A thought leadership program is focused on securing meaningful media coverage that defines, amplifies and positions organizations to their most important audiences. Thought leaders differentiate themselves through their bold positions, perspectives and insights that resonate with their core audiences.
We Are Partners in Building Thought Leadership Campaigns
Flashy coverage is fun but results that propel your business goals are better. While many agencies are trying to be everything for everyone, our firm intentionally remains focused on our proven public relations approach. Our no-fluff, market-driven and detailed-minded methods will drive your bottom line.
At AKCG, we work with you to define — or refine — your distinct place within your industry. From there, we build a program to amplify your position among your most important stakeholders. When you want your organization better defined, better positioned or better differentiated, a thought leadership program may be the key.
Our Approach to Thought Leadership
AKCG specializes in developing thought-leadership programs and securing meaningful media coverage that positions our clients with their most important audiences. We do not believe in publicity for its own sake; we believe in programs that have transformative, lasting and bottom-line impacts ― influencing attitudes and changing behaviors.
Each AKCG program is distinct to each client and its specific goals; we do not believe in off-the-shelf solutions. Our customized programs reflect our clients’ unique audiences, operational structures, legacies, communications environments and definitions of “success.”
Components of thought leadership programs include:
- Developing forward-thinking pitches to position subject matter experts within the media
- Facilitating media opportunities and preparing subject matter experts for interviews, as needed
- Drafting bylined articles and pitching to targeted media outlets
- Tracking industry trends and conversations; present potential story ideas to marketing and communications team
- Curating and distributing news releases and media alerts
The Importance of Thought Leadership
A thought leadership campaign can be impactful to a business’ bottom-line goals. It requires a willingness to take a stand and involves setting yourself apart from your competitors by consistently delivering valuable and interesting content to customers, prospects, and the general public.
Thought leadership is not only about having an opinion or providing a solution, but also demonstrating your expertise in a particular field by developing content that drives awareness and educates people on topics related to your area of expertise.
Thought leadership demands a drum beat of strategic, considerate advocacy. And it takes a variety of forms; guest columns, speaking opportunities and content-rich interviews all help round out an effective program.
Thought Leadership FAQ
What is thought leadership in public relations?
Thought leadership is a type of public relations strategy that focuses on positioning an organization or its top leaders as an expert or authority on particular topics by defining a position apart from others, creating trust and credibility with target audiences. By taking a bold stand on an advocacy issue or by being positioned as an expert, organizations can take the lead in initiating conversations about industry issues and establish a distinct identity and authority within their respective fields.
What are the benefits of a thought leadership program?
A well-developed and implemented thought leadership program can help an organization bolster its position in the marketplace, build relationships with key stakeholders, and establish brand recognition. Ultimately, a successful thought leadership program is all about influencing audience attitudes and behavior, increasing visibility for an organization and contributing to bottom-line results.
What is the purpose of thought leadership?
The purpose of thought leadership is to establish an organization’s authority and expertise in its particular industry and to create relationships with important audiences. With a successful thought leadership program, organizations can affect attitudes and behaviors, become go-to sources for information, create trust and credibility among stakeholders, and ultimately drive business results.
What are some examples of thought leadership?
Examples of thought leadership include guest columns, blog posts, interviews and speaking engagements. All of these tactics can be used to position the organization and its leaders to key audience groups. Additionally, organizations can use thought leadership to create relationships with influencers, media outlets and industry leaders.
What are the components of a thought leadership program?
The components of a thought leadership program will vary depending on the organization’s goals, but generally include developing forward-thinking pitches to position subject matter experts within the media, facilitating media opportunities and preparing subject matter experts for interviews, drafting bylined articles and pitching to targeted media outlets, tracking industry trends and conversations, curating and distributing news releases and media alerts, and preparing spokespeople for media interviews.
How do you measure success in a thought leadership program?
Measuring the success of a thought leadership program will depend on the goals established at the outset. Generally, thought leadership programs aim to influence how individuals think about you and your organization or how they engage with your organization. Desired outcomes may include increased visibility, brand recognition and credibility among targeted audiences; an increase in website traffic or sales; or an increase in media coverage. Ultimately, the success of a thought leadership program should result in changed attitudes and behaviors of the key target audiences, and tangible business results.
What is the difference between thought leadership and content marketing?
Though they are similar in some ways, there are also important differences between thought leadership and content marketing. A sustained thought-leadership campaign is more intricate, likely more impactful and more challenging to execute. Thought leadership takes dedication from an organization’s top leaders to be a consistent expert or willingness to take a stand on an issue the leader is passionate about and that resonates with the organization’s core audiences. Thought leadership programs focus on positioning leaders within an organization as authorities on particular topics, while content marketing focuses more on creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain a target audience. Both strategies have their place within an overall public relations plan.
How can AKCG help develop my thought leadership program?
Our team of experienced public relations professionals will work with you to create an impactful and results-driven program tailored to your unique needs. We specialize in developing thought leadership programs that include the creation of bylined articles, media training, media pitching, and more. Our approach is focused on positioning our clients as industry experts and thought leaders and driving meaningful media coverage that has a lasting impact.
Learn About Our Work
Through a targeted feature-story series in a regional newspaper of record, helped client Trinity Health Mid Atlantic elevate its subject-matter experts and secure their positions as thought leaders in quality, compassionate care. (This campaign earned Best In Show honors from Philadelphia PRSA.)
Senior living provider Wesley Enhanced Living and AKCG teamed up to promote a campaign called “WEL Wishes,” offering senior residents memorable, unexpected and media-friendly experiences, from going skydiving and driving go-carts to singing opera and becoming a firefighter for a day. The program has secured media attention, driven new resident inquiries and positioned WEL as a thought leader across the region.
Philadelphia nonprofit Ralston Center partnered with AKCG to successfully launch a robust public service initiative, driven by primary research, to enable older adults to thrive in their communities. The initiative engaged dozens of community partner organizations, elected officials, other supporters and many of the seniors the initiative aims to help and has expanded Ralston’s profile in the crowded landscape of community service organizations.