Analyst relations skills: building a checklist for wider influencer opportunities

BarbaraAnalyst relations, influencer relations

Analyst relations is entering a time when the tech industry not only acknowledges – but celebrates – the rich diversity of decision-maker influencers. This shift to influencer marketing presents new opportunities for transforming AR programs and careers. Many of the skills that contribute to successful analyst relations translate smoothly to relations with other types of influencers.  And some skills do not. Building a checklist of AR skills is a good way to see where you stand.

A skills checklist can help you focus objectively, analyzing which skills have greatest value across the influencer relations spectrum and which are valuable only within classic AR. Plus, the process of creating the checklist can help reveal any significant gaps in skills, whether in AR or broader influencer relations.

Here’s a example of how I would build it:

Analyst-to-Influencer Relations Checklist

Skill: Influencer Profiling
Portable: Yes
Value beyond AR (0 to 10): 10
Assessment: Analyst relations provides a good model for developing influencer profiles. Typical AR profiles of analysts contain descriptive biographies, real-time media citations, blogs, reports and other recent publications, appearances, past and current consulting / services contracts, and ties to competitors.

Skill: Matching influencers with relationship owners
Portable: Yes
Value beyond AR (0 to 10): 10
Assessment: AR routinely matches analysts with company representatives for specific projects. They also do this for sustained relationships, as in executive buddy programs. Matches take into account the obvious – title, breadth and depth of technical expertise, shared experience, language – as well as subjective qualities leading to a healthy chemistry.

Skill: Cultivating influencer relationships
Portable: Yes
Value beyond AR (0 to 10): 10
Assessment: AR understands how to work with both analysts and internal stakeholders to help initiate, nurture and maintain relationships.

Skill: Mutual influence
Portable: Yes
Value beyond AR (0 to 10): 10
Assessment: Best-in-class AR professionals are skilled at facilitating analyst-vendor contact where the outcome is mutual influence. Much of this is achieved by structuring engagements as two-way dialogues and driving follow-through.

Skill: Ranking methods
Portable: No
Value beyond AR (0 to 10): 3
Assessment: The concept of ranking influencers on a relative scale is valuable. However, AR ranking methods rooted too deeply in an apples-to-apples context are not useful when ranking diverse influencers relative to each other.

And so on. I can easily think of 20 AR skills for evaluating this way.

This exercise is a good sanity check for career purposes as well.

Please let me know if you use this idea and build your own AR-to-Influencer Relations checklist. Or if you’d like my help.