James Governor's Monkchips

Become a certified Analyst Relations professional

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Industry analysts aren’t even professionals in the traditional sense.
By all means train people, KCG – that is a good thing and a good niche business. I am all for training and helping people to better understand how to work with industry analysts. But calling the course a professional certification and accreditation is surely a stretch.
Nice client list though. And there seem to plenty of vendors hiring AR people at the moment, which is nice.
I can’t vouch for KCG’s services myself- although I have worked with some people that have been on the course.
On the other hand if I can say I am an industry analyst, and mean something by it, then I suppose your clients say I am an AR professional!
I would love to hear from AR people generally, and “accredited AR professionals” specifically, what they think. If you don’t want to post a comment publicly just email me: [jgovernor at redmonk.com]


  1. This always irked me a little too (although I’m not really sure why.. if people want to do this, more power to them I suppose). There is an “APR” too, for public relations, that cracks me up especially when people add it to their business cards and signature files. Seems to be used mostly by new PR people and agency types.

  2. James,

    KGC has this all American herd approach, but there’s some good in it:

    1. Maybe more AR people will treat analysts as analysts and make basic mistakes.

    2. AR is still not always recognised as a profession. Certification helps making this a “real” job, which in turns means that the AR profile within vendors increases. And hopefully, this means more budget for analysts. Well, that’s the theory at least, but I don’t think PR firms are effective to promoting analysts within their clients?

  3. I just took KCG’s course. I took it because the shift in perspective and the organization of the material is always educational, even if you’re already familiar with the subject matter. It’s similar to reading Victor Hugo in French and English – same book, different experience. (Or so I’ve been *told*, being proudly monolingual 😉 )

    1) It’s good AR training, as good as Duncan Chapple’s. It was worth the money.

    2) The training is a valuable service to the industry if only to drill home to new AR professionals how different the AR practitioner’s job is than PR, when practiced conscientiously. If more new AR practitioners took Bill’s course, you would have less to blog about regarding the grievous insults inflicted upon you by PR people who do not truly understand what Redmonk is about.

    3) Bill and Steve do not oversell the grandeur of the certificate in their coursework. That being said, their certification process has been accredited by some organization that certifies certifiers (!?!) and supposedly KCG does adhere to documented procedures for a certification organization — so they’re as credible a paper mill venue as any other.

    About six months ago, I saw a PR person issue a press release about passing the course. I’d say that speaks more to that particular PR person’s pathology than any inappropriate aggrandizement that KCG is trying to pull off.

    And, as much as you and Steve are comfortable that it is your job to call it as it is (rather than worrying about pleasing vendors), Bill is in the same position… and he’s not worrying too much about whether analysts think he’s a swell guy.

    His Mystical Box Chart rating of the analyst firms is hysterical. J

  4. good stuff- the key takeaway – is that the course is worth attending. i am skeptical about accreditation in this space but certainly not the value of training.

  5. I don’t know much about AR certification, but I do know a good bit about accreditation in public relations, or APR. Quite frankly, if more PR pros went through this process, we would have fewer bozos out there doing unethical things. It gives the person who has hunch about something a process to follow. It “professionalizes” the profession. It give teh person who thinks they are “good with people” a chance to see that its more than being social. So, laugh at the APR all you want, when I see it I know that the PR person in question actually understands the practice of public relations.

  6. Wonder if customers of analyst firms would also benefit by taking courses. They are of the belief that analyst research is a one-way street. Maybe re-education is in order?

  7. I’m all for training people in AR and by all accounts the KCG course is a good one.

    But certification and accreditation only really mean something when people are hired because they have it (and – more important – not hired if they don’t).

    Otherwise it’s simply some nice words to put on the CV to dress up the training course you went on once.

  8. I’m all for training people in AR and by accounts the KCG course is a good one.

    But certification and accreditation only really mean something when people are hired because they have it (and not hired if they don’t).

    Otherwise it’s simply some nice words to put on the CV to dress up the training course you went on once.

  9. thanks david. strong opinions are always welcome.

    to kami – thanks for your comments but they confuse me just a little. a key point we’re looking at here is the distinction between analyst relations and PR – the two are related, but not the same discipline.

  10. My comment was mostly to Catherine and her comment about PR using the APR designation. In Washington DC, the designation is sometimes required to get a job.

    I realize AR is a different discipline, but I will tell you that the arguments for and against accreditation are almost word-for-word the same in the PR world as yours are here for AR. I just thought it was interesting.

  11. thanks kami. fair point.

  12. New forum topic -please join in- Should AR people get certified?

    James Governor and ARmadgeddon have posts debating whether or not AR certifications are good/useful. ARm appears to be for it and James against.
    KCG offers certificated analyst professional programs (for a fee of course). There are programs like this f…

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