Leveraging a company expert, or as we like to call it in PR – a thought leader – through your media relations campaign is one of the most effective methods for growing a company’s reputation and authority in a particular field or industry.

Many clients we work with don’t fully understand the value of this method of outreach, often because it typically results in long-lead opportunities due to its evergreen nature. However, there can be a quicker turnaround when we position an expert to provide commentary on a timely breaking news story, which is the opportune time to utilize an expert. For example, if there’s a story about CRISPR babies being born in China, we would look to determine how we could use an expert/CEO at the genomics startup we’re working with to talk about the potential of this science being applied in the U.S.

Now that we’ve given you some background, we want to offer some tips for fostering thought leaders within your brand and ways to think about how to bring their unique viewpoints and expertise to your PR team:

  1. You gotta start somewhere, and obviously, that’s with identifying the experts at your company. What does the CEO/CTO/CIO bring to the table as far as expertise in their respective positions and how does that expert opinion/knowledge apply to the industry? Once we have this information, we can pull out the pieces and perspectives reporters will find most interesting.
  2. Determine what topics you feel comfortable tackling. You’re aware of the hot button issues, problems that need solving, and potential controversies in your industry. What viewpoints are you willing to openly address and feel strongly enough about to attach your name and the company’s name to?
  3. Spend time thinking about the specific topics you’d like to grow your thought leadership expertise in, and bring those to us. As we scour industry news throughout the day, we’ll keep that positioning in mind and bring you opportunities to express those thoughts. Providing us with concrete ideas and insights we can run with, directly from the expert, is most efficient for both us and for the reporter.
  4. If you read an industry article you are captivated by and have thoughts about it, send over the link and jot down some of your main thoughts. Having commentary straight from the horse’s mouth always makes it easier to work through how to use it properly.

Questions to think through when sending the information:

  • Why is this important? Why is your opinion unique?
  • How is your opinion substantiated?
  • How does this affect the target audience? How does this affect the layman, if at all?
  • What does this mean for the future of the industry?

Thought leadership placements can oftentimes be some of the strongest pieces of coverage we receive for clients, keeping them top of mind in an industry and demonstrating that a company’s CEO or CTO is a visionary in their field.  Catch an example of a piece we handled top to bottom with one of our stellar CEO’s for a highly visible healthcare business outlet, STAT News.

We’ll be breaking down this piece more in another blog soon, but for now, start brewing on your topics. You can use our Pitch Generator to work through some ideas for compelling topics – scroll down to the leveraging thought leadership box on our home page!