At the crossroads: Should AR lead influencer relations and social media?

In tough economic times there’s no more business as usual. AR mamagers have done a lot of work to raise the visibility of the function but there’s still lots more work to do to close the loop and use social media catch up with the social media ‘gurus’.

Here’s our tips:

  • 1) Depending on the culture, break down silos in the organisation provide value where-ever and whenever possible
  • 2) Don’t try to help everyone and do everything. Find allies and build upon success.
  • 3) Accept that AR is no longer just AR: it’s also understanding sourcing advisory relations and using social media even if that’s not your day job.

Sadly, AR is not working this way right now. The recession increased the use of media relations people to try to do analyst relations, and the type of AR that many PR-trained managers do (both in house and in agencies) often goes more along the lines of meeting arrangement or maybe meeting arrangement based on some basic methodology. It remains cheaper or easier to use this than to hire an AR full time, AR consultancy or other AR specialist. The threat of a double dip makes recruiters more cautious. Of course when AR people are used then they are often over-worked, even the specialists can retreat into this volume-based error.

However, this has reduced the quality of AR’s ability to respond to role base analysts. Role-based research has started to disintermediate those AR managers cannot develop role-based stories: analysts have had to go elsewhere to get the information they need.

The only solution is more agressive tiering of analysts. Because analysts are more demanding, more in demand and more time pressured, it takes more effort to develop a complelling dialogue with them. That means less time has to go to less influential analysts in order to use time effectively with the analysts who impact sales in your market.

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