This post is one in a series where SageCircle pulls out the crystal ball and looks ahead to what happens in the analyst ecosystem in 2010. See below for links to all posts in this series.
The vast majority of analyst relations (AR) teams are not regularly monitoring their most relevant analysts’ social media usage. However, this lack of attention could prove to be politically dangerous in 2010.
Many AR professionals have been confronted by executives at their companies with negative press quotes by the analysts. Often the executives demand to know why the analyst made the negative comment and what AR is going to do about it. Up through the early Internet age, while troublesome because it caused a fire drill, it was reasonable for AR not to be aware of a particular quote because a comprehensive press clipping service would have been too expensive. However, as the Internet and search tools matured, it has because harder for AR to justify ignorance about press quotes. This provides the added danger of damaging AR’s credibility for not being on top of the situation.
As more analysts adopt social media, sometimes chaotically, AR now has to anticipate being confronted by an executive wanting to know about some analyst’s negative blog post, tweet, or comment made in a social network. Just as with press quotes today, AR cannot feign ignorance about the negative comments made in social media. This is because it is perceived to be free and “easy” to monitor social media. Thus, an AR team that is not aware of an analyst social media comment brought to its attention by an executive will be in grave danger of having its credibility questioned. This could give rise to a new group tasked with social media influencer relations that would take over working with key analysts.
- AR needs to put into place a simple social media monitoring program for its most relevant analysts – in 2010 this would be a relatively small task for most AR teams
- AR needs to incorporate analyst comments and opinions expressed on social media into regular reports to executive sponsors – this would demonstrate that AR is aware of and on top of analyst social media usage
Bottom Line: Social media monitoring is becoming a requirement for AR as both relevant analysts and internal stakeholders start adopting social media in greater numbers. Being a lagging adopter of social media could cause AR extreme politically problems in 2010.
Question: AR – Have you been surprised by a comment made by an analyst in social media? If yes, what were the ramifications?
Looking ahead to 2010 Series
- Analyst Market…
- Social Media…
- Forrester or Gartner launch a client-only social network
- Increasing number of enterprise technology purchases influenced by analyst social media commentary
- AR teams will get in trouble with executives for being surprised by analysts’ social media commentary
- More AR teams adopt virtual events, with mixed results
- In 2H10, analyst firms will start launching new events but will still be behind pre-2009 numbers
- Analyst relations…
- AR teams implementing AR-Sales partnerships document hard ROI resulting in added headcount
- An AR function is completely disbanded to be subsumed into a new influencer group… with disastrous results