A favourite term in PR is ‘thought leadership’. Often used but not always understood.
There are many definitions of a thought-leader. At Springboard, we define it as an organisation or individual who is recognised by their peers as an authority in a specific field.
Thought leadership is not a new term. It is something that went out of fashion in the early noughties but is now firmly to the fore with the onset of content driven online marketing.
Clients are much more likely to click on a blog written by a recognised thought-leader than someone who does not have a profile in the field.
So how do you become a thought leader? There is no ‘magic bullet’, but with a consistent approach to insight and opinion on your topic or industry of choice, you or your organisation can become the go-to for media, clients and referrers.
Here are Springboard PR & Marketing’s first steps to start you on the road to ‘thought-leadership’
- Get blogging: Don’t fear blogging, just ensure your content is meaningful and insightful to your audience. Don’t sell; inform, educate and advise your audience. At Springboard, we work with a number of our clients on developing content that hits the right note with their audience. We find blogging is particularly effective when you need to educate your target market about a new product or service. Inform your audience through blogging and you can become the go-to person or organisation for updates in that field.
- Timely and consistent content: So you’ve started blogging, but blogging once a quarter or once a year does not build thought-leadership. Just like traditional media, for your blog to generate a following you need to be consistently blogging with timely updates on your field of choice. Additionally, you also need to be aware of what is happening in the world around you. There are plenty of opportunities to use what is happening in the media or the world at large to give your opinion and insight. For us, working in PR, a good deal of our role is staying ahead of what is happening in our clients’ industries. For example: if you’re a Medtech company and Ireland is announced as the most innovative country in Europe for Medtech developments – you have the perfect opportunity to write a blog post or article about innovations in your business; contact the media with an opinion piece or simply post the news on social media.
- Share your content: Once you’ve started blogging or should you land a piece in the media, make sure to share it. An interesting article or a third-party endorsement through the media is invaluable in establishing an organisation as a thought–leader. One strong article or blog post can be:
- Shared on social media via Twitter etc.
- Generate a new LinkedIn post on LinkedIn Pulse.
- Uploaded as a website news piece
- Issued to your database via an e-zine
- Pitched to the media for interviews
- Pitched to other blogs and websites’ guest blog/by-lined article
- Pitched to online and traditional media for an opinion piece