STRATEGY & Services for Research-Driven Organizations

You're a Researcher & An Expert.

But Are You a Thought Leader?



We work with CEOs, CMOs, chief scientists and research directors at research-driven organizations and institutions who want to develop and align their staff’s thought leadership into a durable strategic asset.

Service 1

Thought Leadership Diagnostic

We always begin with a diagnostic evaluation before prescribing any strategic or support options. We use a black-box evaluation of your individual subject matter experts and your thought leadership systems and culture as well as semi-structured interviews with internal and external stakeholders to assess:

  • How strategically aligned your thought leadership content and program is with the rest of your organization; 
  • How competitive your organization is as a thought leader in your space;
  • The growth potential of your current thought leaders — and who on staff should be a thought leader; 
  • Organizational blockers — cultural, structural, leadership, other — to fostering thought leadership;
  • Your staff capacity to support thought leadership development, content and marketing; and
  • Your systems and platforms for distributing thought leadership content and achieving strategic goals (e.g., acquiring leads and audiences, influencing decision makers) through that distribution.

We compile our findings into a short report that also offers you 3-4 recommendations for developing an optimized thought leadership strategy and system tailored to deliver against your organizational objectives. You can treat the audit as a standalone product — you can take our judgement and implement it yourself, hire someone else to implement it, or hire us. 

Service 2

Thought Leadership Strategy & Program Development & Implementation

From the diagnostic recommendation you select, we design a customized thought leadership strategy and programs, working closely with each of your organization’s key stakeholders to ensure buy-in. Results of this work commonly include:  

  • Thought leadership content and activities that are in sync with your  overall organizational strategy, systems and messaging.
  • Actionable terrain maps for key audiences and their influencers
  • Tailored growth and training plans for each thought leader, including use of internal communications to foster a thought leadership culture;
  • Recommendations for how to best resource an effective thought leadership program within budget;
  • Thought leadership KPIs that link to your bottom line;
  • A plan for generating relationship leads directly out of your thought leadership content through integrating CRM/marketing automation with your existing CMS platform;
  • Planning for thought leadership succession. 

Once the strategy and program are in place, Science+Story can also provide transitional implementation support — from training workshops to ongoing coaching and content development assistance as well as coaching for and check-ins with communications staff as they ramp up to support the program.

Service 3

Thought Leadership Positioning & Messaging

Science+Story develops positioning, master narratives and messaging for research-driven startups as well as established organizations that have developed a new research focus. 

Examples include our work for the LA 2028 Olympics Sustainability and Legacy Team, the Energy for Growth Hub, the Earth Genome, Arizona State University's Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Arizona State University's Future H2O, and Adamantine Energy. 

Service 4

Talk Development for Researcher Thought Leaders

Science+Story has worked with nearly 100 researchers and other subject matter experts to rapidly improve their presentation skills and develop the best talks of their careers — suitable for donors, investors and formats such as TEDx.

We co-develop the talks with the researchers around strong and surprising narrative, the identity and needs of the audience, and clarity in research communication.

This service can be stand-alone or added to thought leadership strategy and program implementation. We also provide presentation development and coaching for teams of researchers preparing to give talks at special events.

"Science+Story combines deep knowledge of how communications strategy can be most effective in an organization with incredibly useful technical and tactical advice." 

Alex Trembath, Breakthrough Institute

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