Forget TL:DR – Embrace TL PR
When companies come to us to help support their growth, they often overlook one of the most powerful tools in the brand-building arsenal: Thought Leadership PR. The reasons for that are many: they don’t believe they are visionaries; they tried before and didn’t get good results; they don’t know where to start…
Here’s the good news: unless you are doing shady things (in which case it’s time to revisit your business), you can benefit from TL PR. Full stop.
That’s actually great news, because Thought Leadership PR is one of the most solid ways to bolster brand awareness, credibility, affinity, trial, and (yes) sales! Let’s throw some loyalty in there too – because we all love to buy from brands who are seen as thought leaders.
How does one get started actually doing TL PR? These 3 tips will help you come up with, pitch, and get coverage for the authentic, insight-driven, thought leadership expertise that almost certainly lies within your brand.
3 Tips to Start Doing Thought Leadership PR
- Find a PR Partner: Why is this necessary (and why is it #1)? Because unless you, personally, are a serious visionary heading up a company AND you have the ability to determine the best angles to pitch AND you have the expertise and relationships of a PR pro, you will likely spend a lot of your time spinning, getting frustrated, and quitting after minimal or no media coverage. This is a situation where two heads really are better than one. Look for a PR agency that you can vibe with. You’ll be working together pretty closely, so you need to have some chemistry, trust, and faith on both sides.
- Open Up and Say Ah: Remember, the PR agency is here to help uncover your company’s thought leadership – but they can’t just make it up. You need to be involved…and most importantly, you need to be open. Open about inside knowledge. Open to new ideas. Your PR partner should conduct regularly scheduled brainstorms with you and your team, bringing in some thought starters to help ignite some interesting (and often unexpected) conversations. Those unexpected turns are sometimes the most intriguing…and intrigue gets the attention of the media. Be sure to come to those sessions prepared with as much information and insight as you can. (Note: this may mean doing some digging…but Thought Leadership PR is so worth the effort.)
- Keep It Going: It often takes some time to ramp up for TL PR…but don’t be discouraged. Consistency is critical! Once the PR agency gets to know you and your area of expertise, their first main job is to get your thought leadership in front of the media. Basically, the media needs to start knowing who you are – and hopefully after a few pitches, your name and POV will start being seriously considered by those journalists, editors, producers, etc. Your first pieces of coverage may be with smaller outlets, and that’s totally fine – it allows you to work out any kinks on a smaller stage, and it allows your PR agency to share that coverage with their contacts to prove that you are coverage-worthy. From there, the momentum will continue to build as long as you are consistently reaching out with quality TL PR. Whatever you do, DON’T STOP! You never know when the media will “need” a subject matter expert, and you want to be there when they do.
When Is the Best Time to Start Doing Thought Leadership PR?
The old tree adage applies perfectly here: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
With that adage in mind, let’s talk about New Jersey Audubon. People tend to hear the word “Audubon” and think “birds.” The reality is, NJ Audubon is about helping to protect and preserve all nature and wildlife so that the humans of today and tomorrow can enjoy it – and that includes trees.
We recently started working with their Stewardship division, with the goal of amplifying their Thought Leadership around topics like land management. Working closely with their experts, we were able to pull out some really interesting ideas around forest stewardship…and those ideas are resonating with the media, both locally and nationally.
The result: the media megaphone is helping the public understand the important work that the team at NJ Audubon is doing for the world.
TL PR: if this is missing from your current marketing mix, your brand is missing out.
Need help getting thought leadership PR? The S3 Agency can help! Just give us a call at 973-257-5533 or send an email to info@theS3agency.com.