The web has revolutionized the media and research businesses. Freely available and low-cost research is gaining stature as a viable alternative to higher-priced analyst research. Those who publish so-called â€œgood enoughâ€ research are becoming trusted influencers in their own right. Plus, maturing web search services make it easier to find premium and sponsored research stored on the web in a variety of formats. So, how does a company develop two-way relationships and conversations with these alternative information sources? A natural choice is to add them to an existing analyst relations program.
Historically, analyst relations programs rejected the idea of serving any other type of research-based influencer. Competitive intelligence and market research departments took the lead on researchers beyond the analyst domain. This distinction makes less and less sense as the web evolves.
Today, AR programs are well positioned to respond to the growing stature of the in-house research departments at industry associations, professional associations, media networks, events companies, and bloggers. Examples include the research departments of associations such as the IEEE, Object Management Group and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Examples in the media include the product and trend research that has become the hallmark of TechWebâ€™s Dark Reading and CBS Interactiveâ€™s ZDNet.
Expanding the AR charter to include highly complementary influencers creates new efficiencies in manpower. Plus, embracing complementary categories of influencers enables the AR team to increase its strategic value and diversify best practices skill sets. Benefits also include rapid outreach to previously underserved influencer categories.