Unlocking the value of thought leadership.

For many organisations and the people who lead them, thought leadership pieces are among the most direct routes to an interested audience.

Between a wealth of specialist media and professional platforms like LinkedIn, there are more spaces available than ever before to share a point of view. On the other hand, of course, that means there has never been such an abundance of opinion and unsolicited advice. It is an environment where even the most thoughtful contributions can get lost in the noise. 

In that context, as with any other communications technique, great thought leadership is best rooted in a clear, strategic approach. Authors need a firm idea of their intentions, where they can add value to a conversation, and what their piece will say in turn about the organisation they serve.  

Typically, thought leadership will be crafted in aid of a few specific objectives. It can raise awareness of a brand or the profile of a senior figure. Or it can direct a specific target market towards a relevant product or service – though in most cases, it is best not to foreground those references with a hard sell. 

Truly effective thought leadership must be additive in its own right, engaging with macro trends and specific issues in a way that is useful, enjoyable and enlightening. Where companies have access to original research or an innovative perspective, they might want to direct a debate into an unexpected direction. And there might be opportunities to establish a genuine connection between a brand’s activities and an ongoing news story – though audiences will be sensitive to any attempt to elbow into an agenda. 

In other words, thought leadership should start from a grounding of relevance and expertise. What can you say with greater impact than anyone else?

You also need to keep your audience in mind. If your piece is being carried by a third-party outlet, you will be aiming to build credibility and reach among the wider audience while acknowledging the specific needs of your prospective clients. That means you should look to craft something that is interesting to the generalist but can inspire action among that narrower group. 

Technical knowledge is fundamental but thought leadership also offers an opportunity to build trust and open a dialogue. Empathy and generosity of spirit are much appreciated; addressing your audience’s everyday challenges, and the efforts you’re making to solve them, allows for a direct connection. 

For all that, thought leadership can also be an outlet for trying new things that shape arguments and build audience interest. That could involve working up the consistency that keeps people coming back – especially on owned platforms and social media – or exploring content formats that best convey the kind of information you want to get across. 

Ultimately, this comes down to finding your company’s voice – and then using it to its most compelling effect. 


Trippant champions people and storytelling to grow businesses across sport, entertainment and experience. If you want to see what we can do for you, connect with us here.


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