Monday, 24 April 2006

Step up a geAR or disappeAR!

While many AR professionals are not yet prepared to take the bold step Duncan discusses here (Should AR run Influencer Relations?), it remains that they should go outside their comfort zone and address the following challenges:

ARmadgeddon's take:
  • We believe that only 5-15% of IT vendors have best-in-class AR practices and AR staff of the right caliber to transition from AR and grow into IfR: Influencer Relations. This supposes the ability to recruit the right people and secure significant incremental resources.
  • Second tier AR teams will face budget cuts and (re)-integration within the communications department, with the prospect to be compensated/promoted on clippings levels (or worse, on activity) rather than relationships and sales impact (or even research quality and thought leadership).

ARmadgeddon's predictions:
  • The dichotomy between best in class AR and second tier will no longer be based upon basic know-how as best practices filter through, but will rather be the result of AR measurement and strategic policies (.7323 probability)
  • Further re-alignment with media relations will impact positively analysts-for-hire's business (more budget allocated to paid-for reports) but this trend is detrimental to both analysts and AR credibility overall (.5itting-on-the-fence probability)


Duncan Chapple said...

Isn't it odd that you link to my post but overlook the fact that I come to opposite conclusions?

Most AR programs are not working well; most AR effort is wasted. What on Earth is the rationale to start do add a new activity [that isn't well understood] to a core activity [which is also not well understood]?

ARonaut said...

While we agree most don't do AR as well as they should, best practices such as audience segmentation and delivering different SLA's to each analyst tier are slowly percolating down.

This enables to use automated processes for B-tier and extend the reach of the programme.

In the meantime, there seems to be a tendency for communication departments to bring AR back under their control.

When the overall level is rising, those not improving, expanding their roles and innovating fast enough will simply fall in the mediocre category.

You may be right though: most may fail.

Duncan Chapple said...

"automated processes for B-tier"? Who on earth has automated processes for B-tier?? I think you vastly overstate the level of development. This is not an argument about whether or not consulting firms and blogs are influential -- they are -- but there is no rational reason to think that AR tactics or people are the right way to address them.

Duncan Chapple said...

Did you see James's post on your post? He says that if AR handles non-analysts consultants then it should also handle bloggers? I realise that you hope that give AR a wider focus makes it looke more strategic, but in fact it just make it responsible for every 'influencer'. However, most firms' AR tactics are only modestly effective with analysts and will be less effective with others.. Using them with consultants and bloggers will lead to bad business outcomes and, in that way, discredit AR rather than promote it.

ARonaut said...


Some vendors such as Cisco or IBM have analyst portals.

But yes, Influencer Relations probably means more budget to cater for a wider audience. AR is way behind PR on spend, for some B2B companies it's probably time for a paradigm change.