How To Avoid Thought Leadership Frights

Published: October 31, 2017

“At work, we’ve all come across examples of bad practice, leaving us cowering behind our chairs. By being aware of five major thought leadership nightmares, you can avoid these traps! ”

Halloween conjures suspense, fright, and things that go bump in the night. But it’s not just Nightmare on Elm Street or Blair Witch Project that leave us feeling numb with terror. At work, we’ve all come across examples of bad practice, leaving us cowering behind our chairs.

Regular readers of this newsletter know that thought leadership marketing is exploding in popularity. But all too often, a bit like the copycat killers who blight our favourite scary stories, content masquerades as thought leadership when it is actually anything but.

We’ve selected five of the most common thought leadership nightmares. Brace yourself.

1. No link to business goals

One of thought leadership’s strengths is the ability to deliver results that support wider commercial objectives. Themes must be thoroughly researched to ensure they will chime with what your key audiences want to hear. Otherwise, you could find yourself screaming into the void.

2. Unoriginal

All the hard work is done and you’re ready to publish, only to find that the world changing idea you’ve developed has been covered already. It’s enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand. Don’t forget the literature and competitor review, to help you identify genuine white space.

3. Lacking evidence

Our favourite fictional scary figures would be much less effective without their knives, chainsaws or other grisly instruments. Publishing content lacking evidence has the same effect. It creates an empty vessel, and potential risk to your reputation if bold assertions turn out to be unsubstantiated.

4. No calls to action

The best thought leadership content can fall flat by failing to offer its audience some practical guidance to address the issues you’ve uncovered. Recommendations also allow you to hint at new ways to extend the project. After all, why settle for a single hit when you can make a sequel?!

5. Impossible to find

It’s not just skeletons or spiders which can hide in the dark. World beating thought leadership content will gather dust on the shelf if it isn’t signposted properly. Use SEO to make reports, graphics and videos findable. Enlist the help of those you have collaborated with to help maximise reach.

Much like a genuinely terrifying movie, one that stays with you well beyond the final scene, effective thought leadership is hard to get right. If the result of your work resembles any of the above, hard won budget and resource could be wasted. It’ll haunt you like any ghost, ghoul or beast.

Tom Yazdi
Associate Director

Leave a Reply

Name *

Mail (not published) *

Comment

* Required field

Case Study: TheCityUK

Managing the reputation of one of the UK's largest industry sectors

TheCityUK is the membership body for the UK’s financial and related professional services industry. Its membership includes...

Read more

Case Study: Grant Thornton International

“Building Thought Leadership”

International accounting and advisory company, Grant Thornton, differentiates itself as an organisation that works with dynamic...

Read more

Newswire: Linstock gets first prize!

“Linstock and UK Community Foundations won Not for Profit Campaign of the Year 2013 Award at Golden Hedgehogs!”

We’re proud to announce that Linstock Communications and our client UK Community Foundations have been awarded the Golden...

Read more

Case Study: British Gas

“Energy efficiency in social housing: making the green deal work”

British Gas is the UK’s leading energy and home services provider. Local authority and housing association decision makers...

Read more

Blog: Thought Leadership Guide – Tip 5: Forward-thinking

“Black Holes, White Space: Forward-Thinking in Thought Leadership”

Astronomers recently discovered two black holes spinning, crashing and merging together to form a mass 52 times the size of the...

Read more

Blog: Visual Communication: Breathing Life Into New Ideas

“Images can shock or provoke or get us to think and act in far subtler ways.”

"Can graphic design save your life?”, asks the commanding title of the Wellcome Collection’s current exhibition. Continuing...

Read more