Messaging development


Why your business needs thought leaders

Why your business needs thought leaders

Why your business needs thought leaders

Thought leadership is not a buzzword. Developing a campaign using your STEM experts can elevate your visibility and value beyond your competitors.

Thought leaders attract business

Thought leaders are those with a unique perspective and passion about how something can be achieved. They speak with clarity about industry problems, ideas and potential solutions. Their opinion is rooted in knowledge and knowhow so that their ideas can be realised, and their successes replicated.

Thought leaders are engaging, inspirational and motivating.

Typically these experts have a media profile and they attract followers because, within their community, they are visible, valued and understood. Consequently, they become trusted sources of information for the wider media and their audiences.

Take for example, Simon Sinek, the leadership and branding expert – his presentations are highly visual, accessible and offer clear, articulate, replicable steps. His message is simple, easy to remember, reference and repeat. As a result, his ideas spread, his profile increases, and he sells more books and his consultancy grows.

Bathe in reflected glory

A business can employ any number of thought leaders – each an expert in their own field, with different communication styles and preferred platforms. Whether you grow your own or employ existing thought leaders, the important thing is that you encourage and support them to capture, structure and articulate their best ideas. Doing so will add further value to your business’s vision and mission.

It’s worth noting that the process of sharing thought leadership enables you to harness and harvest the intellectual property (deliberate small ‘i’ small ‘p’) which resides in the heads of your most valuable employees – employees who one day may be employed by your greatest competitor.  Encourage them to share their brilliance while employed by you, so your business can bathe in its reflected glory.

Passion is persuasive

Don’t talk about things you don’t care about because it will show – it will be dull, and everyone will ignore you. Talking and writing for the sake of it does not make you a thought leader. Don’t write about the same stuff as everyone else, this makes you a copycat and possibly a plagiarist.

Being an expert takes time and commitment as does having an expert opinion. Developing an opinion usually means that you have investigated, considered and formulated different perspectives around an issue.

Few people will invest time and energy if they don’t care about a subject. When people commit some effort, it’s because they give a damn and when you give a damn, your passion shines through and it becomes so much more compelling. Therefore your expert does not need to be a sales-person or automatically comfortable in the limelight. Confidence in front of the media comes with skills to be learned, and it’s why we run services like our Media Training.

Your business needs thought leaders because they help your business to grow, which reflects well on your reputation and showcases your brilliance.

Next steps

1. Download our free guide on how you can become a thought leader.

2. See our case study showing how EC-PR developed an impressive PR Outreach Programme for SELIS, including story placements, media reviews and a compelling narrative about the SELIS project.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn. and was revised in Feb 2020.

Lifelong Learning Launch Case Study

Lifelong Learning Launch Case Study

Lifelong Learning Launch

Lloyds Maritime Academy Case Study

BACKGROUND

Following the development of its communication strategy which now forms the backbone of all marketing communications, Veronica Araujo, Head of Performance Marketing at Lloyd’s Maritime Academy recognised the importance of executing the plan to engage the media to elevate the brand and bring the new positioning of ‘lifelong learning’ to life.

Problem

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy had limited experience of proactively working with the media and wanted to leverage the knowledge and insights EC-PR had gained over the past two decades of working with trade journalists in the maritime sector.

Limited resources to develop new content also meant that Veronica and her team were keen to draw on EC-PR’s strong technical writing capabilities to provide editorial ideas and articles that would increase awareness and engagement within the target audience.

SOLUTION

The Lifelong Learning PR programme was specifically designed to help reflect the new, through life strategy. Activity would include the delivery of a regular news pipeline, the
development of a Brilliant Ideas Bank which reflects the communication strategy and business priorities with a specific focus on a ‘loud’ launch at London International Shipping Week 2019.

Outcome

Veronica Araujo, Head of Performance Marketing: “EC-PR played an instrumental role in helping us to develop our communication strategy, therefore, it was only natural for us to turn to Liz and Lorraine to help us execute the strategy. Their support in building a strong portfolio of material which has reinforced both our capability and the importance of through life career development has been fantastic. We’ve recognised the momentum that has been built in increasing brand awareness and hope to continue to elevate the brand in 2020.”

