Archive for February, 2010

Freelance musings….

February 11, 2010

I have had a some really interesting conversations with people about  freelancing in general so I thought it would be a nice idea to blog about it.

Not a big writer but some points of interest:

  1. Freelancing is not for all – the grass is greener, it all looks great but you can’t rely on anyone else. It may not be for you, snowboarding is not for me but it does look v cool
  2. Spotting the opp  – there are times when you have to walk away from work that you can do and other times when despite the good will you need to drawn a line and say time to look at new leads
  3. Your value is your value – ‘you pay peanuts you get monkeys’, your worth is your worth. As a freelancer if you don’t deliver, you are out but as you deliver (or should do) you have a worth
  4. Fortune favours the brave – as you can’t hide behind anyone else you have to do it all but as that is what you have chosen so get on with it 😉
  5. It’s all in the mind – attitude is as important as competency

Right back to work!

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Twitter yea not

February 9, 2010

My thanks to Dominic Pannel for introducing me to Twitter. Having been slow to the blogsphere, I guess I was somewhat slow to this fab Web 2.0 application. This tool and I am sure there are others, clearly provides a new dimension to AR, but one thing I am mindful of, is that nothing replaces investing in professional analyst relationships and getting a clear understanding of exactly what each analyst is after and more importantly what there are not. Might be an obvious point but I have always been a big believer that while technology is an enabler/enhancer of relationships it will never replace the human element which great AR professionals are valued most for.

Feb 2010 now Twitter is mainstream and the issue is not whether it is used but how to use it. I remember years ago a senior Microsoft executive telling me about he did email ‘I spend two hours a day doing mail. One hour in the morning and one in the evening. In between that I get my day job done.’ For me that is how I now approach Twitter it’s not the sound of the alerts that breaks my concentration (I am an avid Tweetdeck user) rather being in a constant state of alert about who has tweeted what. Maybe I can’t concentrate but I now find having Twitter on a lot like working with the radio on – there is a lot of background but every now and then there is something you need to stop and concentrate on.

Ti’s the season…

February 9, 2010

Nothing festive in this blog, after all summer has just begun. I have been working in AR for a while and one of things that struck me recently is how AR changes depending on the life cycle stage the company is at. It sounds obvious but the AR needs for a start up are radically different from those of an established vendor but not everyone sees it that way. As the nature of analyst influence changes so does the way AR needs to be done for companies at different points in their evolution. Some classifications:

Start up – finance and noise centric AR
Challengers – challenge based AR
Established – status quo AR

Having some classifications in place really helps with driving what sort of programme is delivered. Well it has for me.

Does size really matter?

February 9, 2010

There are some who make a big play on the size of an analyst database or target list. The inference being the more on the list the better, as the greater the reach and hence influence. Sure the list may tiered but does size really make a difference? My view is that its the quality of relationship and for that matter the ability of the AR practitioner to foster the right sort of the relationship that really counts and of course understanding exactly the way the connection should be utilised to help grow the clients business. So in AR (in my view) size doesn’t matter but relationships do.

In Brands We Trust

February 8, 2010

What strikes me most about branding is the role that trust plays. The theory about branding is it that a brand is a source of value – the vendor can charge a higher price as the consumer is prepared to pay, they can assign a balance sheet value to it (I’m not an accountant but the calculations are pretty standard), and the consumer has the status of the product/service.

But trust is the key to a brand, consumers feel they can trust that the product/service will deliver on what is promised and the vendor has trust that its offering is an accurate embodiment of what the company has invested be it in capital or human investment.

Looking at it from an AR perspective trust is the key. AR agencies or PR agencies offering AR have to gain the trust of analysts and this is effect defines their brand. AR Professionals that analysts can trust are the ones who can then offer vendors a more valuable AR service. After all trust also underpins relationships which is what AR is all about

Feb 2010  the only thing to add on this one is that social media blogs/tweets have expanded the scope of a brand and the risk of it being destroyed. Increase the channels, increase the brand reach, increase the risk, increase the opp.

Please can I have some MOAR?!

February 8, 2010

There is an old debate in the AR/PR industry on the implementation of AR, should it be outsourced/handed over to an agency or not? In my view the key to this lies in what sort of AR is being delivered, I see a big distinction between Communications Oriented AR (COAR) and Marketing Oriented AR (MOAR).

What is the difference between the two? COAR is by and large one way, and runs the risk of treating analysts as press/journalists i.e. information consumers/re publishers – but no dialogue please, unless the feedback is positive, while MOAR is a two-way relationship based approach that looks at the inherent value of the analyst, the capability of his/her firm compared to the current and future business strategy of the vendor/business unit.

While it looks like I am playing with TLAs or FLAs, pulling off MOAR is as hard as any attempt an organisation makes at being Marketing Oriented. But I am always up for MOAR!

Feb 2010 phew at lest this still makes sense to me, the only think I would add is that understanding the value analyst firms/analysts can bring to the business is even more important than ever, especially given the consolidation in the market since I wrote this last post.

Influencer Marketing and AR – coming to an agency soon?

February 8, 2010
Having read Duncan Brown’s article on Infleuncer Marketing in the recent The Marketer publication, I wonder how long it will be, before the AR community start to offer this discipline? I just hope it is real Influencer Marketing not rebadged AR. Only time will tell.
 
Feb 2010: Funny reading this again and thinking how  mainstream the term Influencer Relations has become. My views on this is that it is very unlikely for agencies to offer this, not unless they are totally dedicated to IR i.e. influencer50 www.influencer50.com 
as for the mainstream PR agencies and or even the AR agencies I think it is too much of a jump from current services offered. As for vendors that is a different matter altogether as there is the clear visibility (or should be) between marketing and sales which is where influence is so crucial. However to really embrace Influencer Relations marketing folks need to think broadly and past the tried and tested – which again is not always a mainstream approach.
 
Will things change? Not likely.

New blog site … new blogs

February 8, 2010

I have finally arrived at the wordpress so I thought I would re publish my olds posts from the old site. As I started to look at what I wrote I thought I would provide a little update based on my current views/opinions. As always looking forward to comments/thoughts/feedback.

Hello world!

February 4, 2010

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!