[Guest Post] The New Normal for Analysts

Zoë Crichton / CCgroup

Our current working environment has been a challenge for everyone, sector to sector. Workers have been uprooted from usual routines and practices; some have flourished, finding inspiration from their sofas, while others have been stifled by children, pets, and noisy neighbours. Despite this upheaval, we have had to adjust and adapt in the best way possible. Whilst some “norms” have fallen by the wayside, others have been embraced and formulated into a more efficient and enhanced way of working from home.

A recent ARchitect webinar titled “The “New Normal” for Analyst Relations” explored how this shift has posed challenges but also provided an opportunity for the analyst community. One of the most surprising changes has been the addition of video briefings, the unlikely shift to “face-to-face” briefing calls has made them far more personal and interactive. With this enhanced level of interaction, analysts have shown themselves to be more likely to let their guard down and more willing to build more robust and concrete relationships online. This was an unexpected change in the community, from briefings usually held over the phone, with no face-to-face interaction, it was hard to anticipate how the working from home movement would actually change anything. But it has, social distancing measures left a lot of people lonely and craving human contact, so it is not surprising that both analysts and spokespeople are grateful for the opportunity to engage with people outside of their household. Even if that is an interruption of an angry toddler demanding to show you their latest artwork.

Beyond this, the role of the AR professional has levelled-up. They are now, more than ever, becoming the “producers” of calls, having to manage the interaction from all sides. The quality of interactions is increasing as the dependency on video heightens, this is no longer a mere phone call, it is an opportunity to differentiate your relationship, and your company from the competition. Preparation for conversations has become more in-depth, with multiple people from all sides being involved; on the company side, it is now common to have one person acting as the spokesperson and another who controls the slides. All of this being overseen and moderated by the AR professional.

It is not only briefing calls that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected for this community, events across the board have been cancelled or postponed. However, the has seen this as an opportunity rather than a sacrifice and many firms have branched out into online events and webinars. An initiative that went so well it left many surprised at the ease of the move to webcasts. Logistics were thought to pose difficulty for this move to virtualisation, but with travelling to events now out of the questions, analysts no longer need to seek approval from the internal team, meaning they have more control over their calendars and can “attend” more events than before. They also have more freedom and time to focus on their relationship with companies and build stronger foundations.

This progress and embracing of “new norms” during lockdown has been beneficial to all parties but I can’t help but question the longevity of it. As we see easing measures and a return to our “normal” way of life, we will be able to continue these practices, which have proved to be such a hit across the community? The relationships that have been built during this time appear to have a different, more personalised makeup than those that came before, so it would be foolish of us to forget the unity created and return to our “usual” practices.  

By Zoë Crichton / Junior Account Executive, CCgroup (LinkedIn)

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2 Responses to [Guest Post] The New Normal for Analysts

  1. Ludovic Leforestier Wednesday 24th June 2020 at 11:02 #

    Good post but nothing new there: analysts have long been working from home and so have many AR pros –though maybe not agency-side.

    On the production, many AR pros contribute to the content, organise dry runs, coach spokespersons. Business as usual for most seasoned AR pros -I’m surprised to read this as something new to Zoë.

    The real new-news is that we’re competing for attention in a virtual world where attention spans are getting shorter. That’s the real challenge.

  2. Duncan Chapple Thursday 9th July 2020 at 16:53 #

    Video calls, working from home and more richly prepared meetings are not new, but all those these things have increased massively for the AR community. It’s odd to read Ludovic denies that we have a new normal.

    The AR professionals in the discussion Zoë summarises are finding differences. Video is turned on in many more briefings this year than last year, and the participants are more humanized are a result. The participants in the call reported that their production of briefings is much more extensive. That is another part of what is new. S, it’s weird to see Ludovic misconstruing that as meaning that if they are doing something more, then they are unaware of it. Everyone is baking more in the lockdown; that doesn’t mean wheat was unfamiliar.

    Sadly, what isn’t new is that attention spans are getting shorter. That is a long-term trend. In the 1990s, a lot of briefings were 90 minutes. Now, many are half an hour. I’m surprised to read this as something new to Ludovic. LOL.

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