In as competitive of a market that exists today, business leaders may be tempted to believe that the most valuable form of media attention comes from media placements that directly promote their product or service. While a killer feature can certainly move the needed, in today’s media environment they can be increasingly difficult to achieve. That’s why more and more business leaders are turning to thought leadership PR exposure, publishing their own thoughts and opinions to increase brand awareness.

Thought leadership PR, the concept of establishing oneself or one’s business as an intellectual authority in their given industry, has become not only viable, but a lucrative way to promote one’s business. Thought leadership can occur in several forms, including blog posts, a quote in an article about a given industry, or contributed articles to relevant publications in one’s industry. Some are hesitant to focus on thought leadership as it does not directly promote their business, but a sound strategy can produce impactful results.

Respect from Potential Customers

A thought leadership placement might make all the difference between a potential customer choosing your business over a competitor. If their needs are likely going to be met by both you and your competitor, a quick Google search of you or your company’s name will turn up that quote you gave to The Wall Street Journal last month or the contributed article in a relevant trade magazine that was published last week. When a search for your competitor doesn’t turn up anything similar, suddenly it becomes clear that you and your business are the real deal with serious credibility and that person’s business is going to you instead of your competitor.

Parlaying Thought Leadership into Further Publicity

Media outlets are always looking for new, expert content to keep their sites fresh and will gladly accept your expert analysis in the form of thought leadership, but the relationship likely won’t end there. It may not be immediate but it’s entirely possible that days, weeks or months later, that same journalist will be working on another story that could use a quote from a thought leader in the industry and will proactively reach out to you for your insight. As this relationship progresses, and your name continues to appear in the industry news, you’ll not only catch the eye of more customers but likely also more media outlets, creating even more media attention and thus more revenue through new business. And don’t forget the SEO impact as well!

Injecting Humanity into Your Name

Common perception would have it that business leaders are cold, calculating people whose utmost concern is the bottom line, but you can adjust that with thought leadership. Getting your name out in the media through quotes and contributed content is a great way to humanize yourself and let readers and potential customers feel as if they know you a bit. No longer are you a dull, lifeless name on your company’s “About Us” page; now, you’re a friendly contributor who freely parses out industry wisdom for anyone who cares to read it. This, again, might help make all the difference when a potential customer or partnering business is deciding whether or not you and your business are the right fit.

While all of the benefits sound great, make no mistake – a good thought leadership for PR strategy isn’t easy. It takes extra time out of your week that you might not have been expecting to designate to media relations, and may rank below some of your more business-focused tasks. But it’s time well spent to increase industry awareness and invite in new customers and business partners into your portfolio.

Interested in getting started with a thought leadership strategy for you or your brand? FischTank can help – [email protected].

Commentarycontent marketingPRthought leadership

Spencer Herrmann

Spencer Herrmann is an Account Manager at FischTank PR.

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