How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders

Crowdsource Your Thought Leadership

If you’re having trouble getting your SMEs to author individual pieces of thought leadership, try crowdsourcing those pieces instead from across your organization, or from an event you hosted.

What I’m talking about is very different than a multi-authored piece with infinite rounds of edits and approvals. For example, look at ”These Five Facts Reveal the Current Crisis in Black Homeownership,” which the Urban Institute published on its site this summer.

“These Five Facts” isn’t a piece of thought leadership written by a single SME. Instead, it’s a set of key insights that came out of a data talk and an expert panel discussion that Urban’s Housing Finance Policy Center hosted.

But the content functions as effectively as a piece of single-author thought leadership — perhaps even more so. It crowdsources one key insight from each presentation, summarizing each with a memorable factoid subhead, and then wraps with one policy solution the panel agreed on.

Authoritative and digestible. And great for search: It makes page one for my SERP for “black homeownership United States.”

For your organization’s SMEs: announce a topic to them and ask them write on one salient point about it in 100-150 words. Give them a deadline and announce it to your audience in your newsletter. Allow the SMEs to revise the topic collectively and even work collectively if they want.

Also: don’t post another meeting summary, ever. Instead, do content that distills the best insights of the meeting into a resource like “These Five Facts.”