This article from Jonathan Paisner explores the integration of thought leadership articles from employees and brand management of the company.
HOW DO COMPANIES WITHOUT A STRONG, CENTRALIZED EDITORIAL FUNCTION ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO BUILD THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PLATFORMS, WHILE ALSO ENSURING QUALITY CONTROL AND BRAND ADHERENCE?*
As thought leadership platforms evolve into audio/video/digital experiences, there is a greater risk that poor production quality or poor execution can undercut the carefully crafted look/feel/voice of the brand.
Here are 6 things you can do to set up some brand controls while fostering the development of new content.
Definition: Thought leadership platform
Any number of vehicles that go beyond the one-off to serve as a channel for new editorial content – i.e. A recurring podcast, video blog or webinar series, or even a newsletter or traditional blog.
- Clarify authorship.
The first step is to determine whether this platform is coming from the individual on their own, or if it represents the voice of the company.
If a person is doing this on her own – representing her own thoughts/views, not establishing her platform as a vehicle for the company – this means a limited role for brand oversight. The employee and leadership need to discuss the parameters, do’s and don’ts before moving forward. (Keep the company name off of it, don’t use company lists, be mindful of competitive issues or conflicts, etc.)
A company platform is a different story – and this takes us to:
- Define the content strategy.
“I want to make a podcast” is not a strategy. Work with the employee to create a theme or a point of view that will define and distinguish this platform from other materials your company creates – and within the market at large. While you may wish to note that the views of the content creator are their own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the company, in practice that line is going to feel a bit blurred for your customers. All parties need to acknowledge and be comfortable with this premise from the outset.
- Create tools and resources.
Tangible tools, templates and guidelines – addressing things like tone, content, design requirements, etc. – are invaluable to a decentralized approach that maintains an appropriate level of consistency and quality. When it comes to more technically involved media (podcasts, video blogs), media training 101 will go a long way. Step-by-steps with specific software, maybe even some design templates (like titles or audio files) that define what’s on-brand / what’s off-brad are also helpful.
Key points include:
- Striving for continuous improvement
- Optimizing content
- Building on employee’s input
Read the full article, At the intersection of Thought Leadership and Brand Management, on BrandExperiencedGroup.com.