The modest person’s guide to becoming a ‘Thought Leader’ without being a blowhard

by Chris Fairbairn

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Find out how public relations can help you share your expertise through thought leadership – and grow your business

A PR photo of a lightbulb above a head to illustrate thought leadershipTHOUGHT leader. It’s a rather grand-sounding title, isn’t it?

Let’s face it, if you met someone at a networking event or a party and they introduced themselves as a “thought leader” you’d probably try to make a fast exit. Our toes curl whenever we meet anyone with a whiff of the self-congratulatory blowhard about them. If you’re among the majority who err on the side of modesty then we have some great news:

It’s absolutely possible to become a ‘thought leader’ without relentlessly blowing your own trumpet or telling people how great you are – and working with a reputable public relations agency is the key to success.

So what exactly is a thought leader? As is so often the case in the digital era, it is best summed up by Wikipedia: “A thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognised as an authority in a specialised field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.”

Think about it. We all know that trusted source; that go to guy or girl. We all have someone we follow or turn to for advice or information on certain subjects or issues. Now think about this: chances are you’ve worked hard to earn your knowledge, experience and expertise. People probably seek out YOU for your knowledge.

All of which means you’re already half way to being a thought leader. After all, the title refers to well-informed people in any field who are recognised as an authority on their chosen subject – and who are happy to share ideas, inspiration and opinion to help others.

The difference between a helpful go to guy or girl and a thought leader is reach. Most of us reach a network of friends and family. Others may reach further via Facebook or Twitter or blogging. Here’s where successful public relations comes in – because exposure in trusted news and media sources delivers the greatest reach of all.

For the modest among us there’s even more good news, because those trusted news sources are actively seeking out experts willing to contribute articles, opinion and – dare we say it – Thought Leadership. If you still need convincing, then do yourself a favour and check out these examples of how we helped establish various clients as trusted voices in their sectors:

Mandy Haeburn-Little, powerful example of thought leadership in cyber crime sectorA stellar term as Scotland’s cyber crime Tsar has seen Mandy Haeburn-Little transform the Scottish Business Resilience centre, winning support from government, academia and business leaders – all while becoming the country’s most sought after cyber crime thought leader.

As a successful lawyer, entrepreneur and business leader, legal sector disruptor Glen Gilson has become established as a go to thought leader for the media, thanks to effective legal PR. Find out how extensive positive headlines supported that every step of the way.

Facial injection expert with syringes for hair and beauty PR campaignAn amazingly successful, two-year-long hair and beauty PR campaign transformed the profile of provincial cosmetic nurse Jackie Partridge, showcasing her as an entreprenuer, patient safety campaigner, facial injection expert and a ‘go to’ media commentator. Find out how.

PR agency in Edinburgh show how they can present you as a thought leader in your industryCheck out the real and compelling evidence on why you need the most insightful and high-quality content to reach – and to sway – the real business decision makers and influencers. Long and deep is the order of the day, when short and sweet simply won’t swing it.

Partners and Olympian Grainger by PR Photography expertsLegal firm struck Thought Leadership ‘Gold’ thanks to a decorated Olympian – and made waves in the media, with help from our award-winning Scottish PR agency

PR success for Eagle CouriersPolitical clout. Industry respect. Green credentials. Find out how Eagle Couriers reaped multiple rewards as a result of its concerted PR in Scotland to build up its reputation as a thought leader in the transport and logistics sector.

Have something to say? Say it as a recognised thought leader with the help of our Edinburgh PR Agency

PR can seem complex and difficult. Let us show why it doesn’t need to be that way, with measurable results that boost business. Give us a call on 0131 561 2238 or use the form below to get in touch with our team.

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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