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thoughtIf you are in public relations, or work with a public relations team on behalf of your brand or business, you’ve probably heard the term “thought leadership” a time or two.

I am so used to using the term that I threw it out in casual conversation at a wedding last week. Nearly the entire table stared at me dead eyed as a result. Turns out, they thought I meant mind control, like we were in Star Wars or something.

It made me laugh because one of the biggest things we coach our clients on is avoiding jargon, which is the use of special terms, sayings or phrases only a small group readily understands.  I jargoned them! At a wedding! Shame on me.

But, the whole encounter did inspire this post, meant to define and demystify this term for one and all.

Thought leadership happens to be the term that we in the marketing communications industry use to describe all opportunities – be them through media relations efforts, content marketing platforms, digital communications outlets, or on other – for the experts within a brand or business to showcase their particular knowledge on a topic, industry, trend or public issue to their target audiences.

Some examples of thought leadership:

  • A bylined article in a magazine targeted at high-net-worth individuals focused on investment trends that is authored by the president of a financial firm
  • An interview on the local morning news program about sun safety by a skin cancer specialist
  • A guest post on a respected human resources blog by a labor and employment attorney about employee handbook updates for the new year

Neither Yoda nor The Force need be used for any of these. Just a great public relations agency (like us).

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

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