Veronica Araujo

Head of Performance Marketing, KNect365 Learning

 9-Month campaign delivered

36 pieces in industry specific press; 80% of coverage in media outlets with a DA over 40. Impact scoree 301,000. 9 news releases, 6 features, 2 case studies. Exclusive one to one access to journalists at London International Shipping Week 2019

 9-Month campaign delivered

36 pieces

of coverage in industry-specific press. 80% of coverage in media outlets with DA of over 40.

9 news

releases

6

features

Impact score

301,000

2

case studies

Exclusive one to one

access

to journalists at London International Shipping Week 2019

36 pieces

of coverage in industry-specific press. 80% of coverage in media outlets with DA of over 40.

Impact score

301,000

9 news

releases

6

features

Exclusive one to one

access

to journalists at London International Shipping Week 2019

2

case studies

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time. We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press... or your money back

Concirrus – Quest For Success Case Study

Concirrus – Quest For Success Case Study

CONCIRRUS – Quest for Success

B2B PR Case Study – Insurtech

“This time last year we were seen as an industry outsider – the increase in brand awareness has now firmly positioned us as part of the insurance community, helping to drive change.”

Andrew Yeoman

CEO, Concirrus

Quest for Success
Year 1

the messaging lab icon

Messaging Lab

Persona & Messaging
Development

Workshops

Communication strategy

Personas

Messaging validation interviews

 

The forge icon

The Forge

Campaign Planning

1 Messaging matrix

1 Brilliant ideas bank

 

The Beehive icon

Beehive

PR Delivery

1 Exhibition publicity package

60 Journalists briefed

7 Press releases

10 Interviews

6 Thought leadership articles

 

the messaging lab icon

Messaging Lab

Persona & Messaging
Development

Workshops

Communication strategy

Personas

Messaging validation interviews

 

The forge icon

The Forge

Campaign Planning

1 Messaging matrix

1 Brilliant ideas bank

 

The Beehive icon

Beehive

PR Delivery

1 Exhibition publicity package

60 Journalists briefed

7 Press releases

10 Interviews

6 Thought leadership articles

 

Impact to date

118

pieces of
coverage

196.3m

impact
score

400%

increase in
news uptake

60%

coverage in
publications
with a DA
of 40+

the messaging lab icon

Messaging Lab

Persona & Messaging
Development

Workshops

Communication strategy

Personas

Messaging validation interviews

 

The forge icon

The Forge

Campaign Planning

1 Messaging matrix

1 Brilliant ideas bank

 

The Beehive icon

Beehive

PR Delivery

1 Exhibition publicity package

60 Journalists briefed

7 Press releases

10 Interviews

6 Thought leadership articles

 

Impact to date

118

pieces of
coverage

196.3m

impact
score

400%

increase in
news uptake

60%

coverage in
publications
with a DA
of 40+

BACKGROUND

Concirrus is the creator of Quest, an innovative data and analytics platform that is changing the way the global insurance industry manages risk. Its Marketing Director, Caroline Hurst, was tasked with establishing the brand, as well as scaling her department to enable and support an aggressive, international growth plan.

Challenge

The challenge was three-fold.

1 Although extremely effective, the working practices within the insurance industry are no longer efficient in today’s digital world. Engaging and collaborating with decision makers to help them understand the value digital technologies could deliver was critical.

2 The speed at which the business was evolving meant that any external support Caroline invested in had to be responsive, knowledgeable and efficient.

3 With one main competitor appearing to offer a similar capability within the marine sector, identifying and demonstrating Concirrus’ unique differences were essential.

Challenge

The challenge was three-fold.

1 Although extremely effective, the working practices within the insurance industry are no longer efficient in today’s digital world. Engaging and collaborating with decision makers to help them understand the value digital technologies could deliver was critical.

2 The speed at which the business was evolving meant that any external support Caroline invested in had to be responsive, knowledgeable and efficient.

3 With one main competitor appearing to offer a similar capability within the marine sector, identifying and demonstrating Concirrus’ unique differences were essential.

OUTCOME

Caroline Hurst comments: “As a business, we better understand who we are targeting and how to engage them more effectively. It’s no longer based on intuitive engagement – we’ve captured the essence of what we need to say and who we need to say it to, so that everyone can play a role – the impact of this is that our extraordinary growth has been enabled in a more coherent way. The communication strategy has provided us with those invaluable marginal gains and the customer validation carried out by EC-PR was the most valuable piece of work we did this year.

