What is a thought leader?

Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and the acknowledged experts in their industry or field.

They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas, who consistently add to the body of knowledge in their field and who regularly communicate their valuable insights to motivate others to solve problems and find new and better ways of doing things.

They understand the failings, shortcomings and problems facing their industries or sectors … AND they have the answers to fix or address these problems.

They also understand that thought leadership is not just about advancing themselves or their organisations but is about the greater good of their industries, their customers, their communities and the greater eco-system in which they operate.

Is a thought leader an individual or business?

It can be both. However where an organisation is positioning itself as a thought leader, the communication should ideally come from an individual. This is likely to be the CEO, chairman or technical expert.

Who is thought leadership best suited to?

In the main thought leaders tend to be individuals or organisations looking to:

  • Educate and inform their communities
  • Change behaviours
  • Initiate new and better ways of doing things
  • Introduce new concepts or innovative ideas
  • Challenge current thinking
  • Drive best-practice or improve the reputation of their industries
  • Drive a cause or movement.
  • Provide unique perspectives and insights on key industry topics and trends
  • Companies looking to position themselves as knowledge-based entities.
  • Peak bodies looking to drive advocacy and change behaviour.
  • Professionals wanting to secure board or high profile appointments.
  • Late career professionals looking to develop a passion project in retirement.

What are the benefits of being the acknowledged thought leader in your industry or field?

  • Boosts your personal visibility so you get noticed by key people in your industry and field (customers, investors, policy makers, boardroom decision makers, business prospects)
  • Grows your influence within the community or industry in which you operate.
  • Ensures you become far better known and your peers hold you in much higher esteem.
  • Builds your credibility as a trusted source of information.
  • Make you more appealing to relevant journalists, bloggers and podcasters.
  • Puts you on the radar of conference and seminar organisers 
  • For many, being the recognised authority is the best career insurance you could hope for.

How does modern day thought leadership differ from traditional thought leadership?

Unlike more traditional thought leaders who communicated their thinking and big ideas via the media, today’s thought leaders now have multiple communications platforms at their disposal. This means that they have the opportunity to take charge of their own thought leadership journey and increase the reach of their influence.

As a result they are more likely to begin their thought leadership by building a strong online presence, publishing their own content and by driving debate via their social media channels.

Naturally as their reputation grows online, this strengthens and opens up opportunities for media coverage, access to the talk circuit and to making vital connections, both on and offline.

Also unlike traditional thought leaders, the modern thought leader is more concerned with cultivating a community of supporters and to more strongly involve their fans, followers and advocates in the conversation around their chosen issue or topic.

Having a so-called dedicated ‘tribe’, enables them to more readily replicate and scale their big ideas, thinking and best practices.

What thought leadership services do we offer?

Thought Leadership & Personal Branding Coaching

This coaching service is directed at CEOs, leaders, change-makers and innovators who would like to work in partnership with Parker Public Relations as they embark on their thought leadership journey. We help develop their strategy and action plan and strengthen their online presence then provide them the option of managing some or all their communications or handing over all activity to us.

Thought Leadership & Personal Branding Masterclasses

These are directed at individuals or groups of people looking to manage their own thought leadership but who simply need the tools to get started.

  • Masterclass 1 – Personal Branding for Thought Leaders. This hands-on workshop provides attendees with the right tools, knowledge and know-how to position themselves as a thought leader and begin building their presence online.
  • Masterclass 2 – How to Communicate Like a Thought Leader. This workshop helps attendees understand what stories resonate with their audiences and best positions them as a thought leader. 

FREE Introductory Thought Leadership Sessions

These one-hour sessions provide participants with an introduction to thought leadership branding, its benefits and what is required to become an acknowledged thought leader. These workshops are ideal for peak bodies and industry groups looking to introduce their members to the concept of thought leadership.

Organisation Thought Leadership and Advocacy

These services are directed at businesses, not-for-profits and peak bodies looking to position themselves as thought leaders in order to educate and inform their communities, change behaviours, initiate new and better ways of doing things, take a stance or position themselves as knowledge-based entities. Parker Public Relations will manage strategy development and strengthen an organisation’s presence online then give them the option of managing all communication themselves or handing over to us to manage on their behalf.

 

What our Clients Say:

“I engaged Wendy when I realised that I needed to communicate my ideas to the broader community. Wendy helped me focus my vision and articulate it in a clear and succinct way but also explained the dynamics of thought leadership and what I was about to embark on. Her associate Trudy Rankin gave me a crash course in social media tools that complemented my action plan. I have since readjusted my thinking about what I do and how I project myself. I would recommend Wendy’s company to anyone wanting to better understand themselves and how they can engage with other thought leaders and communicate their messages to a broader audience.”

Len Sciacca, Enterprise Professor – Defence Technologies, Melbourne School of Engineering

“Understanding your brand value can be a difficult undertaking. Wendy’s personal branding and thought leadership coaching, strategy and action plan allows you to begin navigating this complex area with purpose. The clear structure she provides in enhancing your reputation and capability to present as a leader in my field was of an enormous assistance. Importantly, her approach is grounded in authenticity which makes the process very comfortable and empowering.”

Murray Smith, State Manager (Vic)General Manager AHPRA (Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Authority). Former Director, Vic Building Authority.

It was great to learn from Wendy’s experience and insights into thought leader and how to share my ideas with my professional networks. Wendy took me through a wide range of tools and processes – from the most fundamental to the more advanced. I now putting these ideas into practice and am excited about where this will lead …”

– Matthew J Barnes Technical Co-founder @Drawboard