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Before you start promoting your expertise

Read this.

Planning to promote your expertise Twelve tips: 1.

Carve out a subject or issue niche


Senior figurehead to take the lead


You snooze, you lose


Plan ahead


Have a clear way of measuring your thought leadership


A modest budget will go far


Go easy on the hard sell


Don’t forget your owned channels


Be in engagement mode

10. Hang out with your audience 11. Equip your staff to speak for you and with you 12. Keep up the momentum

Read on to find out more

Carve out a subject niche This is the most important starting point and no simple task. Hone in and define what you know you’re really good at. Check what competitors are doing in this space. Decide whether to take them on in the same territory or find your own ‘sweet spot’. Of course, make sure that this is an area that really matters to the achievement of your organisational objectives.

Senior figurehead to take the lead It won’t fly if your thought leadership area is purely a marketing initiative. Your senior leadership need to be genuinely involved and business decisions should reinforce your expert positioning.

You snooze, you lose Be prepared to be fleet of foot. That way, it will be your opinions that gain traction rather than tagging onto someone else’s coat tails. Some organisations stifle their own ability to be heard by putting burdensome process in the way of spokespeople – although the right level of protocol is important.

Plan ahead A frequent flow of information is important or you’ll lose followers. You’ll want to plan ahead, coordinate and schedule your communication flow across individual departments and silos. Your goal should be to create a shared editorial or content calendar.

Be clear what you’re measuring Is it about driving clicks to your website, number of shares on social media, traditional media coverage or downloads of white papers? These are all outtakes but think about outcomes too, for example the number of people registering for a service, attending an event, donating or signing a petition as a result.

A modest budget will go far One of the biggest advantages of PR or “earned exposure� is that it provides great value compared to advertising. However if you’re able to set aside some budget you can amplify your expertise by producing welldesigned materials, hosting events or by boosting the reach of social media posts with targeted sponsored updates.

Go easy on the hard sell This is about winning hearts and minds – winning loyalty by being helpful. References to products and services need to be subtle and justified.

Don’t forget owned channels Ensure that you put as much effort into your owned channels (e.g. your website) as your earned media (e.g. media coverage, social media sharing). Don’t let there be a mismatch between your social media content and your other “touch-points”. Consistency is key. If you grab their attention only to lose it by getting the basics wrong elsewhere, then what’s the point? Nearly there…

Be in engagement mode Your expertise should catalyse dialogue. Some people criticise the term “thought leadership” suggesting it should be “thought followership”. Remember that you’re wanting to capture the attention of others, not simply spout forth in a one-way stream. So be open to contribution, feedback and criticism in order to refine and improve how you communicate.

Hang out with your audience Identify who you wish to target and then figure out where they congregate. This can vary by age, profession, location. Bear in mind people are in different “modes� when in different virtual and real life locations.

Equip your staff The flipside to leading from the top, is that your expertise will seem shallow or inauthentic if it’s not imbued in all staff from the receptionist through to your salesforce.

Keep up the momentum In the field of expertise, you need to keep walking just to keep pace. Allow your experts the time and space to continue to push out the frontiers of knowledge in their specialist area.

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Profile for Julie Kangisser

Before you start promoting your expertise  

Being known for what you know is about more than great communications. It's also important to consider how your organsiation identifies, dev...

Before you start promoting your expertise  

Being known for what you know is about more than great communications. It's also important to consider how your organsiation identifies, dev...