Unleash the Power Within: How Subject Matter Experts Can Turbo Charge Your PR & Marketing 

  • Published: 21 March 2024,
  • The Say Team

In today’s increasingly competitive tech landscape, differentiation remains paramount. And whilst companies crave to be considered opinion formers to differentiate themselves from competitors, they frequently overlook the goldmines right under their noses: subject matter experts (SMEs). Authentic voices who understand your business and sectors from the inside out hold the key to establishing your brand as an industry authority, i.e., a thought leader. 

Meet Your Secret Weapon: The True SME   

You may believe that a VP is best placed to be your spokesperson. That may well be true but is often not the case.   

Contrary to popular belief, and an incredibly important point to note – SMEs are not & do not necessarily need to be ring-fenced to the C-suite or senior management team.  They in fact reside across many departments – R&D, product, engineering & beyond. There’s real value in looking to those who work full time in the business, not on the business as they’re often closer to your audience.  

Whilst your obvious choice may be highly qualified, a serial industry blogger or the company’s resident “go-to guru” – knowledge alone is just not enough. Ideal SMEs are enthusiastic & confident in sharing their expertise, in no way self-serving & willing to dedicate time to supporting the marketing function. 

5 Ways SMEs Can Become Your Marketing Champions 

The ultimate goal? Thought leadership. So, having surfaced your best SMEs, you need to start to position them as authoritative opinion formers. Not only will this help elevate your brand, additionally it will empower them to build their personal brands. Word of warning, set parameters they need to work within so they remain on message and do not go off-piste. As marketers you are their guardian & wingman. 

Here’s how: 

1. Content Kings & Queens

SMEs have the knowledge, insight & opinions for thought leadership articles that tackle current trends & challenges. 

Should your SME wish to write their own content, rather than briefing you to originate content on their behalf, ensure you edit (i.e., it’s succinct, on message, doesn’t make any false claims & typo free) & gain their final approval prior to submission. 

2. Podcast Performers

For confident, speakers tap into their knowledge through podcasts, providing an engaging platform for further expertise-sharing. Podcasts that feature guests need insightful voices to keep things fresh and bring their content to life. 

3. Speaker Slayer 

Pitch your SMEs as speakers & panellists at industry events. Leverage their background (degrees, research posts, books written, speaker engagements) to secure such opportunities. 

4. Media Mavens

Journalists are hungry for expert voices. SMEs can provide valuable perspectives & quotable insights. However, ensure they are media trained before letting them lose. Whenever possible have your PR accompany them on any journalist briefing so they can steer the conversation – keeping them on message & making sure they don’t get derailed or led down any blind alleys by the journalist. Prep them in advance by providing them with insight regarding the journalist & topic. Deal with any follow-up intel & ensure there are tangible outcomes. 

5. Social Media Savvy

Regular participation in industry discussions allows SMEs to share knowledge & connect with potential customers. Remember, 75% of B2B buyers leverage social media in their buying decisions. 

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