Thought Leadership and Blogs

In the Hutong, waiting for the rain.

Trevor Cook at Jackson Wells Morris in Australia has released a preliminary finding from their corporate blogging survey. It appears that while many companies and executives list “thought leadership” as a priority at the beginning of the process, that declines in importance – and reality – over time. Bloggers see themselves as building a community.

Thought leadership is much easier to establish than sustain, and the temptation to shift to a community format can be high. But both goals have their own value, and both have their own demands. Here are some thoughts:

1. Thought Leadership Blogs don’t have to be daily or weekly. One of the joys of RSS and encouraging readers to take an RSS feed is that it eliminates the need to keep the site sticky. If you’ve got something interesting to say, post it, and it shows up on the feed.

2. If you REALLY need to make your thought leadership blog regular, you have two options. First, intersperse other smart thinkers who influence you with your own entries. Second, bring in guests to post their smartness on your blog. I really like these ideas, and am going to start following them myself.

3. If you want to build a community blog, do it separately. Community blogs are more about conversations than thought leadership. I go to “big thinker” blogs to read smart things, not to watch a moderated discussion. If you need both, do companion blogs – it’s a much better approach for your audience.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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