On any given day, analyst relations (AR) pros juggle a lot — setting up briefings, interfacing with analysts and serving as a responsive resource, managing projects such as vendor evaluations, conveying analyst insights to the organization, reporting on program success… and a whole lot more.
When you’re part of a small AR team, the pressure is on to not only accomplish must-do operational tasks but also find time to be strategic — so AR and the business at large can achieve key and meaningful outcomes. Many AR pros find themselves in this situation: 76% belong to teams of five or fewer people, and 43% are a team of one, according to data from the Institute of Influencer and Analyst Relations (IIAR>).
Armi Banaria, who manages analyst and influencer relations at cloud infrastructure automation software provider HashiCorp, is a team of one. We were thrilled to catch up with Armi to learn more about HashiCorp’s AR program and priorities, as well as how Armi drives big results as a solo team. Armi also shared how she augments her efforts with AR operational support, and leverages ARInsights software to reach more analysts and influencers, and increase efficiency. Read on to learn more from our conversation with Armi:
Q: Can you please briefly describe your role as it pertains to AR?
Armi: I manage relationships with industry analysts and the audience that we consider “influencers.” These are folks who are “independents” and who are active on social media channels in specific industries. They are often seen as pundits.
Q: What is the mission of your AR team?
Armi: Our mission is to build awareness of HashiCorp and enhance our visibility with relevant analysts and other influencers — so they’re knowledgeable about our solutions, value proposition and customer successes, and so they can write about, speak to and recommend us as appropriate. We also seek to bring actionable analyst insights back to our organization.
Q: What AR challenges does your organization face?
Armi: Our AR team is currently a team of one! So for me, bandwidth is an issue. There are only so many hours in the day, and I need to prioritize the activities that will best achieve our goals, further our mission, demonstrate progress and move our program forward. Of course, like many AR people in programs of all sizes, there’s always more I want to accomplish!
Q: How do you use people, process and technology to solve them?
Armi: Since I’m a team of one, I’m always happy whenever I find tools and ways to increase productivity and efficiency. To that end, I rely on ARchitect as a system of record where I can easily track analyst and influencer interactions and, through Premium Content, see where and when they mention our business. ARchitect makes it easy to tap into this data and report on results.
We also use ARInsights ServicePlus for AR operations support. Their experts act as an extension of my team — in particular, assisting with ARchitect administration and our monthly reporting needs, which frees me up to be more strategic. The ServicePlus team also provides support with our quarterly analyst newsletter and our Analyst Portal, so we can extend the scope and scale of our analyst and influencer outreach.
Speaking of influencers, because non-analyst influencers are important to our program, we’ve also started using the Custom Influencers service from ARInsights. This helps us make sure that we’re reaching the right experts, that their contact and profile information remains up-to-date, and we’re able to track what they say and share online.
Q: How do you think the scope of AR has expanded and/or evolved in recent years?
Armi: AR has expanded from reaching just traditional industry analysts. It now includes relationship-building with independent pundits (industry influencers) as well. As a sign of that change and evolution, I’m seeing many AR practitioners now include “Influencer Relations” in their titles and job descriptions as well.