Happy Halloween, analyst relations (AR) readers! We hope your day brings no tricks and all treats.
In addition to donning costumes, gorging on candy and trick-or-treating in the dark, another staple of Halloween is sharing spooky stories. So, to get in the spirit of the holiday — and because last year’s AR scary stories article was so popular — we’ve collected a few more spooky tales for you to read and learn from.
From combatting analyst preconceptions to recovering from generative AI gaffes and more, the real-life scary tales below are sure to make you shiver!
From unhappy end-user to unimpressed analyst (eek!)
One time, a new analyst was announced at a major firm, in my company’s space. Turned out, the analyst in question had used my company’s solution previously, when the analyst was in an end-user capacity… and the offering did not perform well for that person, like, AT ALL. The person was really not happy.
So, suddenly I was faced with trying to navigate a new analyst covering my product — one that the analyst effectively “hated.” And the analyst was also in charge of a major evaluation where my product would be covered.
No real silver bullet there, other than a lot of legwork and relationship repair. It was important to try and be authentic and empathetic, try and acknowledge the product failures in that analyst’s particular case, and use that as an interaction point/plan: “Help us fix this; help us get things right from your perspective.” We took that approach via all interactions, especially strategy sessions where we could get the analyst’s counsel.
In sum, be humble, and don’t shut down or be argumentative. In cases like these, have self awareness as a company, and look to attain solid strategic counsel, hat in hand. 🙂
Does AI stand for Awkward Interaction?!?
AI is all the rage these days, and everyone is experimenting. That is all well and good… but don’t experiment with my analysts.
During an inquiry call this past April, I was chatting with the analyst while we were waiting on my spokesperson to join the Zoom session. Our conversation was warm and casual until the other attendee joined and immediately enabled his AI notetaker for Zoom. The analyst reacted quickly, exclaiming, “Turn that off; I will not proceed with any AI recording me.” My spokesperson quickly apologized and shut off the AI assistant.
As you can imagine, the next 25 minutes of that inquiry were frankly uncomfortable and tension-filled. The analyst was offended and just wanted to get through the session. Note to self: Make sure all spokespeople are informed that there should be no surprise AI note assistants joining our virtual interactions!
When briefings veer off-topic…
My company was launching a new product, and we rightly involved analysts early in the process. I had several excellent spokespeople on my team, including the product marketing director, product management director and even the chief product officer. We had prior discussions on the topic with individuals from a Tier-1 firm, which led me to believe they were friendlies.
I was so confident in this assumption that I excused the product team and suggested that the director of product marketing and I could handle the final briefing call ourselves. We only made it to slide 2 before the conversation completely derailed, veering toward a discussion of security versus privacy. After 15 minutes of attempting to rescue the call, I finally conceded and messaged the product management director for help. Fortunately, he was able to rearrange his schedule and join us, saving the day.
The moral of this story is threefold:
Always plan for the worst-case scenarios.
Cultivate relationships with internal stakeholders so they are willing to make time to support you, even if it means canceling a meeting with their superiors.
Learn from the experience and adjust for the future, but don’t be too hard on yourself. In this case, due to this unexpected situation, we modified our product messaging to proactively address privacy concerns.
Haiku of horror
Briefing prep? Strong.
Power failure at exec’s house.
My song and dance.
Seven months’ worth
of contract renewal talks.
New CMO says no.
New exec, on first inquiry.
Cat’s butt says hi!
These riveting rhymes will leave you spellbound
In the realm of analysts, dark and obscure,
Where mysteries and insights intertwine for sure.
Beneath the full moon’s eerie, ghostly light,
In the haunted night, they work with all their might.
They conjure up data, like the witches brew,
To formulate visions, both false and true.
Deep in the shadows, they spin their web,
Where secrets and numbers become undead.
They haunt the corridors of business and tech,
With confidential riddles and reports to protect.
Like Halloween spirits, they wield their might,
In the world of analyst relations, every night.
So beware of all their tricks and their treats,
For their insights can be both bitter and sweet.
In this cryptic world of analysts and their lore,
Halloween or not, they conjure much more. 🎃