By: Kate Shapiro, SVP Operations
Thought leader. It’s more than just a marketing and public relations buzzword reiterated to executives time and time again. Thought leadership provides value to both you and your company’s reputation, and it’s here to stay.
According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, a thought leader is someone “whose views on a subject are important and have a strong influence”.
Think of a thought leader as a more sophisticated version of a social media influencer. Instead of selling the latest dieting-miracle on Instagram, you’re sharing your deep, technical knowledge and expertise with a network of industry peers, competitors and consumers via various channels. From speaking opportunities to LinkedIn article posts, the goal is to establish undeniable credibility for yourself, your company, and your product/service.
The emerging technology and cybersecurity industries are crowded and noisy. Odds are, you won’t have the time, or the acumen to study up on all topics that affect the industry. However, if you keep your arsenal stocked with these five tactics, you’ll be better equipped to take advantage of the tailored opportunities that do cross your desk.
1. Identify the Topics You Want to Own
Consider the areas where you are considered a subject matter expert, and the boundaries you are comfortable working in. What topics are being covered in the media that you would like to counter or contribute commentary? Once you identify your “swim lane” you can get to work!
2. Leverage Newsjacking
Newsjacking refers to injecting your ideas into conversations about a hot story as it unfolds, and requires a quick reaction and turnaround to keep up with the timeliness of the topic. For example, in this AFP article published the day after Capital One announced 100 million customers’ data was breached, John Dickson, Principal at Denim Group, shared his analysis of why the hacker’s lack of sophistication was so startling.
Don’t worry if your company’s product or service doesn’t directly relate to the topic. Simply having an opinion or comment in a well-read publication with your title and company next to it can be enough to build peoples’ perception of thought leadership.
3. Create Content Worth Sharing
Your audience’s time is limited. Grab their attention with valuable and useful information right off the bat or they will move on.
Search engine and social media platform providers recognize their users’ desire for the highest-quality information and thus reward content that meets those requirements with better positioning in search results and feeds. When creating a blog for your website or a social post, think about what people want to know about your topic and add your own unique take on it to stand out.
4. Nurture Media Relationships
Reporters, analysts and technical writers are critical people to have in your corner. In pursuit of having thought pieces shared to a wider audience than just your personal network, they are the key. The media is comprised of professionals seeking to make a splash in their industry, just like you!
“Reporters and analysts can make or break your efforts to become recognized in the industry. Remember to treat them as you would a respected colleague, not just as a means to an end,” adds Wayne Schepens, Managing Director of LaunchTech Communications.
Follow those you’re interested in working with on social media, comment on their posts and share their work. When you reach out to pitch them your next thought piece or to provide comments for an article, they will be more inclined to return the favor for a familiar name/face.
5. Ask for Help
Executives don’t always have the time they want and need to dedicate to consistent thought leadership efforts. For this reason, asking for help from a PR firm can facilitate the creation and distribution of valuable thought pieces to industry and national outlets on a regular basis.
Beware! Not all PR firms are created equal. For technical industries such as high-technology and cybersecurity, using a firm with a well-established, curated list of media contacts at relevant industry publications will help streamline the process of getting your name and knowledge out into the world for relevant audiences.
In need of help securing media placements and analyst interviews? At LaunchTech we live and breathe PR for both emerging and prominent high-technology and cybersecurity companies! Get in touch with our team at 410-533-9708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started with your thought leadership and credibility campaigns.