When lifting a company’s profile in the Oil & Gas or general industrial world, attaining a position of “Thought Leadership” is often seen as an essential element of any strategic communications plan. But how many people actually understand what thought leadership is? This term seems to have crept into the PR lexicon in recent years but in the “old days” thought leadership was simply called “Expertise”.
Effectively communicating the expertise of a company or individual within any market sector, whether it is Oil & Gas, industrial, transportation or aerospace can be enhanced by levering carefully targeted social media channels. Specialist interest groups within the blogosphere provide an unprecedented method of reaching your customers and audience in a highly efficient and timely way.
In order to be effective the “expert” must be totally committed to the campaign and, to state what might seem obvious, they need to be authoritative, be immersed in the industry, be experienced and focussed. But perhaps most of all they need to be able to stimulate a conversation through blue sky thinking and not be afraid of creating controversy when necessary.
Thought leadership content should be original, unbiased and preferably research driven or audience led. Get it right and you will illustrate deep expertise and knowledge while being seen as a trusted supplier. The credibility of the company and the individual will be increased while aligning interests and issues with that of your customer; and from a bottom line standpoint thought leadership underpins and supports your sales process with your customers.