Thought Leadership


Think Thought Leadership is too time consuming? Let a technical author do the hard work for you

Think Thought Leadership is too time consuming? Let a technical author do the hard work for you

Think Thought Leadership is too time consuming? Let a technical author do the hard work for you

Are you one of the 90% of marketers whose top marketing priorities is brand awareness?

If so, then thought leadership is probably not far from your thoughts. It’s one of the most effective ways you can set about securing share of mind, promoting your brand’s authority, and attracting valuable sales leads into the top of your sales funnel.

Is it ever the right time to do thought leadership?

If your company is successful, then your experts are probably busy working on client business and if your business is going through a difficult period, then your specialists are probably focussed on working to generate new contracts. Thought leadership needs expert input, so to you, this may feel like a catch-22 and a game you simply can’t win. This is where technical authors can step in and do the hard work and heavy lifting for you.

What is a technical author?

A technical author is an expert in writing. They may be an independent freelance journalist or an employee of a tech PR agency; but they are someone who has the skills and experience to investigate, draft and finalise thought leadership on your behalf. They will have spent years fine tuning their interview and writing skills.  And, while they do require a brief and some input from your subject matter expert, they do not require hours of hand-holding and the material they produce usually requires very minimal editing.

Pros & Cons of freelance technical authorship

A journalist will be highly objective in their approach. This means it’s essential you provide a detailed brief in terms of your key messages and expectation for the white paper or article. A journalist is trained to seek out the most interesting angle and their skills are in story telling – not brand building or reputation management. Providing you keep your brief tight, this should not create problems and you should reap the rewards of insightful, compelling thought leadership, positioning you as the leading experts within your industry.

Initially, a freelance writer is likely to cost less than an agency, and they have the added benefit that you can commission them on a freelance, piecemeal basis. However, a technical journalist will rarely conduct media relations on your behalf, so you will need to arrange to place your thought leadership articles in the press separately – or you can employ a PR agency to do this for you.

Pros & Cons of a tech PR agency

A tech PR agency can provide you with a comprehensive service, but of course the costs are higher. The ideal approach to your technical thought leadership, assuming it’s an article based on expert insight, not an original piece of research is as follows:

  • Develop an ideas bank of potential thought leadership angles
  • Agree which target audience you are prioritising
  • Document overarching messages & key messages
  • Identify the subject matter expert
  • Develop your angle into an article synopsis
  • Conduct media relations to place thought leadership
  • placed in the media, conduct an interview with your subject matter expert
  • Draft article and submit for sign off
  • Source supporting imagery, graphics etc
  • Submit for publication.
Once placed, your thought leadership should be optimized across media channels before conducting your evaluation. All of this should take very little of your time because the heavy lifting and time-consuming tasks are shouldered by the agency.
So, you see, it’s perfectly possible to undertake a Thought Leadership strategy even when your experts are very busy bees. You have various options that deliver phenomenal results, you just need to decide what factors are most important to you and what resources you can commit to securing this valuable, brand building asset to your company.
At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

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If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide: How to become a Thought Leader

READ our thought leadership Tech PR case study: SELIS – creating a compelling narrative

look at this Infographic: “10 Principles for a Successful Thought Leadership Strategy

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How to become a thought leader

Free Report

Thought Leadership in STEM industries is essential as a way of driving innovation, producing exciting solutions and sharing new ideas...

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10 Principles for a Successful B2B Thought Leadership Strategy

10 Principles for a Successful B2B Thought Leadership Strategy

10 Principles for a Successful B2B Thought Leadership Strategy

If you’re considering a thought leadership strategy, you will understand the value of being acknowledged as a credible and authoritative industry spokesperson. You will also appreciate the competitive advantage of being at the top of the tender list because of the inherent leverage of being the recognised industry authority

The benefits and influence that a successful thought leadership strategy delivers will be appealing across your entire business. After all, it’s not just marketers who see its importance, 60% of C-Suite Executives believe that thought leadership is a critical element in their decision-making criteria.

