Analyst relations is a corporate communications and marketing activity in which corporations communicate with ICT industry analysts (also known as research analysts) who work for independent research and consulting firms such as the big three of Gartner, International Data Corporation and Forrester Research.
Analyst advice is often used by Fortune 1000 companies and others to determine the best option for major investment in ICT - especially where the deal is complex, changing, costly or critical. Top industry analysts have the power to make or break deals, thanks to their deep-rooted, subscription-based relationships with end-user technology buyers. Some analysts also focus on helping ICT firms to write request for proposal documents. Therefore, the strategy behind an effective Analyst Relations program is known as "influence the influencers".
Large corporations supplying technology (hardware, software, networking, and IT Services) usually have an Analyst Relations person or team (sometimes called industry relations). Corporate analyst relations functions are also found in the automotive, aerospace and telecommunications industries. In addition to in-house AR employees, there are a number of agencies offering specialized analyst relations support.
There are three types of industry analysts - the prescribers spend most of their time advising end-user technology buyers on ICT-related strategy, the number crunchers are focused on tracking vendors' market share and using the past to predict the future, while the vendor-facing analysts concentrate on helping the vendors to better position themselves in the market - often supporting with go-to-market strategies, messaging and sales collateral such as white papers.
The remit of an AR team is to ensure that industry analysts are briefed on a regular basis about their company's strategy, products, services and solutions, as well as their ability to execute in terms of global scale and go-to-market capabilities. In addition, ARs respond to research requests, and generally try to persuade these influential third parties to represent their organization in the best possible light.
In June 2006, the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations was formed as a non-profit community of practice for Analyst Relations professionals  and its members are both in-house and agency side AR professionals. Membership is closed to industry analysts.
It is important to note that in most cases Investor Relations (IR) is a separate function, set up to handle relations with financial analysts as there are very specific rules pertaining to the disclosure of financial information.
- Win Them Over: A Survival Guide for Corporate Analyst Relations/Consultant Relations Programs (3rd ed.), Efrem Mallach, Folrose, 2013, ISBN 978-0906378045
- SIPR Analyst Relations guide
- Defining "Analyst Relations", SageCircle
- Influencing the Influencers, William S Hopkins, Stephen England, Christopher Wilder, Knowledge Capital Group, 7 October 2006, ISBN 978-0-9789643-0-6
- Getting Results from your Analyst Relations Strategies, Louis Columbus, iUniverse, 19 November 2004, ISBN 978-0-595-33462-9
- Industry Analyst Relations - An Extension to PR, Ralf Leinemann, Duncan Chapple, Folrose Ltd, 9 September 2008, ISBN 978-0-906378-03-8
- Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence: A complete guide to analyst influence, Richard Stiennon, IT-Harvest Press, 1 May 2012, ISBN 978-0985460709