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CEO Communication Audit - Rod Jones, CEO at Navitas

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A detailed CEO communication audit prepared for Rod Jones, CEO at Navitas

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CEO Communication Audit - Rod Jones, CEO at Navitas

  2. 2. The roadmap 1. CEO communications audit (this document) 2. Thought leadership strategy 3. Supported CEO blogging ‘Build a comprehensive plan’ •  Get started with a comprehensive review and plan for success. •  Built on detailed stakeholder interviews, internal workshops and detailed analytics review. •  Findings presented in 90 page report with detailed analysis, review and implementation recommendations. ‘Implement and measure’ •  Put strategy into action with our thought leadership content creation service. •  Turnkey content delivery – we turn a one hour video interview into a month of content (five video supported articles), Saving you at least 24 hours of writing time each month. •  Options to build the presence of your CEO and other executives within your business. ‘Identify the opportunities’ •  This audit presents an introduction to CEO thought leadership strategy. •  We’ve conducted a desktop review of strengths, weaknesses and potential positioning for thought leadership. •  Includes individual communications performance and benchmarks against a group key competitors. 2 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  3. 3. Introduction and overview This audit is a holistic review of CEO communication – assessing both current performance and opportunities to build thought leadership. We cover six areas: Note: This is a desktop audit and subject to customer validation Thought leadership is most valuable when you have complete alignment between you and your stakeholders. Where possible, we’ve integrated the voice of the customer into this assessment from publicly available sources (i.e. testimonials, analyst reports). Our experience shows that this desktop assessment is accurate to an approximate 80% confidence interval. It is strongly recommended that this audit be validated through customer interviews before taking any next steps (see page 28). Validated strategy 1. Current awareness and positioning • Benchmarking you vs. comparable organisations and leaders for current awareness (and brand vs. CEO awareness) 2. Thought leadership fundamentals • Assessing recent CEO communications for thought leadership fundamentals (interest, trust and visibility), and make any key recommendations 3. The CEO and company narrative • Introducing narrative, and assessing Navitas’ current narrative as communicated to market 4. Stakeholder review and prioritisation • Prioritising Navitas’ different audience groups for any CEO communication 5. Topic prioritisation • Defining broad theme/topic prioritisation based on audience group prioritisation 6. Content analysis and recommendations • Making recommendations as to the tone and style of thought leadership content to be delivered by Rod Jones to achieve best results 3 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION What you say about you What stakeholders say about you
  4. 4. Brand/CEO awareness and maturity 4 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Navitas Rod Jones Earlystage Industryawareness Brand and CEO awareness Assessing the performance of CEO communications depends on the stage of the company and existing public profile. The right communications strategy, and performance metrics depend on the existing profile of the brand and individual. For example, the right strategy for the CEO of an early stage business is dramatically different to the right strategy for a business that has already achieved broad industry awareness. HighLow Generalmarketawareness HighLow CEO - High industry awareness Company – Low general market awareness
  5. 5. 5 1. Current awareness and positioning DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  6. 6. Where is Rod Jones most commonly positioned at present? 6 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION On this slide, we’re looking to see how a broad set of your stakeholders think about and position Rod Jones. On the left, we’ve visualised individuals who feature alongside Rod in prominent press articles. Larger bubbles represent more frequent mentions alongside Rod. The group is relatively diverse, with vice- chancellors, entrepreneurs and analysts all represented. The lack of definite peers, and the dual focus (education, entrepreneurship) is a great starting point, and opens up a large number of options for thought leadership. Source: Google News Archives, Top 50 results (see page 30)
  7. 7. Where is Navitas most commonly positioned at present? 7 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Source: Google News Archives, Top 50 results (see page 30) On this slide, we’re looking to see how a broad set of your stakeholders think about and position Navitas. On the left, we’ve visualised organisations who feature alongside Navitas in prominent press articles. Larger bubbles represent more frequent mentions alongside Navitas. Universities are by far the most frequently associated organisation – with the issues at Macquarie capturing much attention. From a broad stakeholder perspective, universities are the most logical comparable organisation for Navitas.
