Q&A with ARInsights’ Crystal Golightly on New IIAR> Board Member Role

April 8, 2021 —

We’re thrilled to share that Crystal Golightly, our VP of customer experience and operations, has been elected to the board of the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR>).

The IIAR> is a non-profit membership organization for AR professionals that seeks to enhance the awareness, image and practice of analyst relations, globally.

Working closely with our clients over the past decade, Crystal has her finger on the pulse of AR trends, opportunities and best practices. She brings tremendous industry and practical experience – not to mention passion and energy – to the board member role. 

We chatted with Crystal about joining the IIAR> board. Read on for her thoughts.

Q: Tell us more about the IIAR>. What’s its role in the AR industry?

A: The IIAR> is an organization for AR professionals. It provides opportunities for AR pros to share their experiences, support and learn from each other, and discuss trends. In short, it’s a community of people devoted to enhancing analyst relations.

The IIAR> publishes a calendar of events for members, with relevant speakers and programming. Members have access to IIAR> resources and surveys (including newly released AR salary data); online Q&A forums; a wide, searchable knowledgebase; and a lot more. Through the community, you can stay abreast of what’s new in the industry and do your job even better.

Q: Why did you want to join the board? 

A: Community has always been important to me. I enjoy bringing people together to learn from each other, and learning myself that way too. And I had been looking to get more involved with the IIAR> as well – so this was a natural fit and an especially exciting opportunity for me.

Organizations like the IIAR> have an important role to play right now. Over the last year, businesses have seen a lot of upheaval and uncertainty. It’s been even more valuable to have professional communities that make us feel connected, advocate for us in our roles and help us perform better. 

This is something I’ve done through ARInsights too, particularly with the “open sessions” we started doing last year. They’re a virtual forum to fill in some of what we’ve all been missing: the opportunity for AR pros to bump into each other at conferences, swap stories at happy hours and have informal conversations about what’s going on in our roles. While I do get to interact with AR professionals frequently, because of the nature of my job, AR people don’t get to talk to each other that often now. Our open sessions provide an opportunity to do that virtually, on an unrecorded line and free from product pitches. Participants can share some laughs, chat each other up, talk about how our industry is changing, and collaboratively tackle challenges they’re facing.

Now, working with the IIAR>, I’m looking forward to contributing to and helping foster a similar environment on a larger scale!

Q: What are your plans as a board member?

A: The IIAR> is a global organization that’s headquartered in the UK. While members hail from all around the world, I hope to help raise even more awareness and greater involvement among U.S. analyst relations professionals. I have some ideas, too, for thought-leaders to involve in events, along with discussion topics to pursue.

Most importantly, though, as I start out – and really, throughout my tenure – I want to talk to, listen to, and learn from other members. It’s important for me to hear what they get the most value from through the IIAR> and how we can serve them even better.

Q: Can you let us know about some upcoming IIAR> events and initiatives?

A: Yes, there are a few events scheduled for this month and next month, including a group discussion on AR briefings, as well as a webinar with ISG. We’re also holding the IIAR> monthly virtual meet-up — those are “open mic” discussions among members, with opportunities to talk about best practices and challenges, and to meet and network.

Q: Why is it important for AR professionals to have an organization like the IIAR>?

A: Whether you’ve been doing AR for years and years, or whether you’re new to the profession, it’s really important to have a forum for professional development. AR pros benefit from having this environment to ask and answer questions – from “how do I prep my spokespeople?” to “what’s changing at different firms?” to “which firms should we align with?” to “how should we best conduct a briefing or inquiry?” and much more. Again, even if you’ve been in this role for years, it’s helpful to get a fresh perspective – especially as the industry evolves, firms and contacts change, and processes shift.

The IIAR> helps AR professionals continually refine their skillsets – and not just for communicating with analysts. That’s key because AR isn’t just an external role; the internal-facing part is also important. You need to have buy-in and participation from executives, and communicate with internal stakeholders – so they know and are aligned with program goals.

Also, since the IIAR> is an independent, non-profit organization, there isn’t a salesperson trying to sell you something. It’s a space where you can ask questions and get unbiased, real-world advice and opinions to help you be successful. It’s also a great environment to network and build relationships with your peers.