TLG has surveyed politicians and advisers to identify the top leadership opportunities where businesses can build their brand reputations. At TLG we believe that it is how a company does business that determines its key relationships and reputation – as well as what it sells. Thought Leadership campaigns offer a way to do this.
Successful Thought Leaders drive positive attitudinal change and deliver behavioural change. By doing this, a company differentiates its brand, builds meaningful relationships with customers and generates positive social outcomes. This makes the business commercially and culturally relevant.
Building brand reputation rests on a range of factors, notably, demonstrating leadership in those areas that have the greatest resonance with key audiences. Here, we identify what they are. We intend to track leadership opportunities on an annual basis. This research will feature in full in our annual Thought Leadership Index publication.”
Now that the three weeks of the establishment establishing themselves over the party conferences is out of the way, TLG has released some research of what corporate messages would have cut through with opinion formers. Top of the chart, wooing seventy percent of opinion formers, is “ensuring fair wages throughout the supply chain” closely followed by two statements on encouraging consumers to live without less packaging and recycle more. For the top ranking messages TLG concludes that the findings demonstrate cross-party appeal and that “the strongest common theme running through the top ten [messages] is the extent to which successful outcomes can be driven by a smart application of behavioural science”. How corporates nudge (or shove as the public sector looks increasingly set to do) their stakeholders is the tricky part of the execution, but it is all measurable and demonstrability will surely be essential for traction with opinion formers. TLG is posting headlines results from The 2010 Leadership Opportunities research on its site later this afternoon.
The first party conference after a change of government is always going to be one that generates more interest for comms practitioners. This year is exceptional, in that with two parties in government, there is twice as much running around to be done.
Businesses and organisations need to think hard about the objectives they are seeking to fulfil during the conference season. Politicians and their staff think very hard about the message they are communicating to voters and how the message will be received. Businesses need to think in the same way about the take-outs politicians and other businesses have from their engagement at the conferences.
While running after politicians can make conference busy, the brands that are successfully driving attitudinal and behavioural change – acting and being seen to act as thought leaders – become more sought than seeker. Being ambitious, challenging the status quo and innovating – not replicating – will make politicians sit up and take notice. Thought leadership acts as a differentiator, allowing a company to cut through much of the noise around party conference, so that half the job of communicating is already done.
In terms of outcome, not only will politicians take notice, but they will increasingly seek advice, offer platforms and possibly even seek endorsement. As practitioners go into the next three weeks, they will benefit from being very clear about what they want to get out of the conferences and how to make them work at a personal and corporate level. Those that do so – and make core connections at the same time – will be those that stand to gain the most from these conferences.