  8. 8. (64%, 100%) As a result, we’re benchmarking the following comparables Brian SchmidtMichael Spence Glyn DavisRod Jones Relative CEO and brand awareness: Internal metrics LTM revenue: $1.0bn Valuation: $1.82bn Students / Employees: 80,000+ / 7,100 External metrics Search volume (Brand) 31% Search volume (CEO): 0% Alexa rank: 85,234 Internal metrics LTM revenue: $2.0bn Valuation: na Students / Employees: 52,789 / 5,350 Internal metrics LTM revenue: $2.1bn Valuation: na Students / Employees: 45,411 / 4,068 Internal metrics LTM revenue: $1.2bn Valuation: na Students / Employees: 20,892 / 3,753 External metrics Search volume (Brand) 100% Search volume (CEO): 28% Alexa rank: 8,362 External metrics Search volume (Brand) 80%$ Search volume (CEO): 56% Alexa rank: 7,354 External metrics Search volume (Brand) 64% Search volume (CEO): 100% Alexa rank: 12,651 50% 75% 100%25%0% 0% 50% 100% 75% 25% Brand presence CEO presence (100%, 28%) (80%, 56%) (31%, 0%) CEO centric Risks around succession and long-term awareness Brand centric Not humanised, risks around trust, •  This chart benchmarks relative awareness for both brand and individual CEO •  All numbers are Google search volumes for “Organisation” and “CEO name”. 100% represents maximum search volume for any term over last 12 months. Source: Annual reports, Google Trends, Alexa We’re benchmarking the following comparables: 8 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  9. 9. 9 2. Thought leadership fundamentals DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  10. 10. Great CEO communicators are trusted, interesting and visible 3. Visible 1. Interesting 2. Trusted 2. Trusted Signals we look for: •  Shows appropriate vulnerability •  Individually relatable •  Consistently communicates the same narrative over time •  Connected to society as a whole, not just the business •  Has a clear purpose See page 14 for a relative assessment 1. Interesting Signals we look for: •  Human first •  Talks with full range of emotions •  Tells stories •  Short messages, consistent long- term narratives •  Talks about the future •  Appropriate mix of crazy and inevitability •  Avoids robo-speak / corporate language See page 12 for a relative assessment 3. Visible Signals we look for: •  Is accessible across a range of platforms •  Addresses multiple audiences •  Has public views on corporate, industry and societal issues •  Regularly quoted by third parties See page 13 for a relative assessment Interesting and visible is a trap that many politicians and CEOs fall into. It’s relatively easy to build this position with strong reactionary positions. Whilst this positioning does lead to airtime and profile, it leads to very little influence and action because there’s no underlying foundation of trust. Trusted and visible is a position that’s hard to achieve without substantial conferred status and trust (i.e. the position of Governor General). Anyone with this positioning will always achieve stronger communications performance by being more interesting. It has never been more important to get the right balance of interest and trust. Old media PR strategies typically focused excessively on interest factors, which translate poorly in an always on, authenticity driven new media environment 10 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  11. 11. Content examples we’ve analysed in depth 11 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION As a basis for this audit we’ve picked five typical market facing communications featuring or authored by Rod. This analysis is our basis for understanding current CEO communications to stakeholders (including story, narrative and style) The content we’re using in this audit: •  Price caps in VET policy would undermine innovation agenda - Rod Jones •  26 October 2016 •  https://www.navitas.com/ organisation/story/382 •  Celebrating National Skills Week - Rod Jones •  2 September 2016 •  https://www.navitas.com/ organisation/story/372 •  There is more to the economy than rocks - Rod Jones •  25 June 2015 •  https://info.thewest.com.au/ westadvertising/feature/ 20150625/downloads/ feature.pdf •  Commsec Executive Series 3 Aug 16: Navitas (NVT) CEO, Rod Jones •  27 November 2013 •  https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=8rXLrMjoJRY •  Sky News - Navitas CEO Rod Jones •  21 April 2015 •  https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=iWRRWPaAax0
  12. 12. How Rod performs on the interest benchmark Human first: Talks with full range of emotions: Tells stories: Short messages, consistent long-term narratives: Appropriate mix of crazy and inevitability: Avoids robo-speak / corporate language: Communicates concisely, on consistent topics. Evidence of long-term narrative. Evidence of your personal values and beliefs. Talking about your personal life, sharing and celebrating special events. Regular evidence of communication with a full range of emotions. Communicates through stories, not messages. Strategic content that is equal parts crazy and inevitable. Takes strong opinions. Talks in simple, conversational language. Talks about the future 2 1 3 1 2 3 15 (46%)Total score: (/28) Talks strategically. Does not only communicate on a reactive basis. How each factor builds interest: In a social media era, it’s expected that all opinions can be condensed to 140 characters. The length of story is shorter than ever. But those messages must sit inside consistent long term narratives – otherwise the messages will come off as shallow, short term and un- coordinated. As humans we’re built to be interested in humans first. Whatever your job, role or company, humans are most interested in human stories. As a result, it’s important to communicate as a human first. Before you’re a CEO, you have to show that you’re a real person, just like your audience. Humans respond to stories that engage them on an emotional level. Communicators that highlight appropriate emotions will always outperform dry corporate communication. Talking with a full range of emotions doesn’t mean consistently “happy”, “sad” or “angry” – rather expressing emotions on the extreme end of the spectrum as appropriate. People have always communicated through stories, rather than repeating messages or sound bytes. Today’s stakeholders are suspicious of corporate messages that are increasingly dry and fail to capture the imagination. Communicating through stories ensures memorability and action. The most interesting thought leadership content balances equal parts crazy and inevitability. As a thought leader, you're speaking about ideas that are dramatically different to current "best practice". This means that there's always a risk that you'll be perceived as somewhat 'crazy’. You can mitigate this risk by positioning your ideas as the inevitable future - whether the reader/listener accepts this or not. All stakeholders have become increasingly suspicious of “corporate speak”. CEOs must communicate in simple and conversational language that builds a human connection and rapport with all their audience. Buzz words and corporate speak do nothing but drive disengagement. Today’s stakeholder is suspicious. To be a leader you must set direction for the future. Thought leadership is about moving beyond the reactionary day-to-day… instead focusing more on a long term agenda for the future. For the company, the industry and society as a whole. What we’re looking for: Consistently Regularly Occasionally Rarely 4 3 2 1 Source: Benchmarked on basis of publically available articles and reports. 