What is Thought Leadership?

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By Brianne Murphy Miller

An important part of most strategic communications programs, thought leadership can help support an organization’s goals by using subject matter experts to provide information and commentary.

What is a thought leader?

Thought leaders are subject-matter experts who have built a loyal following by sharing knowledge and skills in specific areas. Thought leaders provide timely, relevant content in useful forms. This can include white papers, speeches, webinars, infographics, videos, blogs or social media posts. Thought leadership allows executives and others to play an upfront role in guiding the future of their industries. Consider that the goal is not to immediately sell products or services, but rather to be known as a respected, trusted resource. To build that kind of reputation, it’s crucial to look at the 3 C’s of Thought Leadership: Content, Credibility, Commitment.


Thought leadership works on all platforms Think about your content. What knowledge and experience do you have that would serve audiences and answer their most pressing questions? What are your goals? What do you want the company to stand for? Identify your in-house experts and brainstorm ideas for content they can deliver.


Think about your credibility. Effective thought leadership takes time to establish. It takes consistent posting of relevant, valuable content that prompts audiences to look to those executives and their company for wisdom and industry knowledge. The professionals will tell you to be patient. It takes time to build a brand.


Think about your commitment. Some organizations use in-house experts, while others hire agencies to develop editorial calendars, write and edit original content, pitch guest articles, and schedule social media posts. If becoming a thought leader is important to you, the commitment to a thoughtful plan is critical.

Want to learn how your organization can use thought leadership to attain marketing objectives? Contact [email protected].