4 Strategies to Elevate Your Thought Leadership

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In recent years, thought leadership has transformed from a trendy phrase into a legitimate tool to build a business and personal brands. The insights of thought leaders are trusted and extremely valuable to others and help establish themselves as the go-to people in their respective industries. With a wealth of opinions readily available on social media, proving your status as an influencer in your industry with ACTUAL VALUABLE INFORMATION is the most effective way to stand out in a crowded market. Although the process of becoming a thought leader takes time, following these four strategies will put you on the path to success. 

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What is Thought Leadership?

At its core, thought leadership is a marketing strategy that focuses less on content that sells and more on content that establishes you as an expert in your field. The goal is to answer questions that those in your target audience are asking. You will still have opportunities to feature your service or product, but before that, you need to build trust and recognition as an intelligent, experienced and helpful leader within your space. 

1. Build Thought Leadership Through Interviews and Media Engagements

In order to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you need to reach your target audience. This is where the media can help amplify your message as well as your brand. From traditional channels like newspapers, magazines and morning TV shows to growing mediums like podcasts, there are many avenues for you to reach and, in turn, influence others. 

It’s important to note that media engagements will take some work on your part, especially in the early stages of your thought leadership. You’ll need to pitch your story to the media and journalists, build trust and make the case for why you should be featured in an article or interview. The influx of different channels helps tremendously in these efforts. If mainstream stations or publications are uninterested, focus on a niche publication that targets your industry. With patience and consistency, partnering with the media will help you get in front of your audience and establish your place as a thought leader. Once you are featured, it’s more likely other journalists or publications will become interested in connecting as well. But, remember, journalists can pick up on a fake a mile away. You’re only a thought leader if you truly showcase expertise in your field and offer valuable insights and opinions.

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2. Establish Your Brand on Social Media and Blogs

While media engagements require cooperation with a journalist or publication, social media and blogs allow you to get in front of your audience on your own terms. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll want to post and share content on a whim. Creating a content strategy is an important step toward gaining trust with your audience while establishing yourself as a thought leader. 

First, you have to determine your audience. These are the prospective customers that you are trying to reach. Who are your customers and what questions are they asking? Once you establish this, you can begin the process of crafting content that is targeted to this group. This step will also reveal which channels you should use to deliver your message. For example, if your target audience is senior citizens, you’ll want to focus on blogs and Facebook more than Twitter or Snapchat. 

Regardless of how and where you are publishing your content, it’s essential to establish your frequency. You want to publish often enough that people remember you and identify you as an influencer, but you don’t want to flood your followers’ timelines with content lacking research and relevance just to hit a number. Each post should add value and include a call to action. 

Another important concept is brand voice. Understanding how to find your brand voice can help improve the quality of your blogs and social media posts. This means injecting your personality into your content, which helps to create a connection with your followers and be more memorable than just regurgitating some industry thoughts. 

3. Reach New Audiences Through Speaking Engagements

One search for “thought leaders” on YouTube will present hundreds of videos that feature speeches from various influencers across a wide variety of industries. Speaking engagements work because they allow you to share a message with a specific audience free from other distractions. Publications and social media will have other articles, stories or posts surrounding yours, which compete for attention. With a speech, it’s just you in front of a crowd showcasing your authority within your industry. 

Seminars and conferences focused on your industry are the most ideal settings for delivering this message because they are filled with attendees that are eagerly awaiting your message. However, there are other ways to share your thoughts verbally such as a vlog or hosting your own podcast. Any medium that allows you to speak passionately about your industry will go a long way toward proving your status as a thought leader. 

4. Consistent Engagement with Op-Eds or Columns

While daily and weekly newspapers once owned the op-ed space to shape ideas and influence communities, new digital channels have significantly expanded opportunities to reach new audiences. Even if your local newspaper editorial sections don’t reach the same size audience as they did 10 or 20 years ago, there are other websites and niche publications eager for quality content that may be happy to share your insights with their readers. Remember, the focus isn’t always on the number of readers as much as reaching the right readers. 

Identify what publications your ideal audience is reading and reach out to their editorial teams. Many may already have an established opinion section or would be happy to share your thoughts in a column (with a valuable link back to your website). 

Take an issue or debate in your industry, choose a side and express your thoughts clearly and effectively. This will make your writing stand out and an editor feel compelled to include your op-ed in their publication. Once your op-ed or column is published, then be sure leverage your media by posting it on other channels like social media, and include a link on your website and advertise it as much as possible. Even though an op-ed is different from a reporter citing you in a news story, you still benefit from having your name and ideas associated with a respected publication.

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

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We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

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  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.