12 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Narrative is consistent, well structured and generally well used. The narrative addresses and responds well to the Macquarie loss. Rare to find mentions of personal passions and values, although occasionally alluded to. Very unflappable – which has served well through the Macquarie loss. However the narrow scope of emotion/excitement communicated will hurt perceived growth prospects. Very rare use of stories across the benchmarked content (though you always feel that they’re sitting underneath the surface). Strong opinions are rare in Rod’s content – as a result the vision of the future isn’t compelling. Highly variable – great on video, but not strong in written communication. Regularly looks forward, but the topics aren’t engaging. Big opportunities to drive engagement here Assessment: 1
  13. 13. 2 3 3 2 1 How Rod performs on the trust benchmark Shows appropriate vulnerability: Communication that shows appropriate vulnerability (failures, mistakes and shortcomings in the context of your current success). Individually relatable: Connected to society as a whole, not just the business: Has a clear purpose: Consistently communicates the same narrative over time: Source: Benchmarked on basis of publically available articles and reports. Consistent messaging, stories and narratives over the medium to long term. Does the audience feel like they know you as a person? Do they understand and empathise with your passions, wants and flaws? Do you talk with your audience or down to your audience? Discussing issues bigger than the business (whether industry, societal or personal). Strong and believable individual purpose. 11 (55%)Total score: (/24) Content that shows you're vulnerable strengthens your credibility and signals that you’re both genuine and honest. Both of these signals lead to trust. If you’re willing to share your failures, mistakes and shortcomings, it makes it easier for any audience to connect with you and trust what you’re saying. Consistency is critical for building trust. In the same way that we don’t trust people that we’ve just met, we don’t trust narratives that we’ve just heard. It takes time and repetition to build trust. This is established through consistently communicating the same narrative over an extended period of time. Whilst your messages and stories can change over time, these should stay inside a consistent overarching roadmap to build trust (this is your narrative). Trust is built on a foundation of individual likeability. We like people who we can easily relate to. Relatability can be easily measured by asking questions such as “Would you like to have a beer with this person? Or “Would you invite this person round for dinner?” Focusing on issues bigger than just the business helps stakeholder trust. It improves relatability by demonstrating alignment of interests - you’re motivated by the greater good (for employees, the industry, society). Talking about issues beyond the business makes it much easier for stakeholders to find points of agreement and alignment with you as the CEO. Many stakeholders are sceptical of CEOs as being excessively profit motivated. Having a clearly stated and believable purpose makes your motivation clear to all stakeholders. This purpose needs to be simple and a “higher calling” to be believable. If this purpose isn’t contextually coherent with the CEO and company’s actions, then it can appear duplicitous and damage trust (rather than improve it). How each factor builds trust:What we’re looking for: Consistently Regularly Occasionally Rarely 4 3 2 1 13 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Rare. Definite opportunities to demonstrate more authenticity – thus building trust. Should be done in the context of current success. Relatively strong. The Macquarie loss seems to have forced tight messaging around future growth and prospects, and this has been broadly understood. Opportunity for more focus on longer term narrative. Great on video, but poor in writing. Simple easy language used on camera and in interview. More emotions and stories will help substantially. Evidence of a strong passion for national education policy issues. However the opinion pieces tend to be dry and not compelling. Variable – When Rod talks about the foundations of Navitas the purpose seems clear. But this appears disconnected to discussions of current performance and future directions. Needs review and consolidation. Assessment
  14. 14. How Rod performs on the visibility benchmark Is accessible across a range of platforms: Addresses multiple audiences: Has public views on corporate, industry and societal issues: Regularly quoted by third parties: Investors and government stakeholders seem well covered. Opportunities to do more to communicate to prospective partners, employees Regularly quoted in company and entrepreneurial coverage – but not frequently in educational thought leadership. Press is well covered, but hard to find any regular engagement across social. Blog, LinkedIn and Twitter may be relevant opportunities. Strong views around the future of education and the country. 