A good starting place is setting objectives for length and simplicity. Use these four guidelines before thinking about specific words or content:
- Aim for a concise AR mission statement. Set a maximum limit before you start.
- Keep the mission statement buzzword-free. You are writing a statement reflecting your role in the company that every employee in the company can understand.
- Clearly express senior management expectations for the AR function within your mission statement. Be sure you have explicit buy-in from them. Schedule a short, candid discussion if you are unsure about management expectations or you are negotiating them. Size up your upper management expectations in the same way that you assess industry analyst opinions.
- Determine whether you plan to communicate the mission statement to the analysts as well as internal audiences.
A good approach is crafting one short sentence. In this sentence, state the role and primary value of the analyst relations function to the organization. A simple yet effective wordsmith technique is to craft the sentence in two parts:
- Primary action-oriented role
- Primary value delivered
This approach results in a simple mission statement that relates senior management expectations to the organization’s business objectives and culture.
Sample Mission Statements
“Build positive relationships with the industry watchers to enhance our market visibility and credibility and sharpen internal market insight.”
“Maintain a dynamic dialogue between senior management and the industry analyst community to keep an accurate pulse on our markets and reinforce our perceived market position.”
“Leverage industry analysts to shorten sales cycles and improve our win/loss ratio among Fortune 500 prospects.”
“Enhance media relations with positive industry analyst references on major company news, strategies and events.”
What If AR Is Decentralized?
Many vendors decentralize their analyst relations function. In this situation, each analyst relations team is tasked, budgeted and measured by a unique set of management expectations.
At the corporate level, the best practice in this situation is creating an umbrella mission statement encapsulating one common element of the separate mission statements. If a common thread simply does not exist – or if consensus seems unlikely — collaborate on a statement of top-level intent rather than mission. For example:
“Outrank our top competitors in industry analyst research about our top three markets.”
“Support business objectives and plans through regional analyst relations programs.”
“Promote our strategies, differentiators and success stories through division-specific, best-in-class industry analyst relations programs.”
Once you have drafted the mission statement, schedule private, one-on-one review discussions with key peers and upper management. Probe into how these people interpret the mission statement, whether it strikes them as realistic and whether it makes sense based on their own organization’s objectives and plans. Reviewers might include:
- Executive staff
- Media relations
- Investor relations
- Business development/Alliances
- Product development/marketing
Publishing & Use
Post your AR mission statement on your intranet homepage and include it in internal orientation presentations and documents.
Use it as the starting place and reality-check for budgeting, program planning, staffing, training and process development.
Reprinted from Tekrati