Thought leadership is essential in effective public relations. To be a thought leader, the way you think should change how people around you lead. It’s to steer your industry in a direction to a more collaborative or innovative public relations environment. You must create a way of thinking that empowers others to lead better. In order to create this, thought leaders need to see where their industry is going instead of where it is now or where it has been.
One way of seeing the trend of where your industry is going is by using listening and monitoring tools that will allow you to measure what everyone is talking about. To see this trend, some social/digital listening tools you can use to gather your data from are Hootesuite, TweetReach, Klout, Social Mention, and Google Alerts. Then, gather enough data to create a trend analysis through these tools and use a data analysis software or a spreadsheet to make a rank chart. Dissect your spreadsheet to look at key discussion trends that can benefit your brand. An example of this would be Twitter. Many discussions featuring Twitter look at how to use the service better for traffic generation and has been trending upwards in the past few months. As a thought leader, one would use this knowledge and create more content on this topic and related topics. Instead of waiting for conversations on the traffic generation, a thought leader would proactively see if people are talking about traffic generation in other social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, & etc.
This process can be repeated for any large group of texts as long as you can quantify the amount of times a word appears, which can be used on search terms, email newsletters, and trade publications. This is just one of the many ways a thought leader understands what thinking is necessary in order to lead.