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Getting Noticed as a Thought Leader

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 28, 2009

Gaining attention in the media can help your company build market awareness. One way to stand out in today’s busy media environment is to contribute your expertise.

But positioning yourself as a thought leader takes more than just subject matter expertise. Here are some tips in working with the media:

Be accessible. Try to keep your schedule flexible. News cycles can be short, and interview requests can pop up on short notice.

Have something compelling to say. You need to contribute value to the discussion to garner attention from the media. Your messages should be framed in a way that stands out. For example, stake out a counterintuitive view on an issue or take a controversial (but supportable) stand.

Present an industry perspective. If you want to be seen as an industry expert, you must be prepared to discuss a broader view. Nothing hurts an executive’s credibility more than to be seen as pushing a single company or product. You need to discuss the competition fairly, including recognizing their strengths.

Approach interviews as conversations. Look at any media interview as a two-way dialogue, not a monologue to push your own agenda. Remember, conversation is the best way to influence your target audience.

Albie Jarvis
Senior Vice-President
Porter Novelli

Reader Comments

George Moraetes, CISM, CGEIT

January 28, 2009 8:34 PM

The article is excellent and timely on how best to prepare for conversations with the media.

Frank and factual discussions are also key.

Ken Lizotte

February 7, 2009 2:43 PM


Excellent post! I offer the same sort of advice in my book "The Expert's Edge" (McGraw-Hill) which explains step by step how businesses and professionals can become thought leaders. In terms of your comments here, you're educating people to understand that reporters are always on deadline and thus need to be responded to ASAP. Also, tae a chance by suggesting some very different approach or solution to a question/issue ("counterintuitive" as you put it) . This gives the reporter tasty "meat" for his/her article or TV report, elevating the likelihood that you will indeed end up in the article or reprot. Thanks for the good tips, Albie!

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