Expert Communication: I have an opinion. Who cares?
Anastasija Zemdliauskaite, Adverum Senior Consultant
Expert communication is often considered a traditional form of communication, involving opinion, comments, advice, and insight from specialists, representing their companies. However, due to the abundance of information and the prevalence of social media, general media’s interest in specialists’ opinion articles is decreasing. This makes it increasingly difficult for new experts to be noticed with their view and insight.
Among the traditional directions of corporate communication – financial, leadership, social responsibility, or sustainability, and employer image – expert communication is important both as an added value for the clients who appreciate additional knowledge and as a proof of the expertise of the company’s personnel. Additionally, it is a great way to showcase the faces of the company, as individuals want to see and hear from actual people, not just the brands they represent. So, there are many benefits.
But how can an expert, especially a new one, demonstrate that their opinion is interesting and find the channels that care to share? And what should they do if the media considers certain information too niche and only relevant to a narrow circle of specialists?
First, before sharing the expert opinion, it is important to assess whether it:
– Offers something new, rather than what can be easily found online.
– Is currently relevant, adheres to the peaks of interest of the general public.
– Is of interest to specific audiences (not solely your brother-in-law and his startup co-founder; we’re looking for a wider circle of interessants here).
The second step is to determine the most valuable channel for sharing this opinion. Major news websites may only be interested in the opinions of recognized experts with decades of experience, but even the negative answer from a journalist does not mean giving up is necessary. Perhaps an expert’s personal LinkedIn profile is the best channel for sharing, both personally and on the company page. Maybe reaching out to a podcaster who is interested in the field and offering to have a conversation in their studio is worth considering. Or maybe the best place for that opinion is in a newsletter for clients who truly value that information. Finding the most suitable channel, timing, and audience may be the key.
Of course, there are more costly (and more widely visible) channels for expert communication, such as sponsored content projects on mainstream media and plain advertising. However, in expert communication, we share value-creating information with those who find it important and necessary. Therefore, it is worth carefully considering how valuable it is to supplement this investment, which requires time and insights, with additional financial resources.
- Make sure that your expert insights are relevant, new, and determine which audience they are suitable for. This will help you select the appropriate channel.
- Avoid presenting yourself as an all-knowing expert and be sincere.
- Share your expert observations and thoughts on your own social channels consistently.
- Avoid presenting expert insights as news.
- Prioritize communication with reachable audiences and journalists interested in specific topics. Prepare a press release only in the case of sharing an outstanding opinion on the most prominent or controversial topic that’s at the center of attention of the general public.