Delivering a successful PR strategy will help organisations to generate and maintain a positive perception among the public. However, a lot of moving parts are required for PR to make a meaningful and lasting impact.
Whether this includes social media posts, press coverage, new website content or email marketing campaigns, each communication needs to share a common purpose and include the same consistent messaging.
Regardless of the industry or size of the company, the most effective way to engage with any target audience is to be as authentic as possible. Be relatable and real so the public takes notice. To do this, leverage the experience and expertise of the senior executive team by transforming them into thought leaders.
The benefits of establishing thought leaders can be wide ranging. In essence, they will play a significant role in helping to create trust, form strong relationships with existing and new customers, whilst also gaining the confidence of employees and key stakeholders.
When it comes to showcasing the expert insight and industry knowledge from a team, those chosen as thought leaders must have something of value to say on topical issues that are affecting their specific sector. This should also be relevant to the wider marketplace.
Not only does this build credibility for an organisation as a whole, but it also provides further opportunities to influence the public by putting a spotlight on the people behind the brand. Pulling back the curtain will help the target audience to feel more attached and familiar with the business.
Once a relevant topic has been identified, the next stage will be to determine the best way to communicate the thought leader’s opinion to be digested by the biggest number of people as possible.
This can be delivered through a number of different approaches, but it is all about creating engaging and interesting content that is relevant and resonates with the intended audience.
Writing blogs is a useful and unrestrictive way of sharing a thought leader’s views in an accessible and frequent way. The versatility of blogs means that they can either be complex and analytical pieces or lighter reads that encourage discussions and dialogue among the readers.
Depending on the topic chosen, it may be that the content written could have an angle that would be of interest to an online trade publication or regional newspaper. The media often have blogs that will publish and share articles from third parties, including companies that have thoughts to share.
It is important that any content submitted to a trade or regional publication is exclusive. Once it has been uploaded and shared it can then be repurposed to feature on a company blog but it is always best practice to offer it to a publication first.
In order to ensure a blog will reach as wide an audience as possible, it must be shared across all social media channels. Not only will this help engage with a company’s followers, but it will also drive traffic back to the website and may even lead to new business enquiries.
Be an ally to the media. Journalists are constantly looking to strengthen their stories with expert and credible opinions, so thought leaders must be willing to be provide commentary. Even if the topic can be somewhat controversial.
Contributing to media publications not only gives thought leaders the platform to demonstrate their expertise and provide insightful advice, but it also opens up the opportunity to be profiled in the press.
Once a thought leader is an established media commentator, they will be seen within the industry as a useful resource of information and, in turn, increase the awareness of themselves and the company they work for.
Although social media has already been mentioned regarding blogs, there are so many advantages to using these platforms.
Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, thought leaders must utilise all channels to showcase their expertise and experience to the biggest audience possible.
By connecting with high profile people within the industry, members of the media, company profiles or other influential businesspeople, thought leaders will start to build a strong social following.
As followers increase, engaging content must be shared frequently. This can take the form of posting topical commentary, sharing articles of interest related to a specific sector or directly addressing other people to ignite debates and dialogues.
Social networking is a major catalyst in transforming a business executive into a thought leader.
If you need help in developing your brand and want to become a thought leader within your field, then our team of experts will be more than happy to help! You can give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.