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Do people mention you when discussing your industry?

By Lisa Goldsberry

5816291_sLearn all about thought leadership and how you can use PR to attain it

There are plenty of corporate buzzwords and phrases floating around these days like “dashboard,” “human-to-human” and “goal digger.” Most of these will go just as quickly as they came. One that has remained throughout the years is “thought leadership,” and for good reason: It’s important.

You may have been told that your company or CEO needs to be positioned as a thought-leader in your industry but don’t really know what all the excitement is about. With help from PR, you can gain a better understanding of this vital term and achieve it for your company.

Understanding thought leadership

A thought-leader is a person or company with innovative ideas and the ability to turn them into solutions that impact an industry or audience. When you become a recognized authority on subjects that are important to your target audience, it can affect your visibility and profits. It may also help you earn media attention, further extending your reach.

One of the best ways to do this is to know what questions and concerns are on the minds of your customers and prospects and to develop the right answers. They will then see your company as the go-to source to solve their problems. Later, as they move from the consideration stage to the decision-making stage on the buyer’s journey, your company will immediately come to mind. That is thought leadership.

How can you become a thought-leader?

Thought leadership helps you to connect with customers. You learn what they want and need and how your company can be the one to provide it, thereby increasing your sales. You can work toward becoming a thought-leader in several ways.

Content This is how you share your knowledge with your audiences. You can provide information in blog posts, on your website, in presentations and in industry publications. It works best when you offer helpful content regarding an issue or problem your target customers may be experiencing, instead of just making a long sales pitch for your company. For example, if your company makes exercise apparel, you might write about how customers can find the best type of workout facilities for their lifestyles.

Engagement Invite your audience to participate and have a voice at your company. No, you don’t have to give them power of attorney and a seat in the board room. You can simply find ways to solicit their input. For instance, you can ask their opinions about a new product you’re developing or what direction your corporate social responsibility initiatives should take.

Viral campaigns This is arguably the hardest and riskiest, but when it’s successful it’s the quickest path to thought leadership. It involves taking a bold chance or creating something memorable and having people respond positively to it. For example, a company that makes skateboards can develop and promote a new trick to capture the attention of its target audience.

How PR can help you achieve thought-leader status

When you think of thought leadership, it might help to think of The Rolling Stones. With a successful company, you’re like Bill Wyman: You’re doing something great but you aren’t the first name that comes to mind. As a thought-leader, you would be Mick Jagger.

PR can help by creating great content, developing provocative campaigns and finding new ways to connect with customers and prospects, such as through social media. At Axia, we will help your company gain recognition for the work that you do and we’ll bring your name to the top of the list in your industry. Contact us today or register for our 60-Second Impact to learn more about the tools and techniques we use to grow your company.

Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.

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Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, thought leadership

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