work where their skills will be put to proper use.

  2. May 07, 2009, 4:04 pm

    The logic of not sharing copies of PPT slides has always eluded me. It’s a bit like a multiple choice test.

    a) I trust you to view the slides once, but not later.

    b) I trust you not to tell anyone about the presentation, but I don’t trust you not to show the slides to someone.

    c) I think that you are too stupid or lazy to capture the slides with Print Screen or some other low tech solution.

    d) I think that I am showing you the crown jewels of my company, not realizing that the slides are full of marketing fluff – in other words cheap imitations of the real jewels, with only limited value.

    I can understand not getting the slides in advance – sometimes. I know of many cases where the slides were not finalized until a few hours before the briefing. While that’s not the best strategy, it does happen.