Picture the scene.
A world-class analyst from a highly renowned international firm decides they love your company so much that they are going to grant you one free wish (the analyst being slightly less generous than the proverbial genie).
What do you pick?
1) Should they get on the phone and give a glowing recommendation to the hot prospect that sales are desperately trying to close?
2) Perhaps it would be a day with your sales and marketing team, where the analyst shares their knowledge on current market developments and provides an insight into the hot technology and business buttons?
3) Or maybe it will be to have the analyst talk to a journalist at the FT and give them a favourable quote for the big IT feature which is coming up.
As I was thinking about this, I was instinctively thinking that the choice was between 1) and 2). Analysts deliver real commercial benefit not PR fluff. And then I thought some more.
It'll completely depend on where your business is. Might sales be able to close that prospect anyway? Are the sales and marketing team already industry gurus? If so, are you wasting the opportunity? How much use could you get out of that FT story?
We should never forget that there is so much more to AR than getting good quotes for the press (something many PR companies seem never to have learnt or have simply forgotten).
But we should also remember that sometimes providing the quote could be the best thing we ask the analyst to do.
David Rossiter manages analyst relations for a number of Harvard clients, including Fujitsu, NVIDIA, Ricoh and Vodafone. Click here for more analyst relations insight.