Next year we are focussed on expansion with ambitious plans afoot. We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with both Lorraine and Liz at EC-PR to see just what they are capable of.”

Concirrus Andrew Yeoman LinkedIn Post

“The PR outreach has been exceptional and has delivered everything we’ve asked of it. The Concirrus voice leads the media we have targeted; our authority is now established in maritime and our share of voice is in the ascendancy. A year into the campaign and EC-PR has secured 118 pieces of coverage in our target media with more than half of those with a Domain Authority of 40+. We have also seen noticeable peaks in website traffic directly related to the PR activity.”
Caroline Hurst

Marketing Director, Concirrus

More Case Studies

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time. We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press... or your money back

B2B PR – Let’s talk about having a ‘quickie’ (part two of two)

B2B PR – Let’s talk about having a ‘quickie’ (part two of two)

B2B PR – Let’s talk about having a ‘quickie’ (part two of two)

B2B messaging should be passionate not apathetic.

Messaging is like being on the dating circuit, and if you fail to shepherd your prospects through the different stages of communication and try to jump straight to pushing a sale, you’re essentially offering nothing more than a ‘quickie’.  Valued partners act as brand ambassadors – they are loyal and want to participate in your success story.

In Part one, I focussed on the first two stages of the messaging roadmap, ‘awareness’ and ‘interest’ and proposed tools of engagement for each. In this article, I complete the loop by addressing the remaining two ‘preference’ and ‘action’ explaining how you use them and what tools you might consider.

 

Once you’ve built brand familiarity and trust with your prospect through the first two stages, the next stage is to start guiding their attention to your remarkable credentials – which if you’ve done phase one and two correctly, will perfectly match what they are now looking for.

Preference:

B2B Messaging: Showcase your brand on pedestal

Now is the optimum time to showcase your brand and offering

Let’s talk about you baby!  At long last, it’s ok to talk about you and put your brand on a pedestal.  The next stage of communication is all about defining in the mind of your Persona(s) how your offering is the most desirable option for addressing their specific needs.  If you have spent time nurturing them through phases one and two, this will be a logical progression of the conversation.  Think of it as the third date!

Tools: This preference messaging will be delivered through your website, specification sheets, tailored presentations and tender documentation.  Indeed, most businesses will have this material in abundance – the problem is, you’ve probably been using it at the wrong stage of the relationship and in terms of content, it’s been developed with you and your interests at its heart, rather than those of your prospect.

Action:

B2B Messaging: Hot air balloons illustrating competitive advantage

Now is the right time to shine a light on the advantage of working with you over anyone else.

This is the close, the finesse. 😉 So, at this stage, the prospect is considering two options – you and one other. Relentless telephone calls and emails are not going to nudge you over the line.  This phase is about communicating the value you can add, the successes you have delivered to other businesses and shining a light on the advantage of working with you over anyone else – in specific regard to the problems they are addressing.

Tools: This is reasonably straight forward: case studies (both editorial & sales), LinkedIn references, Social Video, co-authorship focussing on success stories and success metrics – while bringing your company’s personality and values to life.

 

Please note every company’s messaging will differ. Once you have clear messaging, you can apply it methodically – creating a coherent customer journey.  This provides a logical and realistic purpose to your marketing activities with the bonus of your leadership team being engaged and immersed in the process because they were engaged from the start.  The outcome therefore is more engaging communication that delivers greater impact, longevity and effect.

Next Step

Why your B2B Tech Business Needs A Communication StrategyEC-PR’s B2B Messaging Lab delivers bespoke workshops to facilitate the development of your communication strategy.

Find out more about Our Approach to B2B Messaging Development for B2B Tech businesses in our article, “Why your B2B Tech Business Needs a Communication Strategy

The Forge

The forge iconIf you are ready to start applying your Comms Strategy within all your Marcomms collateral then you need The Forge. This integrates PESO modelling to measure the use, reach and integration of activity.

 

B2B PR – Let’s talk about having a ‘quickie’ (part one of two)

B2B PR – Let’s talk about having a ‘quickie’ (part one of two)

B2B PR – Let’s talk about having a ‘quickie’ (part one of two)

The customer engagement process has always fascinated me particularly the way marketing communications must evolve in order to stay in harmony with the customer’s journey.

