Thought leadership is essential in the world of PR. We aren’t just in the business of sharing news, we’re in the business of shaping news and executives from a variety of different verticals provide us with industry insights that position the way journalists cover certain topics.
At Fish, we strive to secure sensible thought leadership opportunities for our clients that allow them to position themselves as true industry leaders, which in turn, positions the company as a leader allowing for brand building at multiple levels. In the past, it’s been industry standard to position those at the c-suite level as the sole brand thought leaders, but that thinking has changed. As PR pros, we shouldn’t just be pitching high-level executives anymore, but should be taking a more company-wide approach and including employees at all levels. Here are a few reasons as to why:
- Broader range of topics – While it might seem ideal to have your company president speak to every sector and trend, it could actually be unfavorable to your goals. Chances are your director of off-premises is going to know more about off-premises strategy and your largest franchisee is going to be a better advocate and more knowledgeable on the best ways to expand quickly with your brand. You’ll be able to distribute more engaging content and reach a broader audience if you allow more people to get involved. This will also eliminate any stress one person might feel to become an expert in just about everything.
- Encourages growth – When an employee knows that their PR firm is actively pitching them for thought leadership profiles and/or speaking opportunities, then they are even more motivated to learn every detail about their field. In addition, speaking at conferences, interviewing with the media and speaking over and over again about certain topics allows them to better understand their points-of-view, which makes them better representations of your brand. Your employees will thank you for allowing them to take part in these opportunities and will be thrilled to be given the chance to build their own brand.
- People move on – It’s just a reality that many of us will have opportunities in life to go elsewhere and that sentiment also rings true at the c-suite level. When a key executive leaves a company, you want to have others that can take their place and speak with the same level of confidence. You also want them to be recognizable within the industry. If c-suite executives hold all of the thought leadership power, then you’ll struggle when they decide to move on. Give others an opportunity to become leaders and the transition will be much smoother.
In addition to the reasons detailed above, would encourage employees at all levels to produce content and be active sharing viewpoints on key topics on their social channels. Not only is this great practice, but will also make these employees more recognizable to journalists and conferences searching for sources. The PR world continues to evolve and thought leadership is no exception. Thought leadership is essential to building trust between a company and its targeted audience. Allow more people to get involved and your company will be better off for it.