When I get approached by CEOs or CMOs who want to elevate their brand awareness and gain effective media coverage, they often try to point out how newsworthy their startup is. They tell me about recent funding announcements, signed partnerships and new hires. I tell them that it is excellent. I am happy they have exciting news to share with the tech ecosystem. But I also point out that an efficient, results-oriented PR strategy is not based solely on how a startup can fit the news cycle. It is also based on how a startup can become an authority in their space and do it consistently.
Pitching news to journalists is essential, but that is only one side of the equation. To do modern PR, you also need to be able to generate thought leadership content at scale. With such a competitive tech landscape, you need to gain as many touchpoints with your audience as possible; making sure you are giving value upfront. Here are five thought leadership tactics that you can incorporate into your PR strategy:
Bylines in leading publications
Probably the most well-known thought leadership tactic is writing bylines for leading publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Techcrunch, etc. To do so effectively, you need to make sure you are writing a truly valuable and innovative piece on your field of expertise. The more profound and rich your article is, the better it will usually perform with the readers. I always encourage my clients to go very technical with their bylines; this helps position them as an authority and makes the audience appreciate the upfront value received from this piece. Also, the media publication is happy as it is getting a well-written piece that can’t be found elsewhere.
Twitter is a powerful marketing tool. It’s not just a channel to share updates but also a platform where you can engage with your customers and followers. Twitter threads are a great way to create an engaging and interactive experience with your audience. They allow you to share your thoughts in a more detailed manner and answer questions from the audience. Your goal with this should be to create an engaging experience where your audience would want to comment and offer their own insights and opinions. This can position your thread to go viral, therefore claiming more awareness for you and your brand, and more importantly, a chance to provide value for many readers.
Niche interview show
This tactic is a straight-on hack. Building an interview show in the form of a podcast or video is arguably the most efficient way to gain valuable authority and key relationships. Being able to interview clients, prospects and other experts from your field is a surefire way to gain more knowledge, gain more customers and raise your brand’s authority by being associated with other leaders in your field. I always recommend this tactic as it has all the components of effective modern PR. Once your show starts to gain more traction, you will see that there will be even more opportunities that come from it, such as sponsorships, media deals and ad share revenues.
Hosting free workshops
I will credit this tactic to my dear friend and legendary B2B marketer, Yoel Israel, who has taught me the power of hosting free workshops, account audits and consulting sessions in order to generate trust, authority and a reputation in your line of work. This tactic lets you get personal with relevant prospects, and by giving them value upfront, this incentivizes them to work with you or recommend you to someone more suitable for your product or service.
Live streaming is another great interactive way to build rapport with your audience. The ability for listeners to ask questions, join streams and provide their own insights, helps the conversation flow and allows deep relationships to build. The key here is to talk with the audience, not to the audience. You should look at it as if you have created a platform not only for yourself and your brand but also for the audience to take an active part in the conversation. Similar to Twitter threads, this will position your live stream to go viral while providing upfront value for a broader range of enthusiastic listeners.
Thinking outside of the box can help you tremendously with producing high-level thought leadership content. Also, finding ways to create an interactive experience with your audience is essential, as people want to share their thoughts, comments and ideas with the brands they interact with. Be open, add value upfront and make sure you are listening just as much as you are talking and writing.