Anybody can have an idea. It’s what we do with those ideas that counts. In a corporate world with endless noise, it is our responsibility to make a difference.
In Collatia Group’s latest Mastermind Discussion Group in Manchester, founder of M3 Media Publishing, David Lomas, outlined the link between corporate social responsibility and thought leadership.
David suggests, “There is no magic formula, just three basic principles to make yours an authoritative voice within your industry:
“Don’t be afraid to be a little controversial,” says David, citing a perfect example in Mike Ashley, a maverick in his industry with a reputation for controversy.
“Thought leaders march to the beat of their own drum, propagating their own ideas which in turn, generate discussion and debate.”
Why Should Your Audience Follow You?
The second step in thought leadership is credibility.
It’s the same principle as search engine algorithms: Google wants to see that relevant, respected figures linked to your industry are talking about you.
Create Your Credible Voice
This is where corporate social responsibility comes in. For every one of your customers, there is a charitable connection.
A notable example was one of M3 Publishing’s manufacturing clients. They had identified an issue in their sector – hearing issues from prolonged exposure to loud noise – and partnered with relevant sensory loss charities.
Authenticity in Corporate Social Responsibility
Credibility does not just come from industry partners singing your praises. It comes from genuine connections with real causes, allowing thought leaders to generate good PR while making a difference.
David invited the attendees to discuss their roles and asked how they could identify a cause that would benefit their customers. This led to the sharing of some incredible stories.
“All around the room, people spoke of their philanthropic connections, from conservation to rehabilitation, inspiring new ideas, as everybody raised their hands when asked if they would give more consideration to CSR in the future”
The One-Hit Wonder
One idea is never enough for thought leaders. Whether you are devising a new CSR campaign or a ground-breaking new product, you need to be consistent with your content.
Just as Google values fresh content, your followers are always listening out for new concepts.
Making connections with real people is a great place to start. From regular social media posts to events like the Thought Leaders’ Mastermind Groups, consistency completes the triad of thought leadership.
If you are strengthening your thought leadership, remember:
- Break from the norm
- Connect with real causes that drive your passion
- Keep it going
If you are a director looking to differentiate yourself and your business from your competition, and understand about the benefits of thought leadership, please contact David Lomas on 0161 922 8571.