High-Lights: Our Tech PR POV

5 Ways to Promote Executive Thought Leadership Without Live Events

By ending events as we knew them for the foreseeable future, COVID-19 radically changed many companies’ approaches to thought leadership. The tech industry has quickly adjusted to the new normal sans live events, and is embracing new opportunities to raise awareness for executives. We’ve outlined five ways to build thought leadership and raise your executive’s profile without in-person events.

  1. Take It Virtual: Perhaps the most obvious choice, but as many major tech and industry conferences like Disrupt and Red Hat Summit go virtual, think about what that means for your executives. Keynotes at the events still offer the chance to speak directly to your audiences, with the validation of the conference organizers. If your favorite conference has been canceled due to the pandemic, consider creating your own virtual event to put your executives at the forefront (but know that’s not your only way to get in front of your audience).
  2. Choose Another Stage: The stage for thought leadership doesn’t need a spotlight to be effective. Consider alternate channels like contributed bylines, blog posts, LinkedIn articles, Facebook Live, and more. Find your audience online and go to them directly with content that is relevant and useful.
  3. Join the Conversation: One of the biggest upsides to in-person conferences was the opportunity to build relationships with customers, peers, prospects, and other thought leaders. The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice the relationship with the event. Use social listening to determine who is driving the conversations that your executive cares about online and find ways to participate through LinkedIn comments, Twitter chats and threads, and more. By engaging with influencers and your community on social channels, you position your executives as leaders actively engaged with the industry. Just be sure to add value to the conversation with a clear point of view on the topic at hand.
  4. Take a Leadership Role: Get your executive involved with industry groups and councils to show their elevated position within the industry. Not only do these serve roles as excellent validators for your executive, but they’ll also open doors to new relationships and potential customers.
  5. Reconnect with Reporters: Despite it feeling like COVID-19 has taken over every news cycle, trade reporters are still hungry for industry-specific perspective. Take stock of the key media in your space or reporters you’ve connected with in the past, and offer an informal conversation with your executive. Not only are you building critical relationships, but you may also see coverage immediately stemming from the conversation.

Though the thought leadership landscape has changed, there is a host of opportunities available in the new virtual landscape. If you’re looking to take your thought leadership program to the next level, drop us a line at hi@highwirepr.com.


Image credit: Evangeline Shaw