Thought-Leadership in PR

Why do companies need to do thought-leadership as part of a technology PR campaign?

For many businesses, corporate reputation is not solely built on the basis of product range or customer base, but on the credibility of its management team and its vision within the industry. This is particularly true for organisations that are looking for funding or to exit, or for companies where a key differentiator is its specialist expertise.

Hotwire recommends that organisations achieve this differentiation by concentrating some of their PR efforts around high-level thought leadership, and building the profile of a senior figure(s) within the business.

Thought-leadership activities will build a profile outside of trade media and bring a company's messages to a far wider audience within national and broadcast media. To support the thought-leadership activities, Hotwire suggests that companies position their spokesperson as a true industry guru and a 'go to' commentator on relevant issues.

What is thought-leadership?

Thought-leadership can be in addition to a company's existing PR activity or a standalone campaign. The most important thing is that the activity is aligned to a company's business requirements. Activity typically revolves around raising the profile of a company or a senior executive (e.g. CEO) within business, national and broadcast media, through a number of high-level tactics. The key objective should be quality, not quantity.

To achieve this objective a company needs to agree its core business messages and the hot topics that will resonate with a business audience with their PR agency, and then that agency will outreach to the media. Examples of leadership activity could include securing profiles on CNBC or in the FT, speaker opportunities at relevant events, by-lined opinion pieces in business titles, letters-to-the-editor and business-focused award entries. The coverage received makes ideal marketing collateral and a great proof-point of business successes.

Brendon Craigie works for Hotwire, an international firm of public relations consultants who have PR services for business software companies and other clients in the tech industry.