So, how do you become a successful thought leader?  Here are 10 guiding principles to help you become the go-to authority in your industry:

1. Authenticity:

Let your personality and passion shine through.  Don’t talk about issues or challenges that you don’t care about. Be genuine and authentic.

2. Data:

Include robust data from a reliable and credible source.  This was cited in Coleman Parkes research as the most valuable quality of thought leadership.

10 Principles for a Successful Thought Leadership Strategy
3. Fresh thinking:

Explore issues or challenges from new and different perspectives.  It’s not enough to simply regurgitate issues and challenges that have already been discussed at length.  What new thinking are you going to offer?

4. Own it:

Have an opinion.  Don’t sit on the fence or give a woolly response.  Or worse, give a Politician’s answer.

5. Messages:

What are you trying to say? Do you have a communication strategy?  If not, what elements do you have and what needs to be developed? Share any research that you have regarding message validation.

“Thought leadership is not about being known.  It’s about being known for making a difference.”

(Denise Brosseau, CEO of Thought Leadership Lab)

 

6. To the point:

No one wants to read a version of ‘War and Peace’.  Research has highlighted that the number one most engaging format for reading thought leadership is blog posts of around 300-500 words.

7. Use your network:

Don’t let your LinkedIn simply become your business Facebook.  Proactively engage with your network and ask them direct questions in relation to your thought leadership.

8. Avoid a narrow approach:

Don’t disregard those whitepapers or research reports as they do still have a role to play.  And, do not forget video, but don’t do video unless you can make the content compelling.

9. Win-Win:

Remember, not only does thought leadership provide you with an opportunity to be a credible and insightful leader, it also enables people reading it to make better business decisions.  They are better informed after reading it.

10. Brand awareness:

An engaged leader who provides insight and opinion will improve brand awareness.  Leading Insurtech, Concirrus are only too aware of the benefits having gone from an industry outsider to part of the insurance community.  Read more here about their story.

Our Insight 2020 report revealed that 60% of UK Chief Marketing Officers believe thought leadership to be one of their top 3 marketing priorities. 

Leaders need to take the time to think about the issues and challenges they want to champion.  Don’t hide behind your Marketing or PR team and expect them to write it.  Brief the team, yes, but don’t leave it to them to formulate your thoughts and insights.  Remember: it’s your thinking that can help to deliver a better future.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide: How much does PR cost?

READ this awesome Tech PR case study: SELIS – creating a compelling narrative

look at this Infographic: “10 Rules to Interview like a Pro

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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.

B2B PR – On being a thought leader

B2B PR – On being a thought leader

B2B PR – On being a thought leader

Insight 2020 identified that thought leadership is a key priority for marketers, it also appears to be a bit of a sweetheart subject in the marketing press right now so I thought it would be useful to provide some insight into the ‘how’ and ‘who’ of great thought leadership.

 

Over the years, we have written hundreds of pieces of ‘thought leadership’ on behalf of clients. Every article we craft is written from interview with a subject matter expert and we follow a process to ensure it’s interesting, relevant and strategically aligned.

The angle for each article is developed with one eye on the communication strategy, with a target persona in mind. If you speak clearly and concisely to a single persona, you are infinitely more interesting than if you speak more generically in the hope of catching the attention of everyone.The angle will often be refined and promised to an editor on an exclusive basis before the full article is written. Our client’s time is valuable and, we don’t want to be producing a piece of thought leadership which only appears on our client’s website or LinkedIn feed.

A focussed, recorded interview with the subject matter expert provides us with the source material which we then craft into an article which meets the requirements of the business, the editor and the reader. [Occasionally, the editor chooses to take the source material and draft the article themselves].

