When developing a PR strategy for your company, it’s important to identify your spokespeople. A spokesperson is someone who speaks to the media on the company’s behalf, often a CEO or a member of the marketing and communications department. While a CEO or a director of communications are best suited to speak about the business and product itself, they might not be the best people to speak about more general, industry-related topics. Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to consider partnering with an industry expert who can provide commentary on common topics in the industry.
What is an industry expert?
An industry expert is someone with the knowledge and experience to provide accurate, trustworthy commentary on topics relating to a specific industry. Depending on the industry, they don’t necessarily need to have credentials, but they should have extensive experience in the relevant field(s) that qualifies them to give advice, make predictions, etc.
Why should I partner with an industry expert?
Partnering with an industry expert gives your brand the opportunity to expand awareness while bolstering your credibility. Having an expert that can address general topics within the industry means more opportunities to insert your brand into public conversations, especially when you don’t have any major news to announce. Partnering with an expert will also allow you to leverage their audience, which may be large or small, depending on the individual.
What qualities should I look for?
The most important thing in choosing an expert to partner with is to make sure that your brands align. Finding an expert that works on topics relevant to your brand and shares your brand values will ensure a natural and authentic partnership. If your product is a dating app, for example, you’d be better off working with a relationship coach than a marriage counselor.
You’ll also want to consider your budget. An established expert with their own following might expect a large commission. An expert who is still trying to build their own brand might decide that it’s worthwhile to partner with your brand for a small commission or exposure alone.
What should I expect from the partnership?
Before you start to work with your expert partner, you’ll want to define the terms of the partnership. What title will they go by? How many requests for commentary do you anticipate sending per week or per month? Will they be expected to write their own commentary, or is it okay for them to dictate a response that you can then draft for approval?
Given the 24/7 news cycle, you’ll also want to set expectations with regards to their availability. If you send them a request for commentary with a tight deadline, how fast can you expect them to respond?
Finally, you should not expect the expert’s commentary to reference your product every time, if at all. Being quoted in an article as your company’s resident expert is valuable in itself; pushing a product may delegitimize the commentary altogether.
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