No penalty shoot out required: the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional of the Year 2018

In the midst of the nation being gripped by World Cup fever, the IIAR Summer Party happened to fall on a historic semi-final appearance by England. But that iconic World Cup Trophy was, of course, very far from being the most important accolade contested tonight.

That’s right – tonight was also the announcement of the IIAR’s much-coveted Analyst Relations Professional of the Year 2018.

The IIAR’s recognition of the capabilities of the analyst relations community is an important moment in our industry – not just because we can celebrate the great work of our friends and peers – but also because it’s an opportunity to gain feedback from analyst themselves. And indeed responses from analysts at over 60 firms are at the core of this methodology and the ensuring awards. They rated over 400 professionals, 85 agencies, 9 megavendors,  and gave the IIAR a comprehensive set of insights on best practices. 

Thanks to the analysts

We asked the analysts to be thorough in their critique. And as AR pros, having committed hours to the completion of numerous research responses, who wouldn’t want the chance to pose some questions back in the other direction?! Fortunately the analyst community were very generous with their time and the depth of feedback. Our profuse thanks to everyone who participated and took time from the barrage of vendor briefings and research obligations to commit to the process.The feedback we sought related directly to the IIAR’s model of the 3Rs of Analyst Relations. Put simply, these are the defining three key traits required for the job. While we’re sure everyone reading this is entirely fluent in the 3Rs, they can be summarised as follows:

  • Responsiveness – analysts expect AR pros to revert back to them in a timely fashion with the information required for their research
  • Relationships – analysts have many stakeholders; they rely on someone that’s easy to deal with always goes that extra mile
  • Results – can AR pros deliver results for their employers?

Full time scores

And so the moment of truth. The referee’s final whistle has gone, there’s no time for video replays and the crowd is on the pitch. Here’s the final score…IIAR AR Professional of the Year

IAR AR Professional of the Year 2018: Amal Nichols / Cisco

Second place, IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2018: Renata Barros / CiscoThird place, IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2018: Mark Kitchell / Amazon Web ServicesThe analysts also placed in our top 10 other practitioners from Deloitte, Oracle, SAP, Accenture and Dassault Systèmes. 

Click for Amal’s interview for the IIAR.  

IIAR AR Team of the Year 2018: Cisco

In addition to placing two winners in the IIAR AR Professional 2018, analysts also voted Cisco the best IIAR AR Team of the Year for 2018 for the second year running. This category recognises teams at Megavendors”, defined as companies over USD 20 billion global annual revenues and providing a mix of three or more types the following: IT hardware; Networking equipment; Telecommunication services; Enterprise software; IT services  and outsourcing; and Business consulting.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for the second year in a row. We are constantly assessing and refining our AR program and looking for new ways to bring greater value to Cisco and our analyst community. It is important to us that the work we do and the relationships we build are meaningful. This award is a testament to that effort” said Amal Nichols / Director of Global Analyst Relations / Cisco  (@nicholsamal, LinkedIn).

Cisco was closely followed by Dell (up from 5th) and Oracle (up one place) ;  IBM, Microsoft and HP all going down in this megavendors AR teams ranking.Logo IIAR AR Agency of the Year

IIAR AR Agency of the Year 2018: Loenberg AR

A new category for agencies providing analyst relations services sees Signe Loenberg keeping the top position in 2018 for those awards, after being elected as the best IIAR AR Professional for two year running.  The IIAR survey maps a deep field with 85 AR agencies identified by analysts, with an sizeable spread between the top 30 agencies and the bottom 35 -all of the latter receiving negative scores. Large unspecialised agencies and PR freelancers were equally shunned by analysts, demonstrating the value of specialist AR skills and staff.

“I am extremely grateful and honoured to have been recognised by the analyst community and very proud of the team who have helped Loenberg AR achieve this award.  We value the strong and longstanding relationships we have developed with analysts around the world and enjoy working with our clients to help them engage positively and effectively with this influential community. I would like to thank everyone who took part and congratulate Amal Nichols on IIAR AR Professional ” said Signe Loenberg / Loenberg AR (@signeloenberg, LinkedIn).

Loenberg AR is followed by Axicom and Destrier AR.

“On behalf of the IIAR Board, I am delighted to congratulate Amal and Signe for being the torchbearers of excellence in analyst relations (AR)” said Ludovic Leforestier(@lludovicLinkedIn), IIAR Co-Founder and Board Member.

So well done to everyone who claimed an award, and thank you for ongoing commitment to best practice in analyst relations. We also appreciate the efforts of the analyst community to keep us informed and on our toes. In our next post, we’ll share the key insights that emerged from the analyst community’s responses to our feedback. These encompass best practice from the challenges of analyst tiering to the need for personalisation. Come back to the IIAR blog for more. With contributions and help from Julia Pope and Tom Buttle.

See our press release here.


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