Thought leadership is a massive buzz word, but that doesn’t mean everyone should jump on board.
Perspective is good. It is in the crossroads of opinions that new ideas arise and focus is sharpened. But the less strong the stands are, the less interesting they become. And therefore, as a company, you must also be clear about whether you want to throw yourself into thought leadership at all.
Understandably, there is a big desire in companies to participate when they see competitors sharing their views and ideas. Hence, the logical countermeasure is to try to make your voice heard in a complex media environment.
As advisors, we are always aware that it’s all about the quality of content. And when it comes to thought leadership, that basic rule is even more valid. Not everyone can have deep and innovative opinions about everything within one’s industry or niche – and there is nothing wrong with that.
The danger may be that you will appear non-relevant when posting your piece. That in fear of stepping on the toes of collaborators or colleagues, you become so rounded and soft in your opinion that what was supposed to be a bold statement is not noticeable at all. There is not enough substance in what you finally dare to think and say, and then thought leadership becomes boring. Even worse, in the pursuit of meaning something, you seem decidedly old-fashioned and conformist because the positions were so basic.
It is not only the professional advice that counts in this context – the media’s actions tell their own story. And they aren’t interested in something so basic that it becomes harmless. It will be a disappointment for companies, who may think that they should get involved in debates and discussions, but still do not dare to clearly mark where you as a company stand – with the result that no one wants to publish the post that ends its life on the company website without much interaction.
Good Thought Leadership is a powerful tool that ensures visibility and creates a more transparent company profile. But that presupposes that there is a real message. If there isn’t, you write for no one, and there are few things more frustrating than doing so. Therefore, it is also our role as professionals to dare to challenge a company’s management when they want to participate in a given debate. Using our knowledge of good content, we advise clients on how to influence a debate – and dare to say whether opinions are too soft to (try to) publish.