While the idea of a Public Relations Process Model has existed for almost 20 years, little public work has been done to discuss and develop a model for optimal analyst relations.
Having a model is vital, because it offers a stronger and deeper understanding than an empirical assortment of experiences and best practices: if analyst relations is seen as ‘things you do’ rather than ‘goals you achieve’ then it’s easy to end up using ‘best practices’ which are out of date, as our colleagues at Tekrati have spelt out. UMass professor Efrem Mallach and Norma LaRosa developed a ‘strategic leverage model’ in 2001, which contained these three points:
How to utilize analyst relations as a key competitive weapon
How to leverage the strategic and tactical value of analysts in different situations.
Analyst motivations, how to take advantage of them to move analysts in your direction.
However, this framework seems partial to us. It focuses on how to leverage the benefits of analyst relations and how to engage the analysts. The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation has a definition of analyst relations which also stresses engagement and leverage.
Last week, Efrem Mallach and I taught ‘AR Momentum’, Lighthouse’s intermediate course for analyst relations managers, on Tuesday in Silicon Valley and on Thursday in New York City. At that meeting, we expanded on Lighthouse’s ‘IDEAL’ framework for analyst relations. This framework, which Enrico Camerinelli and Ludovic Leforestier helped Lighthouse create at a seminar earlier this year, outlines five elements for analyst relations – Identify, Drive, Engage, Align and Leverage – from which the name IDEAL comes.
Next month we will publish a Lighthouse Analyst Relations white paper on this concept, partly drawing on some academic research, which we hope will be used and discussed widely. The notion is this: that these five stages should indicate a collectively comprehensive framework which can be used to assess the maturity and development of individual analyst relations programmes.