10 (35%) Search volume: (score /10) 2 4 2 0 2 Total score (/26) Current low visibility relative to comparables (see page [ ]) Presents your expertise across a broad range of issues. Shows custom understanding and perspectives related to the issues of each stakeholder group. Visibility is substantially driven by how others talk about you. We’re looking for evidence that you’re regularly treated as an authority in your space. In an increasingly fragmented media environment, consistent presence across multiple channels increases visibility and provides proof of authenticity. Stakeholders expect a CEO to communicate through a range of channels (not just press releases). For both visibility and trust the CEO must engage the full spectrum of corporate, industry and societal issues. Speaking across a broader range of issues increases the number of opportunities for you to appear, and for your audience to see you. Ultimately, the best predictor of future visibility is current visibility. The more visible you currently are, the more opportunities for future visibility will present themselves. How each factor builds visibility:Assessment: Source: Benchmarked on basis of publically available articles and reports. Consistently Regularly Occasionally Rarely 4 3 2 1 14 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Addressing a broad range of stakeholder groups including customers, employees, investors, NGOs and government. Regular quotes by third parties show that you’re providing interesting and relevant commentary on topics that media and influencers find interesting. Authentic communication across multiple channels of communication including press, owned media, events/conferences and social media. Communicates on across a full range of business, industry and societal issues. In this case we’re measuring current visibility relatively, through Google Trends search results. What we’re looking for: 2
  15. 15. 15 3. The CEO and company narrative DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  16. 16. What is a CEO narrative (and why does it matter)? Difference Purpose FuturePast Narrative What’s the difference between messaging and narrative? Messaging •  Emphasises key messages that are used repetitively through all communications •  Messages tend to be rote delivered and have low ability to respond to context •  Can sound scripted Narrative •  Emphasises an underlying story that’s used repetitively through all communications •  A narrative is flexible and adapts to the context •  Easily remembered •  Sounds authentic Your individual narrative should build on the strengths and differentiators of the business. It must be intellectually aligned but individually unique and meaningful. 16 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Thought leadership and all CEO communication is grounded on a strong narrative. A narrative combines your past, future, difference and purpose into a short and compelling framework to guide all your communication.
  17. 17. Identifying ways to strengthen Rod’s CEO narrative Past Key narrative questions: 1.  Where has the company come from? 2.  What was the problem the company set out to solve? 3.  How has your journey shaped you and the company today? Purpose Key narrative questions: 1.  Why is the CEO driven to make this company succeed? 2.  What is the company’s purpose? 3.  What values differentiate the company and its culture? 4.  What are your obsessions? Difference Key narrative questions 1.  How is Rod meaningfully different to other CEOs in the competitive set? 2.  What do customers uniquely love about the business? 3.  What opportunities are open to Rod and Navitas as a result of the positioning of competitive set? Future Key narrative questions: 1.  Where is the company going in the future? 2.  What’s the publically stated direction of the company? 3.  What’s the world changing ambition or goal of the company? 4.  How is the unique future that Navitas is creating meaningfully different from the competitive set? Key company and market commentary: “International students aren’t universities core business” - Sky News, Apr 2015 “it had nothing to do with academic ability, it was everything to do with all the transitional issues they face. The way they were being dumped into classrooms they just weren’t succeeding. It was about establishing a new model to meet the needs and requirements of these students ” -  Sky News, Apr 2015 “The time was right, universities were becoming uncomfortable with the failure rates of international students and weren’t sure how to deal with it.” - Sky News, Apr 2015 “We’ll move in a direction where universities are far more global. It probably means that if universities can’t change, they won’t survive” - PIE News, Feb 2015 Key company and market commentary: “Universities will have to move to a very much blended approach, technology is driving all this and the technology is getting better and better every day…I can see a future of virtual classrooms where you can be anywhere in the world” - PIE News, Feb 2015 “Education is ripe for disruption... We recognise the importance of technology within education. A lot of work is going in to making sure we’re well placed to take advantage of new technologies and courses that are going to come into play” = Commsec Executive Series, Aug 2016 “We’ll move towards a global education, where students won’t necessarily pick up all of their degree from one university. They’ll be able to select different parts of a qualification from anywhere in a world.” - PIE News, Feb 2015 “Life is changing in education, we’ve had a 20 year good run of very significant growth…we’re taking the company and repositioining it so it remains relevant into the future.” = Commsec Executive Series, Aug 2016 Key company and market commentary: “The company grew out of a recognition about 20 years ago that international students coming into Australia were struggling and were not succeeding at university” - Sky News, Apr 2015 “Few international students seemed to be able to successfully transition between where they’d come from and where they wanted to be” -- PIE News, Feb 2015 “It has been a tough year, we’ve had 12 months or so of having to wash out the contracts. But the underlying business has been pretty strong, and has offset the loss of Macquarie” = Commsec Executive Series, Aug 2016 “We took the first year content, taught the same content, but in a way that met the needs and requirements of the students.” - Sky News, Apr 2015 Key company and market commentary: “Let’s make sure we set Australians up for the best chance of success by developing and valuing their skills through a strong VET sector in this country….It’s something we at Navitas are committed to, and will continue to strive for.” - Celebrating National Skills Week, Sep 2016 “Our role has always been to transition students across into the university environment” - PIE News, Feb 2015 “We’re involved with international students, bringing them in, putting them into programs, transitioning them into university studies..” = Commsec Executive Series, Aug 2016 “Our capacity is to find students and provide a bridge between where ever they are and the university environment” - PIE News, Feb 2015 17 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Rod’s narrative is strong and clearly defined with respect to where Navitas has come from, and how the business is different. Purpose can occasionally be contradictory with future, and both could be strengthened and consolidated.
