Beefing Up your ‘Thought Leadership’ content

So often, we work with organisations who want to be seen as ‘thought leaders’ in their field, to boost their visibility, corporate reputation and (with any luck) revenues and profits. The question is, how do you cut through? Using the media effectively is the number one way to achieve this – unless you’re extraordinarily lucky, a few LinkedIn posts or articles on the company blog just won’t get you noticed. Recent research from the PR agency Edelman and LinkedIn confirms what we had suspected – the pandemic with its periods of lockdown has spawned a tsunami of new content, and the market is now in danger of becoming oversaturated. Four in ten senior executives questioned said there is much more out there than they can manage or keep up with. 71% said too much of this content is of mediocre quality, with less than half giving any valuable insights. Having said that, people are still hungry for market intelligence and new ideas. 54% of those questioned said they spend over an hour a week reading and reviewing thought leadership content. More than half said they actually spend more time doing so now than before the pandemic began.

So, it’s time for those who want to make an impact to up their game. Think quality not quantity, so your target audience doesn’t think ‘oh not them again’. Above all, look for angles that will get the specialist media in your field interested – these could be industry publications or websites, being realistic it’s unlikely to be the Financial Times or the Telegraph. When successful, this approach can multiply your impact on target audiences many times. Many of the points we make in our media training courses apply here: avoid me-too points and jargon-ridden industry-speak. Look for snappy phrases (‘sound-bites’ if you like) that will help catch a jaded editor’s attention. Be willing to take a stronger stand – mealy-mouthed ‘on the one hand/on the other’ stuff isn’t of interest. In other words think like the journalist, who when faced with a press release or potential story, is always thinking “why should my readers care?” If you can raise a point we hadn’t considered, and emphasise why it matters or will have an impact, you’ve already got us interested.

More on our Media Training courses