Archive for the ‘reputation’ Category

Being a Thought Leader is a Full Time Job

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Much of what we do in PR is positioning our clients as thought leaders in their area of specialty. But becoming a member of the “who’s who” club is more than just leadership positioning activities, such as speaking engagements, panel participation and writing op/eds. Being a thought leader is a way of life, and if you want to be seen as one, you need to act like a thought leader all the time. Here are a few things that we have recommended to clients who want to become thought leaders in their space:

  • Identify other thought leaders. Hopefully you already know who these people are, but if you don’t, do some homework. Find people who have their finger on the pulse of the industry, are speaking at conferences, are being quoted in articles and (if they are participating in social media) have a Twitter following. Once you know who they are, follow what they are saying. What trends are they discussing and what are their opinions?
  • Rub elbows with other thought leaders if you want to be one. Take advantage of social media platforms like Linked In to introduce yourself, or begin following and interacting with thought leaders on Twitter. Go to conferences that the “in crowd” is attending. There is significant value in attendance, particularly at high-impact, specialty conferences that focus on the future of the industry, such as Health 2.0, even if you aren’t presenting.
  • Develop a platform such as a “fireside chat” conference session where you lead a discussion about a relevant and juicy topic with additional thought leaders on stage. The combined reputation equity of several thought leaders can be a big draw, bringing people to listen to you share your ideas.
  • Have an intelligent, well-formed opinion, and be provocative. Don’t jump on the bandwagon and opine about only trendy topics or simply agree with others. Say something different or controversial. Pull out your crystal ball and predict what trends are coming and the impact those trends may have on the space.
  • True thought leaders—those who are the drivers of change—have a large sphere of influence that is only gained through good networking. That doesn’t mean just knowing a lot of people. That means having meaningful relationships with a lot of people through ongoing interactions. You will find that as you continue to interact in intelligent and thoughtful ways, people will take notice of what you are saying and will begin seeing you as a thought leader too.
  • Most importantly, BE GENUINE! People can spot a phony from a mile away, and if you are just going through the motions, you won’t be seen as a thought leader because people won’t trust what you have to say.

Heidi Chokeir is an account director at Canale Communications and can be reached at

Sequence of Events Positions a Company

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Carolyn Hawley

Carolyn Hawley of CanaleComm helps her son sew a pillow for seniors at the Annual Carlsbad Day of Giving Back event.

Last week provided an excellent example of a mosaic approach to corporate positioning.  Our client Life Technologies’ story is multifaceted: the company is the leading provider of tools and services for life sciences research, and their products are used for a variety of applications, ranging from molecular medicine, forensics, and food and water testing to name just a few. Their products and healthy stock price drive the primary conversations that contribute to their positioning, but there are other sides to the company that are equally important in shaping its reputation.

Last week, Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier and several Life Technologies executives participated in a conference hosted by the J. Craig Venter Institute and Nature held on the anniversary of the publications of the human genome sequence in 2001.  Greg joined a panel discussion with Dr. Venter, Desmond Tutu and Nobel laureates to look forward to the promises of human genomics for the next ten years. Engaged in scientific discussions, the Life Technologies staff was in their element as visionaries for the path of where their company’s technologies can impact the human condition.

The next day, we saw a completely different side of the company. Their community affairs team spearheaded the first Annual Carlsbad Day of Giving Back. Employees, volunteers from local business and kids enjoying a school holiday converged in a giant vacant manufacturing space on the company’s campus. We planted mobile vegetable gardens, sewed pillows for home-bound seniors, created festive bags used to deliver food to the hungry, and talked with children about the values of volunteerism. Greg Lucier shared the stage with Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall and families had their pictures taken with Life’s colorful new mascot, the Giving Gene. It was a terrific event for Life to bring the community together, demonstrate its leadership as a good corporate citizen and show everyone how much fun it is to work there.

In a matter of days, we saw two very different sides of Life Technologies. When you combine them with all the other facets of its identity, we come away with a very rich picture of the company.

Pam Lord is a senior vice president at Canale Communications and can be reached at

Clearity Foundation Wants to Outrun Ovarian Cancer

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Clearity Half MarathonSeveral industry colleagues and friends ran Sunday’s America’s Finest City Half Marathon and 5K to raise funds and awareness for The Clearity Foundation. The Clearity Foundation is improving the care of ovarian cancer patients by providing comprehensive molecular profiling to all patients, regardless of where they are treated or their ability to pay. Clearity is on a quest to apply the knowledge of the genetic signature of ovarian cancers to improve treatment options for patients. Clearity Founder Laura Shawver’s own experience inspires her mission: Read more in this San Diego Union-Tribune article. Laura (center of photo) and Adam Kittlaus ran the 13-miler that ended in San Diego’s Balboa Park; they deserve the bling around their necks! Pam Lord (right) cheered them on. Clearity supporters and runners raised more than $25,000 – way to go! Learn more about The Clearity Foundation and how you can get involved here.

Pam Lord is a senior vice president at Canale Communications and can be reached at