I am often asked what is the difference between Analyst Relations (AR) and Public Relations (PR)? Which area should my business focus on first? I hear this especially from smaller and start-up technology organizations who are just embarking on their marketing journey. These types of companies have limited resources and even less time to prove market viability.
Public Relations, a Short “Tail”
Without a lot of collateral in-hand, it can be tempting to go all in on a PR strategy to secure coverage and raise brand visibility with articles that can be repurposed as sales collateral and featured on websites. Media coverage is an essential part to any marketing program. It can provide useful product validation and integrates nicely with sales enablement strategies.
However, while good PR serves an important purpose, the effort tends to have a short tail, generating immediate and short-lived results. Which means, you need to keep up a constant drumbeat of news, announcements and thought leadership to fuel a regular cadence of media outcomes. And the more media outlets you target the better your success at getting ink.
Analyst Relations for the Long Tail
On the other hand, Analyst Relations offers more long tail results that are supported by industry acumen. AR requires significant investment in time (and often money) that is spent to inform, review and occasionally debate the merits of a solution. Successful relationships are cultivated through the careful proving and vetting of technology and earning the analyst’s validation through evidence.
Product briefings and demos, customer testimonials and site visits are all par for the course in helping an analyst understand your technology well enough to express an opinion about your company. Confirmation of an analyst’s support is often realized through independent research notes, signature reports, quotes shared with the press, event and conference presentations, and the holy grail, being included on a short list for prospective buyers.
Weaving it Together
There are several symbiotic dependencies between AR and PR. For this reason, your marketing plan should consider incorporating elements of both in its strategy. Analysts can be an important element to your PR strategy. They provide 3rd party validation and opinions that help construct and complete a media story. IT reporters often use analyst findings and statistics to help frame a topic or explain trends and opportunities. If you are interested in understanding how to build and leverage cooperative analysts and press relationships to support and drive your marketing strategy, let’s connect.