  18. 18. 18 4. Stakeholder review and prioritisation DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  19. 19. What are the key audience groups for all CEO communication? 1. Partners •  Engaging potential and current partners. Given partnerships are built on trust, it makes sense for the CEO to leverage a digital platform to reinforce build relationships/ dialogue and reinforce commitment to key partners 2. Employees •  Targeting potential and existing employees. Builds trust and alignment. •  Most relevant where there is a large recruiting requirement from a relatively small or unknown organisation. 3. Investors •  Targets existing and potential investors. Most relevant in public markets – however there is relevance ahead of fundraising events to build awareness and demonstrate traction. 4. Regulators •  Targets regulators and their stakeholders. •  Companies facing specific regulatory challenges. Whilst the end target is regulators, an approach here may focus on the general public or other stakeholders. 5. Industry influencers •  Targeting industry analysts and thought leaders. •  Designed to translate to recognition in ‘industry leader’ lists, speaking at conferences and front of mind recognition. The next page presents an audience prioritisation analysis for Rod Jones… There’s five broad audience groups that CEOs must engage through communication. The relevance and prioritisation of each audience group depends on both industry and company stage: 19 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  20. 20. What are the key audience groups for Rod Jones and Navitas? Industry Influencers Analysts - Total score: Low priority moderate priority high priority Highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Regulators/Government Investors Employees Partners None/Low Analyst reports have some influence Many/most read analyst reports 1. Influence of analysts on customer/partner behaviour? 0 5 10 Leading player Emerging player New entrant 2. Current industry positioning? 5 10 15 Regulators - Total score: low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Low Medium High 1. Risk of medium term changes in industry based regulations or requirements? 0 5 10 Insignificant/ Low Moderate Substantial 2. Current impact of industry or company specific compliance/ regulation on profitability? 0 5 10 No external capital Bank/ debt Private equity 1. Sources of capital? 0 1 2 0-10 10-100 100+ 2. Number of investors? 0 5 10 Venture capital 5 Public markets 10 3. Liquidity of investment? Unlikely Possible Highly likely 1. Additional capital requirement over next 24 months? 0 5 10 Short term Medium term Long term 0 5 10 2. Investment time horizon? Simple Moderate Difficult 0 5 10 3. Complexity of investment case? low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Potential investors – Total score: Negligible Low 2. Risk of partner churn? 0 5 low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Potential customers - Total score: 1. Typical time to close? 1 2-5 5-20 2. Number of internal stakeholders? 5 10 10 Non-exclusive Exclusive 3. Nature of partner relationship? 0 10 20+ 10 0-3 months 3-12 months 12 months+ 3 5 10 1. Size of organisation Low Moderate High 2. Level of industry and organisational change 0 5 10 3. Average employee engagement? Extreme 20 0-30 30-100 100-500 0 2 5 500-1000 10 1000+ 20 Consistently high Moderate Variable 0 3 5 Low 10 0-3% 3-10% 10-30% 1. Forecast employee growth over next 12 months? 0 3 10 Low Moderate High 0 5 10 2. Competitiveness in target talent markets? 30%+ 20 Current partners Potential partners Current Employees Potential employeesPotential investors Current investors Low Moderate High 0 3 5 low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Current customers - Total score: Current Partners Potential Partners Current employees Potential employees Current investors Potential investors Highestpriority Highpriority Moderatepriority Lowpriority Highestpriority Moderatepriority Lowpriority Highpriority Industry influencers Regulators low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Current employees – Total score: low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Current investors – Total score: 0 low priority moderate priority high priority highest priority 0-5 5-10 10-20 20+ Potential employees – Total score: 20 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION 0-20% 20-40% 40%+ 1. Percentage of current revenue delivered through partners? 5 10 15 Moderate 10
