Thought Leadership


‘Shining a Light’ on Pacer Optoelectronics

‘Shining a Light’ on Pacer Optoelectronics

Pacer - Thought Leadership

‘Shining a light’ on complex tech

Pacer case study: Shining a light on complex tech

BACKGROUND

For the past 30 years, Pacer has been the optoelectronics partner of choice for its OEM customers seeking specialist knowledge. Light is the theme that links all its customers – whether in the medical, military, commercial, industrial or security sectors.

Problem

Pacer’s Marketing Communications Manager, Wendy Vinson, believed that the business was missing out on opportunities to showcase its technical prowess and reinforce its leadership status through bespoke thought leadership but with limited resources, external support was needed.

Pacer logo

SOLUTION

EC-PR designed and delivered a focused thought leadership programme that would help to not only shine a light on the unique optoelectronic expertise Pacer delivers to its customers, but provide the business development team with engaging and insightful material to open doors to new business.  The campaign included development of a brilliant ideas bank and thought leadership articles – all of which were placed, guaranteeing coverage.

 

Outcome

“What attracted me to EC-PR, particularly Lorraine and Liz, was their absolute conviction in delivering results.  Its 100% track record in placing feature articles came to the fore within this campaign, giving me complete confidence in their approach and ability to deliver.  The programme has ignited significant interest within the business in the importance of media engagement and I’m looking forward to continuing the good work with EC-PR.”

Wendy Vinson

Marketing Communications Manager, Pacer

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10 Business Benefits of B2B PR

10 Business Benefits of B2B PR

10 Business Benefits of B2B PR

One of the key questions we often hear is along the lines of “Why do I need to do PR?” or “What will PR do for my business?” and the reality is that there are so many benefits of PR, the list is endless, but we want to focus on the main PR benefits and so we’ve highlighted the top 10 reasons your brand should have a PR strategy.

Depending on what stage of maturity your company has reached, you’ll have different business challenges, priorities, and drivers.  PR can be used to help you address a wide range of specific business  and marketing objectives.

Always aligned to your company’s vision, mission and goals, PR is ever present and supremely agile.

Here are our 10 key reasons why your company should do PR as part of your comms plan.

10 reasons your needs PR infographic

How your business will benefit from PR

Enhanced lead generation:

PR complements your marketing initiatives by showcasing your successes in editorial case studies. It keeps you visible as prospects move through the buying cycle and into the sales funnel. And, PR provides the added benefit of providing independent third-party endorsement.

Improved stakeholder insight:

The process of developing your communication strategy and PR outreach brings you closer to your customers.  Engaging with customers to understand their buying methodology and rationale to develop articles provides valuable, actionable insight into customer behaviour.

Compelling messaging:

Effective PR requires relevant messaging at each stage of the buying cycle.  The strength of the messaging is evaluated against the quality of the supporting evidence and relevance to your target audience.

Re-energised staff:

Targeted PR which is integrated with change programmes can mobilise workforces by giving them a sense of purpose, community, and boost in morale.

"We are clearly differentiated, more engaged and showing the best version of ourselves to the world"

Clarity of purpose:

In order to be effective, PR needs clearly defined SMART goals.  The process of developing and executing these goals results in clarity of vision, purpose, and communications.

Invigorated sales team:

B2B PR will help build the morale of sales teams.  Seeing your brand receiving recognition in the media through press coverage for new business wins etc., instils pride and purpose.

Crisis mitigation:

A strong brand promotes loyalty which can help a brand survive a challenging trading environment. Crisis planning conducted during ‘business as usual’, will help you to identify potential areas of weakness which you can redress before any crisis hits. 

pr benefits working at home
Thought Leadership:

Every business has something unique about it or it would never have been brought into existence.  Someone somewhere thought there was a gap in the market your company could fill. PR will help you harness your thought leadership with insight that informs, inspires, challenges, and engages your target audience.

Brand Awareness:

PR builds a compelling relationship between your brand and your target audience – before your audience even enters the buying cycle. The key principles of any good PR strategy are to make you visible, valued and understood; delivered as part of a comprehensive communication strategy to drive consistency and impact. The outcome of which will provide you with a densely populated top of funnel.

Increased Impact:

By integrating your PR across all your marketing communications, you leverage your investment and increase impact. Every message delivered becomes a building block, creating layer upon layer of customer engagement, making the whole worth much more than the sum of its parts, in one cohesive, compelling brand.

So, we can see that there are many powerful and persuasive reasons to do PR –  especially when you consider that whether you choose to act or not, your reputation still exists out there in the market. Your job is to decide if you want to manage and cultivate your reputation, or leave it to chance.

So, when you ask yourself: ‘why do I need PR’ or ‘Is PR important’ follow it up with the question: ‘Does my company reputation matter?’. Your answer will tell you all you need to know.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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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.
10 reasons your brand needs PR
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Our insights

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.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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

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’.

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