4 Proven Ways to Become an Industry Thought Leader

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A strategic, well-executed PR program is about so much more than publicizing your apartment company’s newest development or its latest property acquisition. Sure, securing media coverage for individual transactions is important and exciting, but establishing your company and its executives as industry thought leaders can pay even bigger dividends in the long-term.

It’s vital to align your thought leadership campaign to the topics and issues that matter most to your target audiences and what your executives can speak to as experts and innovators. If you’re a third-party apartment manager, you want owners to see the expertise and experience that will result in a well-run portfolio. If you’re an owner seeking investors, they need to see that you have the knowledge and strategy that will deliver the returns they’re seeking.

To help ensure you are crafting the right campaign to establish your executives as industry thought leaders, we recommend engaging these powerful tactics:

#1 Speaking opportunities
When your executives appear as panelists at industry conferences, they have a great chance to put their expertise on full display and get in front of potential clients and partners. (Plus, it’s hard to beat the almost endless networking opportunities that a conference can present outside of the educational sessions.)

Whether you have an internal marketing team or external PR firm that manages your speaking submissions, they should always be on the lookout for a variety of opportunities. However, it is even more important they submit interesting, original and relevant session proposals that will showcase your company’s expertise. And when one of your executives lands a speaking gig, they need to take it seriously and work hard to prepare.

#2 Company blogs
You don’t always have to wait for the right speaking or media opportunity to come to you. With consistent blogging on your corporate website, you can showcase your company’s expertise on the topics of most interest to your target audience.

The key is to make these posts truly educational and informative in nature; they can’t be overly self-promotional. Provide real insight into the topics that matter to the people you’re trying to reach. Maybe it’s online reputation management or crisis communications.

Whatever the specific issue, you want readers to come away thinking, “That company really knows what it’s doing. That’s a company to keep on my radar.” And be sure to promote these blogs on your company’s social media channels to extend their reach.

#3 Guest columns in industry publications
Similar to company blogs, the overt goal of these is not to publicize your company and its activities specifically, but rather to showcase your team members’ knowledge and experience in important multifamily issues. By extension, the insight in these columns can show others in the industry that your company is one that they should consider doing business with.

And don’t forget to promote your article. Post and share on all your social media channels to give this thought-leadership content a larger reach than the publication’s readership.

#4 Media interviews
While an apartment community acquisition or a new development may garner limited media coverage, don’t let that stop you. It is possible to create a steady drumbeat of coverage by being a sound, go-to editorial expert for trade, business and local press. When media members know they can turn to your executives for expert perspective and commentary on the big-picture issues they’re covering, that’s priceless.

Once again, this kind of coverage can let potential business partners know that yours is a company that has its finger firmly on the pulse of the industry.

In the end, by using these tactics an apartment company and its executives can establish themselves as thought leaders on the topics of most importance to them. But keep in the mind, the key to all of these tactics will be consistency. It is vitally important to maintain a solid campaign that employs a variety of these tactics over time.

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