Thought leadership allows companies to develop their brands and position themselves as industry leaders. This is because a lot of people tend to trust, as well as rely on the ideas that thought leaders share in the markets that interest them, which means that these people become the go to resources for others, looking for more information in their fields. With the sheer number of thoughts and opinions that are easily available online, whether on platforms like social media or outlets, it’s important for companies to be able to stand out from such a crowd. A great way to do that is by demonstrating the position of the company as an industry leader by providing factual and valuable information to the target audience. Although thought leadership as a promotional tool takes a bit of time and effort, before starting to pursue it, companies first need to know some of the basics around it.

Strategy

Thought leadership strategy groups all of the best thinkers inside a company to strategically utilize them to develop brand equity, strengthen the connection that the company has with its target audience, drive demand with consumers, as well as create new collaboration, or sales opportunities for the company. A strong thought leadership strategy can help companies figure out how the company can further develop in the future, how it can impact the target audience and its market, the unique insights that the business has about the market, as well as the vision of the company for its customers in the future. Given the fact that more and more companies tend to invest in researching their audiences before they make any sort of interactions with them to begin the buying journey, thought leadership has become a way for companies to start welcoming anyone that’s interested in learning more about the business, its solutions, or the market.

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Content

The most important element of any thought leadership efforts is the content that the company or its thought leaders are going to be creating and distributing for the target audience. Aside from choosing the subjects that the company will be discussing in this type of content, it’s also important for companies to choose the right content formats, as well as create an editorial agenda, and a content calendar to become as effective as possible in these efforts. That means, companies need to take both the content format, and the design of the content and its format before each piece is published, as well as create a series of themes or frameworks that the company can reuse in the future. After all, the most successful thought leadership efforts come from companies that create and publish content on a regular schedule, which means they tend to plan that content weeks or even months ahead of time. Some of the things that companies need to include in their editorial agenda and their calendar are the topics of each piece of content, the person that will be creating that content, editors, deadlines, target audience for each piece, the format and structure of the content, as well as the search engine optimization efforts for it.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.