PR Can’t Create Thought Leadership

…But It Does Help Magnify It!

There are trends and buzzwords in every industry, and “thought leadership” is currently on everyone’s lips in the world of public relations.  Actually, this has spread way beyond the PR industry and is often heard now in the business world as a whole.

According to Wikipedia, a thought leader is “business jargon for an entity that is recognized for having innovative ideas.”  The business media have featured articles ranging from how to “engage” [another buzzword] thought leaders, to how thought leaders can engage employees.  Among many articles on thought leadership, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) weighed in with “How to Become a Thought Leader in Six Easy Steps.”

Thought leaders stand out.

If you read between the lines in the HBR article, you see that the headline is a little misleading. The article really tells you how to leverage the thought leadership you already have, rather than giving lessons on becoming a thought leader. The truth is, the  best PR in the world can’t turn a follower into a leader. PR can, however, help people who actually are thought leaders to be spokespersons for their organizations, to draw attention to and build credibility for their companies.

Thought leadership doesn’t have to come from big company executives. Entrepreneurs in start-ups can leverage  it to build their companies into “challenger brands” (companies that give brand leaders a run for their money).   Steve Jobs was one of the most famous thought leader entrepreneurs. Although he ended up CEO of one of the biggest technology companies in the world, he started as an entrepreneur working in a garage.

Bridge Global Strategies has had the pleasure of helping entrepreneurs in a variety of industries to make waves by communicating their innovative ideas.  Public relations can really make a small company soar when there’s a truly innovative thinker at the helm who has a good product or service to offer. With a good PR program,  start-up companies can change their industries.

Lucy Siegel

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