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BLOGThe Traditional Media Thought Leadership Test

by Randall CraigFiled in: Make It Happen Tipsheet, Blog, Career Planning, Media, Thought Leadership, TrustTagged as:

Not everyone is on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and the other myriad social media sites. And influence doesn’t start – or stop — on these platforms either.

The Traditional Media Thought Leadership Test

One of today’s mistaken beliefs is that traditional media (e.g. TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines) have no value. While it is true that they have lost readers and viewers, and that without their audiences, that ad revenues have also continued to slide. For most people, traditional media still has both authority and credibility.

Their reporters are trained professionals. There are editors and producers who vet each story. And often, fact-checkers to validate claims. They have a history, and a reputation, that has been built over decades. And they hew to a code of ethics and a higher standard of integrity.

So while many people see influence being the domain of social media and social media influencers, this is just not true: the “original” influencers were those who appeared on TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines.

And while appearing in traditional media is not the sole determinant of thought leadership, it has a cachet that is powerful. But just appearing is not enough: how strong is the profile? Here are four questions:

Longevity: Over how many years has this person been quoted?

The frequency of mention: Weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.

The type of mention: A quote, profile piece, an op-ed, or a column.

Target media quality: What is the cachet of the publication or program? And the readership/viewership?


It is exceptionally difficult to develop a media profile, not just because you must be considered an expert in your field, but because you must have media skills, notably the ability to answer questions in thoughtful sound-bites. This week, commit to upgrading these skills with formal media training or coaching. And if you’re looking for something else to do, upgrade your performance on each of the above four dimensions: improve your longevity, frequency, type of mention, and target media quality.

Media relations insight: Reporters are always on deadline. This means returning their queries immediately, answering their questions that qualify you as a source, and then doing a great job in the interview.

Related Post: Try the next Thought Leadership test: The Longevity Thought Leadership Test

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