I have worked in the wonderful world of AR for over a decade both for PR agencies and for vendors and for the last eight years as an independent consultant. I am lucky I have never got bored of AR it changes so much its hard to get tired of it and the way things are moving there is no doubt the pace of change will only increase.
One interesting point to consider is should vendors have a full time dedicated AR resource or is AR a discipline that can be used as and when i.e. outsourced to an agency/external provider and undertaken on an ad hoc basis?
The purists will say that you can’t turn on and off links with analysts like advertising or direct marketing, while pragmatists will argue if AR is used to support marketing initiatives then its another tool in the arsenal that should be used as and when appropriate.
Ultimately it comes down to how you view the role/importance of industry analysts that will influence the decision. One point to consider there are analysts I know and have worked with for years, I mean years. I may not talk to them day-to-day but I know who they are and they know where I am too. While growth targets may be temporary meaningful business relationships are timeless.