Thought Leadership Programs

Thought leaders aren’t born; they’re created. Thought leaders have vision, the strength to wield real opinions, and the guts to stand out from the crowd. The most successful thought leaders also often have a support mechanism in place: a PR team that, with constant vigilance, sniffs out story ideas, creates opportunities to share new insights, and makes the theoretical idea come to life.

At SHIFT, we pride ourselves on the knowledge that thought leadership opportunities don’t just occur naturally. They require a constant creative process built upon timely, data-driven insights
SHIFT Thought Leadership Programs include the following tactics:

SHIFT Thought Leadership Programs include:

  • Constant research across all media channels for new influencers
  • Creation of thought leaders across vertical, subject matter and industry
  • Regular proactive idea generation cadence
  • Drafting of thought leadership collateral including byline articles, blog posts, tweets
  • Creation and development of social profiles for enhanced and integrated Thought Leadership Programs

SHIFT Perspectives on Thought Leadership

McKesson Case Study in Thought Leadership

McKesson, ranked fifth in the Fortune 500, asked SHIFT to lead its Better Health Tour promotion as part of a larger program. The Better Health Tour was a multi-city national tour aimed at engaging cross-industry experts and innovators in a dialogue focused on local and national healthcare transformation. McKesson sought to establish the event series as a true thought leadership platform to spur critical conversations about healthcare innovation.

SHIFT engaged business, technology, and trade media and influencers to attend various tour stops coast-to-coast. By harnessing the tours’ emerging themes, SHIFT  positioned McKesson experts and tour participants as the thought leaders who drove these trends.

More specifically, SHIFT locked in on a “David and Goliath” theme related to the need for both established and emerging companies to partner together to drive disruptive innovation forward in healthcare. SHIFT enabled McKesson to integrate the David and Goliath theme across tour-related content and place thought leadership pieces in the likes of Harvard Business Review and US News & World Report.

Building on SHIFT’s integrated approach to earned, owned and paid media, we worked closely with our marketing technology and creative teams to boost promotion of earned media coverage and thought leadership content through paid syndication and social campaigns.

As a result, more than 34 million earned media impressions were secured in addition to nearly 2.3 million tour-related social media impressions and more than 1,100 social shares of earned media coverage.

RedHat Case Study in Thought Leadership

Red Hat’s CEO, Jim Whitehurst, wanted to evolve the company’s brand perception while celebrating its historical importance in the open source movement. The result was The Open Organization: a book illustrating Whitehurst’s experience leading a sustainable open, transparent and collaborative company-wide culture at Red Hat’s enormous scale.

SHIFT established Whitehurst as an innovative thought leader through an extensive awareness campaign. We identified 25 national media targets from a focus on maximum-impact national business press and CEO profiles. Initial outreach pushed a variety of levers tailored to the individual outlet and media profiles including global workforce issues and macro trends to challenge current management practices and reinvent the “open organization” discussion. SHIFT supplemented these efforts with rapid response commentary and contributed content.

Within five months, SHIFT generated media coverage and interest from over 60% of the top media targets such as TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and Bloomberg.  In addition to key online earned media successes, the team landed extensive broadcast opportunities with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” “The Closing Bell,” and “Squawk Alley” along with FOX Business’ “Risk and Reward with Deirdre Bolton,” Bloomberg West, and more.

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