Amy Rosenberg and I met for the first time in July of this year. She runs her own PR consultancy – Veracity – out of Portland, Oregon and handles a range of clients in traditional industries like steel where the value of thought leadership is understood.
She was recently interviewed by Julie Lichtenberg on AMA Puget Sound which broadcasts to the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. The topic – Though Leadership – of course! Here are the key points of their discussion.
Edelman Trust Barometer
Amy offered some PR insights. She said that
she always studies the Edelman Trust Barometer when it comes out each year and,
for the previous two years, the trend that she has been keeping an eye on is
the growth in trust in executive leaders. The Edelman Barometer has been
showing a decline in trust of big industry for years, but she has identified a
growing pattern in trust of their executive leaders.
Her thoughts on media were interesting. She believes, for example, that an article written by a CEO may well carry more weight than one written by a journalist. She spoke of PR people calling and asking for journalists to link to a company’s website and said that, in the future, it is possible that PR professionals will chose not to work with journalists who don’t give back-links in their stories.
Retention & Recruitment.
Companies are mainly using thought leadership in her opinion, for retention and recruitment. While trust in leaders was increasing, she said that people did not want to see “just the same old, white, men” commenting on everything. Instead, she said that companies are selecting staff in leadership positions in different departments. Her company then works with them to create blog posts or podcasts. This approach empowers key staff and encourages them to act as entrepreneurs within an organisation. She said that some companies were even happy to spotlight employees of external contractors who are doing a good job for them.
She said that one of the most important areas of thought leadership for corporates is HR, because this is all about culture. And she pointed out that “we’re in an age of celebrating geeks” so she encourages the use of a lot of data in company blogs and podcasts.
Her strategic approach to thought leadership revolves around choosing a wide range of leaders from within an organisation and helping them to build a thought leader profile. She also said that thought leaders need not necessarily take positions on issues themselves, rather, they might highlight others who are offering insights and act as a channel for information to their followers.
You can catch her interview on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq7YahR9RfE