  21. 21. 21 5. Theme/topic prioritisation DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  22. 22. What are the themes that CEOs should communicate on? Customer– Current Customer- Potential Employee– Current Employee- Potential Investor– Current Investor- Potential Regulators/ Government Analyst/ Influencer Priority for Rod Jones High Highest High Highest Low High Low Highest Proportional allocation for Rod Jones: 13% 18% 18% 8% 18% 8% 13% 3% 1. Product/service level • 1A. Customer problems and benefits • 1B. Highlighting customer success / case studies • 1C. Key customer problems • 1D. Product direction / launching new products and services • 1E. Differences vs. competition • 1F. Differentiating beliefs 2. Company level • 2A. Financial results • 2B. Celebrating success • 2C. Working at company • 2D. Company culture • 2E. Purpose and vision 3. Industry level • 3A. Competitive landscape • 3B. Industry level challenges and opportunities • 3C. Industry level regulation and policy • 3D. Future of the industry 4. Society level • 4A. Company benefits to society • 4B. Economic trends • 4C. Public policy discussions • 4D. Personal views on societal issues • 4E. National and global issues Nearly all themes are relevant for multiple audience groups, for example: We can make a broad proportional communications audience allocation: Partner - Current Partner - Potential Employee - Current Employee - Potential Investor - Current Investor - Potential Regulators Analyst/ influencer 1A. Customer problems and benefits High Highest Highest Moderate Highest Moderate High Low Audiences and topics come together for a weighted topic allocation on the following page… Based on your audience prioritisation… There’s four broad theme groups that CEOs are expected to communicate across: 22 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  23. 23. Our recommended theme allocation for Rod Jones Partner - Current Partner - Potential Employee - Current Employee - Potential Investor - Current Investor - Potential Regulators Analyst/ influencer Weighted proportional topic allocation Priority Moderate Moderate High Highest Low Low Low Moderate Recommended allocation for Rod 13% 18% 18% 8% 18% 8% 13% 3% Product/service level 30% Customer/partner problems and benefits 4 4 3 2 2 2 1 3 5% Highlighting customer/partner success 4 4 3 1 2 2 1 4 5% Key customer/partner problems 4 4 3 1 2 2 1 3 5% Product direction / launching new products and services 4 4 4 2 2 2 1 4 5% Differences vs. competition 4 4 4 2 2 2 1 4 5% Differentiating beliefs 4 4 4 3 2 2 1 4 5% Company level 26% Financial results 2 2 4 1 4 4 2 4 5% Celebrating success 3 1 4 4 3 4 1 3 5% Working at company 1 1 4 4 3 4 1 2 4% Company culture 2 3 4 4 3 4 1 2 5% Purpose and vision 3 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 6% Industry level 23% Competitive landscape 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 4 6% Industry level challenges and opportunities 2 3 3 3 4 3 3 4 5% Industry level regulation and policy 3 2 2 2 4 3 4 4 5% Future of the industry 4 4 3 3 4 3 2 4 6% Society level 22% Company benefits to society 2 2 4 4 3 2 3 2 5% Economic trends 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 2 4% Public policy discussions 2 2 2 2 4 2 4 1 5% Personal views on societal issues 2 2 3 4 2 1 2 1 4% National and global issues 2 2 3 2 1 1 2 1 3% 23 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  24. 24. 24 6. Content style analysis and recommendations DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  25. 25. Content style recommendations for Rod Jones Idiocentric:Reader centric: Practical:Theoretical: Complex:Simple: Balanced:Opinionated: Primarily dedicated to discussing personal feelings and emotions. Inside out, rather than outside in. Characterised by more frequent use of “I”, “we”, “our” Focused on what the reader can take from the content. Outside in, rather than inside out. Characterised by more frequent use of “you”, “your” Arguments justified with theoretical rationale. Concepts rather than examples. Arguments justified with practical case studies and real examples. Easy to scan. Many subheadings. Easy to jump in and out of the article. Flowing article that is interdependent. Will struggle to get value without reading in depth. Will tend to be longer May take multiple readings to get full value. Strong opinions. Generally tells only one side of the story. Clear view about what is right and wrong. Sits on the fence. Tells both sides of the story. Rod has strong opinions that are largely reader centric. His arguments are well formed, and there’s a lot to take away. However, it’s really hard to get to the strength of the underlying ideas, because the structure and presentation of content isn’t accessible or compelling to a busy reader. Whilst it’s important to maintain accessibility, complexity and depth is both acceptable and expected given the audience and the topic area. More examples, stories and personal anecdotes will add weight to existing opinions. Content design R R R R R R R R R R Rod Jones– Current positioning Rod Jones– Recommended positioning 25 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  26. 