At Linstock we’re beginning the countdown to Christmas early. For us, it’s a chance to savour some of the things we’ve learnt over the past year from the realms of politics, society, communications and behavioural science. Like every good stocking, we’ve tried to fill ours with a variety of practical, thoughtful and (obvs) on-trend gifts…
- Thought leadership trends
To get the 2017 ball rolling, we asked ourselves: how fast is the thought leadership market developing, and are some sectors embracing its power more than others? Nearly half a million people worldwide had thought leadership in their job title then. Will this number have grown in the past year? Answers on a postcard.
Second in our series of ‘thought leadership tips’, we pondered the key to developing an authentic brand through the medium of spoken word poetry. “Unapologetically different, purposeful, impactful. True self cannot be realised simply. Nor can it be or edited at whim.” On the twentieth anniversary of Dolly the Sheep, we told you: don’t be a clone.
- International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is a vital opportunity to recognise the struggle for women’s rights around the world. In March we asked: is raising awareness enough? Is it sufficient to say “this is a problem and we need to do something about it”? We believe governments and businesses have a responsibility to help us understand what needs to be done to effect change in the physical world.
- Findable content
Can you claim to be a genuine thought leader if people aren’t reading and reacting to your content? Content may be King, but findability is Queen. Our third thought leadership tip considered how organisations can boost the findability of their content. We shared five practical ways to develop a smart SEO and pay-per-click strategy.
- The General Election
Pre-General Election, we put lessons learned from Brexit and the US presidential election to the test. The strongest messenger (Farage, Trump) often overcomes the objectively powerful message in political campaigns. But comms professionals should tread carefully before focusing too much on personality over content. The key to a long-lasting campaign is a balance between the two.
- Behavioural science
Can this exciting new discipline be applied to improve the effectiveness of B2B marketing campaigns both now and in the future? Well, duh. Understanding that we rely on short cuts to make decisions and learning how to jolt people into a more deliberative mode of thinking is communications gold dust. Here are some underlying theories that can and should be used to inform your strategy.
- Brand promises
Five years on from London 2012, have Olympic brand promises to deliver a world-leading sporting festival while creating a legacy for sport, culture and urban regeneration been delivered? Opinions are divided on the legacy element. We considered the parallels for businesses in weighing up the short and long-term impact of their product or service.
- Workplace equality
The fallout from the Google memo leaked to the press in August reflects the progress we’ve made when it comes to gender diversity: the issue has found a much-needed platform. However, it’s controversial status and the subsequent dismissal of its author, James Damore, also exposed how far we still have to go before open debate becomes the norm, while providing a timely reminder that such discussions are usually limited to gender.
- PR purity
In the rush for budget, PR is “…over-indexing towards marketing.” PR professionals are increasingly claiming to be, or even becoming, generalists. Of course, we need to modernise and adapt to new digital trends, including measuring impact in real-time, but there are at least two key reasons why the discipline of PR must stay true to its roots.
- Forward thinking
Some believe thought leadership should be grounded only in what we can tangibly see; that too much future gazing should be off the tarots cards, so to speak. But when thought leadership is all about having the courage to predict and shape what happens next, surely an element of speculation is necessary? We considered how companies can credibly confront big and challenging issues ahead.
- Visual communication
Poor design can ruin good thought leadership. Good design, on the other hand, not only informs, it emotionally connects with the reader. So, why do we communicators find design so hard to prioritise? Last month we explored three reasons why we should all endeavour to think and be visual (whatever our artistic talents).
- Male and female tone of voice
Our brand-new research reveals that leading organisations could be hampering the effectiveness of their thought leadership material by adopting an overly male tone of voice. This assertive, dominant style of language can often discourage discussion, and hinder attempts to deepen relationships with key audiences. The findings also reveal a fascinating split along sector lines.
Merry Christmas from us all at Linstock.