In Killer questions to ask PR agencies to see if they are AR pretenders or contenders, we provided a technique to help determine whether a PR agency that is bidding for a vendor’s analyst relations (AR) business truly understands the analysts and AR. There might be another technique that could potentially – but only potentially – provide another interesting insight into the dedication to real AR.
Do they follow more analysts and AR than media and PR on Twitter?
This is only a potentially interesting insight because adoption of Twitter by analysts and AR professionals is still at a nascent stage. If an agency staff member is not following many analysts and AR pros on Twitter it could mean that there not many relevant analysts for a particular market on Twitter yet. That said, if the agency staff that are being presented as the AR professionals are too skewed toward the media that might also be a sign of what they personally emphasize. Potentially – again only potentially – a telling indication of how effective they would be working with IT and telecom industry analysts.
- Ask the agency rainmaker for the names and Twitter handles of the staff that would be assigned to the vendor’s AR projects
- Do a quick scan of the staff members’ Twitter accounts to determine the approximate ratio of analysts to media and AR to PR (excluding colleagues at the agency which will always be overweighed)
- If the ratio is heavily skewed toward media then quiz those individuals to determine their true depth of knowledge about the analyst ecosystem and AR best practices
Bottom Line: Because the work habits of analysts and press are so different, it is important for AR managers to ascertain whether a PR agency bidding for AR business has staff who truly “get” the analysts. A set of Twitter follows that skews toward media and away from analysts could indicate a PR professional that is not very interested in AR and would treat analysts like the press – a major mistake.
Question: What are other potential techniques for determining how serious a PR agency is about AR?