Released: October 2012

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WPP Atticus Award


#THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet is the winner of a 2012 WPP Atticus Award for Merit in the Public Relations and Public Affairs category!


Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeff Ernst, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Introduction: What Is Thought Leadership?
Section I: What Does It Take to Become a Thought Leader?
Section II: What Impact Do You Want This Campaign to Achieve?
Section III: How Will You Know You’ve Succeeded?
Section IV: What Space Has Already Been Claimed?
Section V: What Will Be Your Unique Point of View?
Section VI: What’s Your Communication Strategy?
Section VII: What Are the Next Steps?
Appendix: How to Successfully Execute Your Thought Leadership Point of View

For a list of all the references used within the book, click here:



#8: A hallmark of true thought leadership is the confidence to take the route that 99.9 percent of industry experts don’t even see. Will you?

#31: Thought leaders imagine a desired outcome then ask what has to happen to achieve it. They play “what if?” backwards. Do you?

#85: Thought leaders ask “why?” a lot more than “what?” or “how?” Are you asking the right questions at the start?

#101: The creators of your thought leadership aren’t necessarily the right ones to communicate it. How will you handle this?

#137: How has your thought leadership campaign gone so far? What has it done for your brand? What measures support the anecdotal evidence?


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140 Prompts for Designing and Executing an Effective Thought Leadership Campaign

by Liz Alexander, PhD
and Craig Badings

Foreword by Jeff Ernst, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

Thought leaders advance the marketplace of ideas by proposing actionable, commercially relevant, research-backed, new points of view. They engage in and showcase innovative thinking as opposed to churning out product-focused, brand-centric white papers, or “curated” content that mimics others’ ideas.

But while individual thought leaders are in plentiful supply (at least, those who self-identify as such), many organizations struggle to establish their thought leadership approach. If you recognize the importance of differentiating yourself to clients by offering compelling points of view that are intriguing, innovative, inspiring—and wholly relevant to them—this book is for you.

Authors Dr. Liz Alexander and Craig Badings, who have more than 50 years of consulting experience between them, have devised a series of questions that will provoke you to consider all the elements necessary to execute a successful organizational thought leadership campaign. The authors have done the preliminary thinking for you so that your organization can better leverage your value in your industry.

This book takes a different approach to many who see thought leadership as part of a short-term product marketing, advertising, or PR strategy. It will ensure that you embed thought leadership across the entire organization and centralize it as part of your client-centric culture.

Many organizations are squandering time, money, and effort on initiatives that do not move the needle in terms of establishing a differentiated brand identity, deep trust, and loyal followership. Arm yourself with this small yet immensely powerful book and that will no longer be something you have to worry about.

#THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet is part of the THiNKaha series whose slim, easy-to-read-and-absorb books contain 140 thought-provoking and actionable quotes (tweets/ahas).

Want a branded edition of #THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet Book01 for your company?

Read about the AHAthat



“This book echoes my view that people don’t care about products! Thought leadership engages buyers about what matters to them, not your ego.”

– David Meerman Scott, Bestselling Author, The New Rules of Marketing and PR

“An excellent guide; using Twitter to show how thought leadership should be done, written by two leading experts in the field.”

– Dr. Fiona Czerniawska, Co-founder, Source for Consulting

“If Confucius was a marketer, he would be tweeting proverbs like Alexander & Badings do on thought leadership.”

– Dale Bryce, Group Manager, Marketing, Sinclair Knight Merz

“This book is thought haiku. It asks penetrating questions about the how, why, and what of leveraging the biggest B2B marketing idea around.”

– Matt Church, Founder, Thought Leaders Global

“Everyone wants to be a thought leader today, but can they? #THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet delivers a concise overview of what it really takes.”

– Eric Wittlake, Senior Director of Media, Babcock & Jenkins, Inc.

“Chock-full of tidbits that spark ideas for pursuing thought leadership! If thought leadership is one of your spear points, carry this book with you at all times.”

– Mignon van Halderen, Assistant Professor, Corporate Communication, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Holland

“Unique, insightful take on thought leadership done in true Twitter style with 140 characters or less.”

– Erica Levy Klein, Thought Leadership Writer and Content Strategist

“Provides excellent advice for navigating through the advantages and pitfalls of thought leadership campaigning. Original and informative!”

– Marte Semb Aasmundsen, MSc Strategic Public Relations and Communication Management

About the Authors


Liz Alexander, PhD
Liz Alexander, PhD


Dr. Liz Alexander‘s (@DrLizAlexander) gift and passion is helping to leverage an individual, team, or organization’s thought leadership, using the book development process as a catalyst. Liz draws on her 25 years of experience as an international business journalist, broadcaster, marketer, educator, and consultant to help corporate executives and other experts produce critically and commercially successful thought leadership books. She has had a distinguished career in the UK as a speaker and workshop facilitator, working with clients ranging from Cathay Pacific Airways to the British Government’s Appeals Service. She also works part of the year with aspiring business authors in India.

Liz is the author of over a dozen nonfiction books that have reached close to a million readers in 20 countries worldwide. In addition to consulting, coaching, and speaking throughout the United States and India, Liz develops and teaches courses on strategic communications for The University of Texas at Austin’s Professional Development Center. She earned her PhD in Educational Psychology from UT Austin. She can be reached at

Craig Badings
Craig Badings

Craig Badings is passionate about thought leadership, having witnessed firsthand the power this strategy can deliver to brands and individuals. He has spent 25 years consulting to global and local brands about their communication and thought leadership strategies. Today, he speaks and consults on how companies and individuals can employ thought leadership to truly differentiate their brand in the eyes of their target audience.

Over the past six years Craig has conducted intense research on thought leadership and has written extensively on the topic. His book, Brand Stand: Seven Steps to Thought Leadership, is the first thought leadership book to outline a methodology on how to arrive at a thought leadership position.

Craig believes the traditional way of selling has been replaced by content. Facilitated by the “always on” nature of the web, consumers/clients have changed the way they source information on products and services before deciding to purchase. The trust necessary to move forward with purchasing can be determined by quality, thought leading content.

Craig Badings is a partner at SenateSHJ. He has spent years researching, writing and consulting about thought leadership, what it is, what it isn’t and has evolved a methodology for arriving at a strategic thought leadership point of view and taking it to market. Follow his thought leadership blog at or on twitter @thoughtstrategy or email him on