 

Messaging is like being on the dating circuit. The clearer you are in your own mind about what you’re looking for and what success will look like, the more likely you are to achieve it. Essentially, there are four stages through which a relationship must grow to successfully form an enduring commercial relationship – awareness, interest, preference and action.

When you try and jump straight to the preference or action stage, you’re essentially offering nothing more than a ‘quickie’, treating the prospect with neither care nor respect in pursuit of your own goal. Often, when companies focus only on chasing numbers rather than focus on building a brand, they forget to nurture their prospects through the different stages of the buying cycle and as a result, they miss out on all the benefits associated with a real partnership – such as longevity and loyalty.

 

Neck tattooed with the word Loyalty

Split into two parts, this first article focusses on the first two stages of the messaging roadmap, ‘awareness’ and ‘interest’ and recommends the most effective tools of engagement. Part two will address the ‘preference’ and ‘action’ stages.

 

Awareness:

In this phase it is essential that you are visible, looking your best, and demonstrating that you are engaged, understand and have an interest in the market issues and challenges that your prospect faces. This should be led from the top. Your leaders (or subject matter experts) need to be noticeable, expressing opinion within LinkedIn articles, sharing relevant insights, authoring thought leadership, presenting at key events – walking the industry walk – sharing their passion and immersing themselves in the issues that matter to the persona they seek to partner with.

The impact of an engaged and passionate leader on a company’s PR strategy cannot be underestimated. In the case of Concirrus, CEO, Andrew Yeoman is a prolific and insightful commentator and speaker.  He is vocal, informed, opinionated and very much ‘in’ the marine insurance industry, a sector the company is targeting.  Every action has a positive and equal reaction – in the case of Andrew, the soundwaves reverberate, and the message is amplified through each and every PR engagement.

Red umbrella standing out amidst grey umbrellasTools: Thinking about the PESO model and what tools should be used in this phase (accepting this will vary from business to business and campaign to campaign), the key tools are likely to include: event sponsorship, conference speaking platforms, LinkedIn engagement, exhibitions and news management. Your brand needs to be visible and looking its best. Everywhere your target persona ‘goes’ – you need to be.

 

Interest:

Once you have built up a level of familiarity through consistent presence in the target persona’s space, you need to work on building trust and engagement.  This is where you help your target persona to better understand the specific nature of their challenges, as well as the options available to them.  It is where you encourage them to think about the ideal solution, its attributes and even values.

Pink balloons held up against blue skyTools: This is where thought leadership articles can be invaluable, as well as independent round tables, white papers, podcasts and social videos and objective explainers with strong visual prompts.

Going back to our dating analogy, during this stage we are moving from ‘I like the look of you’ to ‘I want to know you a lot better’ – now is not the time to ask them if they want to shack-up! Your persona must feel that as a result of engaging with you, they are better equipped to deal with their challenges, and they are confident that you have their best interests at heart.

Throughout the awareness and interest phases, your focus is entirely on building familiarity, trust and influence before starting the next phase, although it’s fair to say that in the words of Simon Sinek it’s an ‘infinite game’ and each phase will be in play as long as the business is seeking to grow.  In part two, completing the customer journey through ‘preference’ and ‘decision’ messaging is considered.

Next Step

Why your B2B Tech Business Needs A Communication StrategyFind out more about Our Approach to Messaging Development for different personas at different stages of the buying cycle in our article, “Why your B2B Tech Business Needs a Communication Strategy

The Forge

The forge iconIf you are ready to start applying your Comms Strategy within all your Marcomms collateral then you need The Forge. This integrates PESO modelling to measure the use, reach and integration of activity, as mentioned above.

 

Thought Leadership FREE DOWNLOAD

Thought Leadership FREE DOWNLOAD

Thought Leadership FREE DOWNLOAD

Thought Leadership FREE DOWNLOAD

How to Become a Thought Leader

PR Guide for for Business Leaders

Becoming a Thought Leader is considered the holy grail of PR and marketing. Thought Leadership in the STEM industries is essential as a way of driving innovation, producing exciting solutions and sharing new ideas. Consequently and importantly, these leaders are trusted sources of information for their audiences. But in this noisy world where everyone has an opinion how do you raise your profile?

Please complete the form and we will email our definitive guide.

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You can read more about WHY Thought Leadership is so important in our blog post here.