By: Matthew Kaiserman, Junior Account Executive

Thought leadership is buzzword often used by PR professionals. Many communicators harp on its importance, but few share the way to achieve its end goal: to position their clients as a go-to expert in their respective industries.

I strive to help my clients achieve authority and develop a respected share of voice within their market, and it starts with educating the media. Educating them about my clients’ business and, in turn, having my clients inform the media’s captive audience through their insights.

Here are three steps PR professionals should take to help establish their clients as thought leaders.

1. Take Part in the Conversation
No matter how educated or passionate someone is on a topic, they cannot become credible and influential unless they are an active part of their industry’s conversations. In the digital age, this conversation is housed on many different platforms. Social channels present a great opportunity to engage in popular conversations and offer viewpoints to a large and captive audience. Pose questions and connect with other industry leaders and your clients will start to become a leading part of the conversation.

2. Create Engaging Content
Curating quality content is a crucial part of establishing thought leadership. From contributed articles, blogs housed on your company’s website to live videos, creating content is invaluable to sharing a brand’s (or SME’s) voice to the world. Partitioning opinions and thoughts on trending topics is the only way to build a following and further develop your brand as a thought leader. Soon, your clients can foster relationships with both industry leaders and premier industry media. One of my clients, for example, is very knowledgeable on tech innovations and mobile devices. We have established a great rapport with the top publications in this vertical, and now editors will reach out directly requesting his comment or insights on trending topics. Through establishing his credibility by contributed articles and interviews, journalists see my client as an industry resource to share with their readers.

3. Offer Something Unique
While creating engaging content and joining the social conversation is essential, neither is as pivotal as offering something unique. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle considering how similar content is constantly being produced today. By being authentic, your clients can stand apart from the crowd and present out-of-the-box thoughts that could ultimately disrupt their industry. Whether through groundbreaking research or an engaging live stream, aim to break out from the norm and offer your client’s audience something different. One of our clients in the fin-tech space debuted a detailed payments almanac revealing up-to-date global data on how differently consumers pay for goods and services around the world, further establishing them as an authoritative voice in their industry.

No person can become an influential thought leader without providing value. An audience will follow a person to learn something new or be entertained. By creating constant, authentic and engaging content, your clients can do just that. Chances are that if your clients are well-versed in their respective industries and have a unique perspective to share, they are already halfway there. A drive to achieve industry authority and the creation of engaging, informative content are all that remain.