In public relations, one of the most important things you can do for your client is to identify who in their company are the “thought leaders” and then showcase that talent to the world.
Identifying who the thought leaders are, however, is not as easy as it might seem. A person’s title alone, for example, isn’t enough to go on. You have to get to know your client’s staff in order to know who to promote externally.
Albert Einstein once said that information alone is not knowledge: “The only source of knowledge is experience.” To be considered a thought leader, this company icon has to have both knowledge in his or her field of expertise and experiences to draw upon that make them someone worth listening to.
Thought leaders have three basic characteristics:
- Knowledge of the subject matter
- Experience applying that knowledge
- Practical application in their field of expertise
Once you’ve identified the thought leaders in your client’s organization, now it’s time to showcase them. Doing this illustrates to the world that your client’s company is one of the best in its field and that the team can be a go-to source for information as well as for products or services.
How can you promote your thought leaders?
- News releases designed to showcase your client’s knowledge
- Bylined articles placed in key industry publications
- Radio and, when appropriate, television interviews
The key to earning this coverage from the media is your own creativity when pulling all this together. As PR professionals, it is our job to make sure that our clients’ spokespeople have the “right” something to say. Another famous quote – this one from Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky – sums it up well: “There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it.”
What do your clients have to say?