Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Successor to Spin Bunny?

Is a new UK PR blog about to claim the mantle of the much loved, now dearly departed Spin Bunny?

For now the authors of "The World's Leading Gossip Site for People Working in or around Technology PR" are choosing to stay anonymous, although they are dropping a few tantilising hints (or red herrings) as to who they might be.

Thanks to Will Arnold of Apollo Surveys for pointing it out.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New AR blogger

Somill Hwang of Bite has written a great post on the value and true nature of AR.

It's called Analyst Relations - the "other" relations and includes truisms such as:

"It's tough enough to explain PR to my relatives...I don't even bother mentioning AR to my friends and family"


"Instead of driving sales via BusinessWeek covers, AR focuses on raising a company's profile during those closed-door moments when customers ask analysts where they should put their money."

It's a back to basics post on what AR should be about. Well worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Forrester's latest AR Council initiative

Would you invite an AR professional from another company to attend one of your analyst events?

Well now you can, thanks to a new initiative from Forrester Research's AR Council. Eric Lobel, the director of the AR Council in North America, explained to me that the 'Analyst Event Exchange' is being introduced as a result of "great member suggestions." The idea is to "enable members to attend an analyst event conducted by a fellow council member.“

He goes on: "The Event Exchange will allow participants the chance to see first-hand how their peers are conducting every facet of their analyst event. This will create an unprecedented opportunity for information exchange, idea sharing, and professional development."

The initiative has already generated positive feedback from AR Council members, which isn't surprising. I'd certainly be very happy to attend any analyst event should anyone out there care to invite me along. It would be fascinating to see how other AR folk decide what type of event to hold, work out which analysts to invite and how they go about the inviting, prepare their executives, run the briefings and interact with the analysts generally.

But while it's an interesting idea, I do wonder if this can be made to work in practice? Is it really feasible to get someone from another organisation to attend an analyst event, never mind get them involved with every step of the planning and set-up process? Can this stranger's presence be justified to your colleagues, your executives and even the analysts?

So far says Eric, this doesn’t seem to have presented a problem. Those individuals who have expressed interest in attending someone else's event have also volunteered in turn to act as a host. He's aware though that it's still very early days.

Will it work in practice? Who knows - we'll just have to wait and see. Talking to Eric, he’s obviously well aware of the practical challenges that need to be overcome if this initiative is to succeed.

But Forrester has to be applauded for introducing this pilot scheme. The idea of sharing knowledge, ideas and experience between AR professionals is one I support wholeheartedly.

Eric has clarified for me that Forrester doesn't expect guests to be involved in any way, other then as spectators during the event. The hope is for hosts to explain what went into their planning.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New home for top mobile analyst

Ben Wood, one of the best known and most well respected analysts in the mobile comms sector, has joined Collins Consulting (aka CCS) as director of clients.

This is a big change for Ben, who is moving from being a research VP at Gartner to director of clients at a small UK consultancy. Talking to him, the reason for the move becomes obvious:

"I've had a fantastic five years with Gartner but it's time to embark on a new challenge and use my expertise and ambition in a smaller business environment. I've known CCS for sometime and it's a great fit. The company has a great set of clients and we've got ambitions to grow."

Established in 1993, CCS positions itself as providing "analysis, insight and foresight for the wireless world" via a range of consultancy services. It also provides forecasts and measurements on handset shipments, terminal pricing research and a weekly news analysis.

Although small, CCS has attracted some high profile clients including Orange, KPN, Sprint / Nextel, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. While Ben won't name names, the CCS client roster also includes "several major media and content players."

Moving forward, Ben and his colleagues on the management team, Shaun Collins and Mick Walker, have big ambitions:

"The mobile industry is going through some exciting changes as network operators wrestle with the challenges of downwards price pressures, handset manufacturers see margins being squeezed and new players - particularly from the Internet space - look poised to come in and disrupt the sector.

"With all of this in mind, we believe there's a great opportunity for smaller, more focused companies to offer strategic advice. With the wide range of expertise we have in house, as well as some of the plans we have for the future, I believe that we can successfully tap into this opportunity."