PR ‘Thought Leadership’ – The Holy Grail

November 1, 2007

What’s the one thing every client is pushed to be, the one label every PR strives to be attached to their spokesperson; the very bedrock of your new business pitch?

Thought leader.

The very phrase sends shivers of anticipation and pride down the spine. But John Kay would have you think again, according to his FT article. He’s pretty fed up of ‘thought leader’ research, which neither thinks, nor leads. He wants less PR spin. He also has the grace to acknowledge the motivation behind this all to often lies with the inadequacy of the client’s business to pass the acid test of newsworthiness.

The indictment ‘This is the age of the bogus survey’ is forceful. Yet it is a topic all too often lamented, and yet the oft-predicted demise of the survey still hasn’t materialised. Is this because the public are sophisticated enough to see through the ruse, yet still enjoy shock findings? Or, as is more likely, does the blame actually lie squarely with journalists? Due to understandable pressures they are forced to look for the newest, most impactful, and quantifiable. Surveys hit the spot.

But remember next time you flog your tired surevy which merely purports to think or to lead; one day you’re going to have a top notch spokesperson, who really do occupy the hallowed turf of thought leadership. And yet you’ll end up with same NIB you achieved with your poll revealing how infrequnetly the average student changes their underwear. PR, like life, is rarely fair.


One Response to “PR ‘Thought Leadership’ – The Holy Grail”

  1. […] No Comments Just when I thought the most ridiculous corporate speak at been reached with “thought  leadership” and “functional silos,” Bruce unveils this […]

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