Becoming the Best PR Thought Leader

Becoming the Best PR Thought Leader

Lara Tanner
Lara Tanner
Becoming the Best PR Thought Leader

Building your PR thought leadership presence is easier said than done. It takes work and, at times, can seem like an insurmountable mountain. Fortunately, we’ve got 8 steps to help you scale your way to the top.

In the business and PR world, anyone wanting to be anyone must become a thought leader (how daunting!). The goal of thought leadership is to be considered the expert on a given topic within your field and the first person others turn to for advice. In other words, to be seen as the wisest guy in the room (or on the internet). 

60% of business decision-makers said that thought leadership convinced them to buy something that they hadn’t previously considered.  

Are you wondering how can you build your reputation and find your place in PR thought leadership? Here’s how you can start:

Find your crew

A great way to start thinking about developing your PR thought leadership is to take advantage of the assets already on your team. Odds are you already have great thought leaders on your team, they may just need a gentle push to get their ideas out there. To begin, identify different thought leadership roles such as writer, researcher, or analyzer that best suit your top executives. 

Create a calendar

It’s hard to come up with ideas all on your own, especially when brainstorming by yourself often involves staring at the computer screen for hours with no results. A great way to overcome this writer’s block is to set up a monthly brainstorming meeting with your team. Once those creative juices are flowing, you can easily set up an editorial calendar to get your great ideas out there regularly. 

Connect with an outlet

If you’re already writing great thought-provoking articles but are having trouble getting them seen, your outlet may be the issue. Your articles may be the best out there but if they aren’t noticed by the public, growing your thought leadership will be nearly impossible. To get more coverage, research tech news outlets that accept contributed content articles. A great way to do that is to connect with journalists through email, LinkedIn, or other social media. This may also take some phone calls, but will greatly increase your visibility. 

Consider a paid program

Another option to get your name out there is through paid thought leadership programs such as Forbes Tech Council. These programs are already pros at expanding the reach of a brand. Although this method can be expensive, these types of programs can quickly jumpstart the process of becoming a thought leader.

5 people discussing being PR though leaders at a table with papers.

Finding your crew is essential to becoming a PR thought leader.

Check-in with your team

Make sure your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team is aware of your strategy. If your startup marketing team is all on the same page about what keywords and topics to pursue when writing, you can quickly make use of SEO to better grow your brand awareness

Ask your PR agency

Another great way to grow your thought leadership is to ask your PR agency for help. A PR agency is there to help you with your brand’s awareness, reputation, and presence. An agency will have a lot of experience in this area and would be happy to help your startup. 

Don’t be afraid of tools

Now that you have the ideas, the outlets, and the writers, it’s time to get organized. Consider setting up management tools to get all your ducks in a row. These tools can be great to set up deadlines, foster great communication, and ensure task completion. Having everything nicely organized in one place will make your life a lot easier.

Check your progress

The saying goes that “practice makes perfect”, but I would argue “practice makes progress”. A great way to see your new progress is through Google Analytics. These analytics can help show how successful your efforts have been to drive new website traffic and create new leads. If you’re making progress, great! If not, try troubleshooting the issue by going back through the checklist and pointers above.

A person checks analytics on their phone while drinking coffee.

Establishing your PR thought leadership presence takes time

Progress might be slow-going, but be patient. You’re now well on your way to climbing the mountain of thought leadership and when you find yourself at the top, you’ll know the climb was well worth the effort. 

About Lara Tanner: Lara is an Account Associate Intern for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft also has a small satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft has been listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas for two years running by the B2B services review site,


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