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Are You A Thought Leader?

In today’s world of media overload and short attention spans, capturing a leadership spaceDsc_2082
in the minds of the public is a challenge not only of ideas, but also of presence – showing up; being there.

How do you become a thought leader in this environment?

Look for, take advantage of, and create opportunities for visibility for yourself, your company, and your products. Position yourself as an expert with knowledge and well-founded opinions.

1. Monitor trade publications for feature issues and arrange with the editors to contribute survey or specialty articles. Could you author a column for a trade publication?

2. Register as an expert source with BusinessWire and PR Newswire and other services that journalists use to seek comments and opinions. Be sure to be accessible and return calls promptly. Keep up with current events, so a call doesn’t catch you unaware. (But if you don’t know an answer or have an informed opinion, don’t fake it.)

3. Submit papers to professional organizations or to the organizers of trade show seminars. Be a speaker, and hone your speaking skills so you’ll be invited back. The more you speak the easier it is and the more likely it is that opportunities will come to you.

4. Get on good terms with the business reporters in your city. Positive local exposure is good for your company, for your employees, for your investors, and for your community.

5. Create a blog, and keep it current with timely, thought-provoking comments and ideas. Generate a dialog with others in your field and keep it growing.  Engage with other bloggers and join the conversation.

6. Embed your area of expertise in search engines. Be easy to find.

7. Be sure you know what you’re talking about. Get your data straight. Know your sources. Differentiate fact from opinion. Always be looking forward and broadening your horizons.

8. Maintain a well-balanced public information program: press releases, newsletters, web-based information, print media, public appearances, advertising, etc.

9. Keep thinking.

Photo by Alan Weinkrantz (c) 2008.  Shot on location at NorthStar Mall in San Antonio.  Yes folks, these are the world’s largest cowboy boots.  Learn more here.

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