One of the most impactful PR tactics in modern public relations is thought leadership. With so many publications needing to deliver a stream of content to an “always-on” online-focused readership, they turn to contributed content much more often than in years past. Depending on the goals of a PR program, organizations are jumping to cash in on the opportunity by supplying content that highlights their best and brightest efforts and outcomes as a way to showcase their knowledge and expertise to potential customers with contributed articles.
Traditionally, those contributed articles ran under an executive’s byline – after all, they’re the leaders of the organization. But is that the right approach? That likely depends on a few factors, including:
- The topic being addressed in the article
- The target audience for the article
- The publication where the article is slated to run
- The goals of the PR program
If, for example, the topic of the article is a high-level overview slated to run in a business publication read by executives, then yes, an executive is likely the appropriate author for the article. On the other hand, if the article is a technical piece focused on day-to-day execution, slated to run in a trade publication read by practitioners, a subject matter expert from the director or manager ranks may be better suited as the author.
In many organizations, there are likely to be potential thought leaders at every level of the business. These are the folks with a driving passion to explore cutting-edge developments, thinking strategically how to put their findings into action. These are folks leading the charge in refining processes, guiding strategic initiatives or establishing new best practices. Anyone who is passionate and well-versed on a subject can be a thought leader for the organization and shouldn’t be overlooked simply due to their role or job title.
These thought leaders are a valuable resource for positioning the organization positively in front of critical audiences – be sure to capitalize on their knowledge and passion by encouraging them to write articles to contribute to an increasingly hungry audience or speak to peers at trade shows. Just make sure to work with your PR firm to ensure the content stays on message and includes that critical call-to-action that could drive your next potential business lead.
Contact us today to see how we can help identify and work with your potential thought leaders.