Credo 1.1 A case study in aggression

In following on from my first Credo, I have received independent confirmation from an analysts that there is no win from being aggressive. And vendors should be vigilant about finding out how their AR managers and agencies are treating analysts. It’s the old one isn’t it – one satisfied customer has much less impact than one dissatisfied customer.

Of course, if some analysts receive good service from an AR/PR managers they always make sure the tell the CEO or CMO that they are doing a good job. Some are very diligent about doing that, including the analyst who wrote for us last month, who has just sent me an update, which I have edited to protect the guilty…

Just to give you some context, this analyst’s lukewarm findings about one vendor have been used by the vendor’s PR [curious, but perhaps they are struggling to get anything to say out of the business so they have to rely on analysts]. Unsurprisingly, journalists sensed that behind the analysts tepid words was deeper concern. As a result, the PR adventure produced some negative media coverage and, for some reason, the PR tried to put the blame on the analysts rather than accept the responsibility for using tepid research.

There’s a second moral to this story: that analyst relations has to be responsible to the marketing organisation, and we’ll discuss that in Credo 2.


Their PR just sent me a flaming email. I think the PR is under the delusion that I am another PR (despite me pointing out I am an analyst). The email was

  • a) a personal attack
  • b) full of typos
  • c) also threatened me.

Don’t know which I find most offensive. Never heard anything like it have you? I’m now considering my options. What would you suggest? My initial reaction was informing the executives what an idiot their PR is. I’m prepared to take their criticisms on the chin, but

  • a) they are bringing into question my professionalism and
  • b) I think analysts are allowed to objectionable opinions – it’s part of the job description.

But have you ever heard of such a combative PR? Aren’t they supposed to work with us and try and persuade us to their way of thinking?

Even now after all these years I’m still learning. And I am learning some new, painful lessons from this experience. It started with me helping someone out, followed by lots of misunderstanding and ended with a very horrid little PR.

I know my job means I don’t want to upset the vendors involved, but I will plot my revenge on the PR.

I’ll think twice before agreeing to let them use anything I write.The thing is that a good AR would have said: right, time out. Sorry we were a bit rude. Now let’s figure out how we can all win from this situation. Arranged a coffee/lunch and then indoctrinated me with their messaging. I was up for covering the firm in a new analyst report I’m just about to write, but now: touch-now-bargepole-won’t-with (arrange in order)

What a mess. Oh I know I’ll laugh about it tomorrow… What do you do when everything goes horribly wrong and then someone decides to be really rather rude.

P.S. To read more about this AR nightmare, read the original post.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.