Saturday, August 7, 2010

For budding analysts

Most newbie analysts and money managers are always looking for publicity. They pester CNBC to get on the air or maybe they penned an article in their relevant trade rag that a CNBC producer read. For the latter, the producer calls the analyst/manager and says he wants him on the air at X in the afternoon in their Englewood, NJ studio. They'll send a car to pick you up (let's assume you work in NYC).

So, you obediently drop everything, prepare a few notes and nervously rehearse them in the limo on the way to CNBC HQ. A four minute interview later with three other analysts and two hosts and back you go into the limo for the ride home.

Your contribution? A stock pick. What about the article you wrote? Sorry, boring television.

So, you wasted a few hours of your day and got no calls or emails except from your mother and two friends who are not in the business. CNBC got their content and you went back to your obscurity. Is it any wonder I turn down just about every interview request that involves me traveling more than 10 minutes to the local satellite up-link studio?  Radio - yes, by phone from my office.

OK, my tale of woe is over. The message I want to get across was inspired by an offering from a distribution list I am on. Last week, I quoted the Foundation for the Study of Cycles in my column and here is what they wrote: You will have to scroll down just a tiny bit to see them thank me for quoting them.

There are two ways I like to operate when wearing my journalist hat. The first is these email lists from analysis sources. Most of the time I have to wade through the muck to find the gold and I admit most time I just ignore it. If the email is to the point instead of all the typical pontificating about how smart they are punctuated with 50 "on the other hands" it will get read and it will spark ideas from time to time.

It is not unusual for me to quote someone without them even knowing it (they always say to quote them with appropriate attribution as I see fit). Sometimes I let them know. Sometimes I don't. Either way, they love it.

The second way, which is much preferred, is for the analyst to send me a single note with a fact or event that they think my readers will find interesting or important or both. Basic ally, find something valuable and let me know. Odds are, you will see you name in print that evening to use to your marketing heart's content. See, I was quoted in Barron's Online!

I always tell newbies to network and write something. That's how I got started - write, write, write. Eventually you get paid.  And if you are not a writer, cultivate relationships with people who are. Believe me, every journalist has a pen of go-to sources for various needs.

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