The success of the article will depend on the subject matter expert; the best articles will invariably be from engaged leaders – business leaders or field leaders – who display the following attributes:
  1. They don’t care about being a thought leader, but they care deeply about their subject, vision or mission.
  2. Their knowledge is profound. They take every opportunity to learn about every evolution or development which may impact their passion. Their capacity for assimilating new information is enormous. They are great thinkers.
  3. They can clearly articulate why any aspect of their topic is important – building out its commercial, social, political or environmental relevance where appropriate. Never boring or boorish, they are always interesting and engaging when talking about their subject.
  4. Great thought leaders are willing and able to pitch their communication at the right level for their audience. They are passionate and persuasive to the point of evangelism. They are constantly engaged in their topic.
  5. As with all successful story tellers, great thought leaders have logical, yet creative minds and they enjoy sharing their opinion and ideas. As a result, they are prolific writers, speakers and communicators.

EC-PR How To Become A Thought Leader

Next step

To find out more download our White Paper ‘How to be a thought Leader’.

#leadership #b2bpr #CommunicationStrategy #B2Bmarketing #MarketingCommunication #Insight2020 #thoughtleadership

 

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

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Thought Leadership Case Study: SELIS – Amplifying Success

Thought Leadership Case Study: SELIS – Amplifying Success

Selis - Amplifying Success

Thought Leadership Case Study

BACKGROUND

SELIS (the Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space) was a three-year €17 million flagship European Commission-funded research project and part of the EC’s €77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Bringing together 37 partners f rom across Europe, including research organisations, SMEs and large industry players, SELIS delivered an open source, cloud-based intelligence platform for logistics collaboration. The project hopes to motivate faster, more efficient, flexible and sustainable supply chain ecosystems in Europe.

Challenge

After three years of research & development, during which time the SELIS project team’s own efforts to promote the project had had limited impact, and the logistics community, which was set to be the main adopter and beneficiary of the project’s innovative platform, remained largely unaware of the strides the project was making.

SOLUTION

EC-PR proposed an intensive three-month PR outreach programme aimed at celebrating the successful conclusion of the SELIS project and promoting the commercial benefits of adopting SELIS’ logistics collaboration models. The programme consisted of a proactive media outreach, including profiling key journalists and influencers from across Europe interested in the subject, securing story placements, arranging media interviews and developing news announcements, combined with building thought leadership by means of articles and blog posts.

OUTCOME

After an intensive and brief ramp-up period the programme swiftly generated the first tangible results, including press coverage in tier 1 media outlets, such as Forbes and Intelligent CIO, and leading logistics trade publications, including Logistics Voices, Supply Chain News and JOC.com.

Dr. Takis Katsoulakos and Makis Kouloumbis of Inlecom Systems (the SELIS project coordinating partner) were positioned as thought leaders on innovative new logistics models through article placements in JOC.com, Logistics Voices, Computer Weekly and TechTarget.

The results of SELIS ‘Living Labs’ (real-life testing environments) were communicated through press interviews with key Living Labs partners from the industry and academia who endorsed the project’s outcomes.

“EC-PR have quickly grasped the complexities of the SELIS project and managed to transform them into a compelling media narrative. By building strong connections with our project partners and bringing them into media activities they have strengthened the credibility of our story which is important for future commercialisation of the project’s innovations. The results generated have been impressive.”
Dr. Takis Katsoulakos

MD, Inlecom Systems, the SELIS project coordinating partner

SELIS Project at a Glance

Intense ramp-up of PR programme

2

News releases

4

Press interviews with SELIS project partners

3

Feature articles placed

15

Pieces of coverage in tier 1 business and trade publications

1

Speaking opportunity secured

Intense ramp-up of PR programme

2

News releases

4

Press interviews with SELIS project partners

3

Feature articles placed

15

Pieces of coverage in tier 1 business and trade publications

1

Speaking opportunity secured

Intense ramp-up of PR programme

2

News releases

4

Press interviews with SELIS project partners

3

Feature articles placed

15

Pieces of coverage in tier 1 business and trade publications

1

Speaking opportunity secured

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.