For the second straight post, I’m mixing the general and the personal. Sorry!
I jumped into an #ARchat on Twitter Tuesday, and set off a discussion about the subject of analyst quotes in press releases. Since that chat has been blogged, starting with a partly accurate* paraphrase of my views, I figure I may as well state those myself.
*I don’t know what the “own marketing team” part refers to.
Our write-up of Monash Advantage terms and conditions states that membership includes:
Eligibility for press release quotes, subject to our usual integrity requirements (we write the quotes ourselves, and only on subjects we feel sufficiently favorable about). We do not charge for these.
Actually, you don’t have to give us money to get a quote from me, as this Tokutek example shows; but if you’re not a client, then you have to make the process very easy. For example, I dictated that Tokutek quote while in a car to the airport, at no cost to my workweek.
Other analyst firms have different approaches to quotation pay-for-play. Does this all mean that analysts are more likely to be seen as endorsing companies who pay them? Frankly, yes. But truth be told, analyst pay and implicit endorsements are partially linked no matter what.
The real issue, in my mind, is that analysts should only give quotes that truly reflect their research. I had a Twitter exchange once — with an analyst I basically like and respect — that in effect went:
- “Why do you think X?”, where X was a quote in a press release that:
- Sounded like it had been written by a marketing department.
- Was on a subject that analyst wasn’t particularly expert in anyway.
- “What do you mean?”
- “You said X in company Y’s press release.”
- “Uhhh … I don’t really know what you’re talking about.”
Obviously, the analyst had just approved a quote routinely, whether to be nice or to get press visibility, without seriously reflecting on what it actually said.
I find that appalling.