You’ve had an interesting journey in work and life. Whether you went to Africa to fight the Ebola virus, or innovated a new management technique, you’ve got a story to tell, a message to share, a company or book to promote.
You’re not naive. You know TED isn’t going to call you right out of the box. But how do you build your reputation as a thought leader on your issue? We help our clients go about this work in many ways—from speaking gigs to media relations to book development.
But right now, let’s talk about the impact of publishing op-eds and “thought pieces” online.
Getting what we in the business call earned media–i.e. reporters and producers feature you or your work in magazines, newspapers, radio shows, or television–is harder than ever (and therefore even more valuable). But it’s easier than ever to get published—online—with an op-ed or essay or blog post. Editors now have to feed their 24/7 content machines.
Is everyone is going to read your Huff Po piece, or that essay you wrote for Slate? No. But getting published online for a reputable media outlet builds your credibility as a thought leader.
It’s your job to then spread and amplify it. Post it on your website, your social channels, your blog, and feature it in your next email newsletter.
By building several of these bylined pieces, you have a much better chance of getting featured and profiled by major media down the road, or even next week.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s not to easy to develop and publish a bylined piece on a site like Fortune.com, Fast Company, or Harvard Business Review. Here are some tips that we give to our clients all the time.
- Be original. Or at least bring a new or surprising angle on an old problem or issue.
- Be bigger. Don’t promote or tell your brand story, that’s not what an op-ed is. Extend your message and ideas.
- Know your audience. When your work appears on a publication’s site, you are a guest in their house, talking to their readers. Write for them.
- Be Timely. Find a hook within the news cycle or conversation of the moment. You will vastly increase your chance of being published.
- Inspire and motivate–because this is the greatest things a thought leader can do.