26. Content style recommendations for Rod Jones Corporate:Personal: Formal:Conversational: Written on a personal level. Could be a conversation. Uses the simplest language choices to convey meaning. Uses deliberately sophisticated language. Will not always use the simplest language choice. Simple, descriptive language. Shorter sentences and paragraphs. Speaks like an old friend, assumes trust and agreement. Regular use of “you”, “your”. Longer sentences and consistent paragraphs. Theoretical, official and formal language. Doesn’t assume agreement on any points. Measured:Excited: Disciplined:Playful: Mature:Young: Enthusiastic, eager. Lots of energy. Speaks in an “off the cuff manner”. Regular and measured language. Thoughtful and planned language. Consistent. Restrained. Regular jokes, may be self-depreciating. Happy and friendly tone. Evident the author had fun writing the post. Controlled, consistent, habitual Unlikely to be self-depreciating Eager and enthusiastic language. Advanced, implies mastery Self-aggrandising :Self-deprecating: Regularly makes fun of self. Does not present as being on a pedestal. Only references to self are in a positive context. Difficult for the reader to empathise with. When speaking, Rod is a strong communicator. But in writing, the language becomes corporate, wordy and inaccessible. Rod has ‘approachable gravitas’. It’s important to build all written content on his strengths as an authentic and relatable communicator Language Tone R R R R R R R R R R R R R R Rod Jones– Current positioning Rod Jones– Recommended positioning 26 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Tone is generally reasonably good and accessible. It’s well balanced, although the excitement/enthusiasm can occasionally be variable (Generally more excited when talking about the early days of Navitas). Regardless of how serious the content, it’s important not to disconnect from why Rod loves his work and the company.
  27. 27. 27 Summary, recommendations and next steps DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  28. 28. Executive summary: Rod Jones and Navitas 1. Navitas has a strong profile, but Rod is under-represented relative to comparable educational organisations. •  Our market scan shows that Rod is positioned at the intersection of entrepreneur and educator. The lack of definite peers, and the dual focus (education, entrepreneurship) is a great starting point, and opens up a large number of options for thought leadership. •  For Navitas universities are by far the most frequently associated organisation – with the issues at Macquarie capturing much attention. 2. Rod is a strong verbal communicator, but struggles with accessibility in writing. •  Rod’s authenticity and directness is a great platform for building interest and trust. . •  Increasing the frequency of stories and using a full range of emotions will deepen engagement and authenticity 3. Rod’s narrative is well structured, but could be better integrated into the future direction of the company. •  Rod has a well structured and delivered narrative, however there is some potential for dissonance between the purpose of the company (transition) and declared future directions (i.e. SAE). •  It’s critically important to validate this revised narrative through detailed customer interviews and build the narrative on this basis. 4. Rod has a large number of important stakeholder groups (partners, employees, investors and regulators are all critical). •  There’s a reasonably large number of important stakeholder groups right now for Rod and Navitas. •  The diversity of high priority stakeholders introduces a risk of ‘reactive only’ communication - not covering any stakeholders in enough depth to drive thought leadership. 5. Given the stakeholder mix, Rod needs to communicate across a relatively even balance of company, industry and societal level themes •  Based on the suggested audience prioritisation, we’d suggest that CEO communication from Rod should be allocated in the following themes/proportions: Product/service level 30%, Company level 26%, Industry level 23% and Society level 22%. 6. Style should align to Rod’s natural strengths as an authentic communicator •  Rod is naturally a strong and authentic communicator on video. We need to bring this to other channels and build strong, opinionated content that speaks with depth and complexity to the future of the company and industry. •  Rod has a fantastic position of ‘approachable gravitas’ that we can leverage to build compelling thought leadership across all stakeholder groups. 28 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  29. 29. Validation and leveraging this audit 4. Content plan (themes & topics) •  Building a detailed plan of content themes and topics to capture thought leadership •  Includes a medium term roadmap of content to be delivered (when and to who) 1. Audience prioritisation •  Reviewing which audience groups are the most important, and how they think about your business and CEO today •  Ensures clear prioritisation of the right messages for each audience and stakeholder group 2. Narrative and messaging strategy •  Building a strong narrative framework (past, future, difference, purpose) to anchor all communications •  A strong narrative aligns the way that stakeholders think about the business/CEO, and makes all communication more effective 5. Distribution strategy •  Plan for which channels / mediums should be used for which messages •  Timing and frequency of communications •  Concrete return analytics and measurement framework •  Key actions for increasing sharability of content 3. Content personality, voice and style •  Selecting the right style of content that speak to customers in a way that builds expertise and trust •  Assess tone, complexity and voice to ensure you’re building a long term, trusted relationship •  Includes a content design framework and benchmark to guide all content creation efforts The TLP approach to thought leadership strategy •  We use analytics, client interviews and a detailed workshop process to build a comprehensive thought leadership strategy •  Heavy focus on validation through customer and stakeholder interviews •  You receive a comprehensive 90 page report, designed for turnkey implementation and impact through our supported CEO blogging process •  Results delivered within 14 days Key components of any successful thought leadership strategy: This audit is a starting point for CEO thought leadership. Validation and planning are critical for success 29 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION 1. CEO communications audit 2. Thought leadership strategy 3. Supported CEO blogging ‘Build a comprehensive plan’ ‘Identify the problems’ ‘Implement and measure’
  30. 30. 30 Appendix DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
  31. 31. The press articles supporting this analysis 31 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION Article Title URL Individuals Organisations 1 Navitas chief executive Rod Jones plans to keep the top job for another two years http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/navitas-chief-executive-rod-jones-plans-to-keep-the-top-job-for-another-two-years-20160202- gmjhx3.html David Buckingham, Andrew Harding Macquarie University, iiNet, Morgan Stanley, Rio Tinto 2 Navitas first-half earnings jump http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/navitas-firsthalf-earnings-jump/news-story/153afc9ad62f02022e1943b343dbed02 Macquarie University 3 Navitas lifts H1 profit, announces buyback http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/breaking-news/navitas-reaffirms-its-full-year-guidance/news-story/ 52bcb3926b965893a2b3789f94db7846 Macquarie University 4 Navitas shares are on a tear http://www.businessinsider.com.au/navitas-shares-are-on-a-tear-2016-2 University of South Australia, Macquarie University 5 Navitas CEO Rod Jones bulllish despite closures http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/navitas-ceo-rod-jones-bulllish-despite-closures/news-story/ 0f425b13ac4f493d45c7728dc4129d33 Macquarie University, Curtin University, Vocation, Australian Careers Network, Morgan Stanley 6 Navitas: Education provider hits billion dollar revenue level and record profit http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-02/education-provider-navitas-hits-billion-dollar-revenue/7681464 Macquarie University, 7 Navitas revenue hits record $1bn http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/navitas-revenue-hits-record-1bn/news-story/710f56b5f2de735dd40f4d1c76819612 Macquarie university, Curtin university 8 Navitas CEO Rod Jones warns Australia could lose lead in international education  http://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/navitas-ceo-rod-jones-warns-australia-could-lose-lead-in-international-education-20150611- ghm24l#ixzz4PqgIohNn  International Education Advisory Council. 9 Navitas CEO Rod Jones warns fee cap in student loan scheme could damage quality http://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/navitas-ceo-rod-jones-warns-fee-cap-in-student-loan-scheme-could-damage-quality-20161008- gry2am Simon Birmingham, Helen Zimmerman 10 Navitas shareholders anxious about 2016 http://www.afr.com/business/navitas-shareholders-anxious-about-2016-20150727-gilah4 Romano Sala Tenna Katana Asset Management, Macquarie University, 11 Navitas boss Rod Jones expects crackdown after Vocation’s woes http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/navitas-boss-rod-jones-expects-crackdown-after-vocations-woes/news-story/ c7a902647c1e9cd15dde3548b3b2e159 Vocation, Macquarie University 12 No more nasty surprises, says Navitas chief as profit slumps 31pc http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/no-more-nasty-surprises-says-navitas-chief-as-profit-slumps-31pc-20140728-zxjv3.html Joshua Ross, John Dawkins Macquarie University, Watermark Funds Management, Latrobe University, Deakin University, University of South Australia, Vocation, Intueri Education Group 13 Navitas marked down after uni setback http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/navitas-marked-down-after-uni-setback/news-story/1360efef2142f0097ef3d953619f0d8d Wassim Kisirwani Macquarie University, Deutsche Bank, Edith Cowan University, Massachusetts College, Curtin University, South Australian Institute of Business and Technology 14 Navitas founder Rod Jones loses $100m as shares plunge 30pc http://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/navitas-founder-rod-jones-loses-100m-as-shares-plunge-30pc-20140709-jgokr Peter Rae, Macquarie University, Morningstar, 15 Navitas revamps ECU college deal https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32577553/navitas-revamps-ecu-college-deal/#page1 Edith Cowan University 16 Navitas in JV with Edith Cowan University https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32577553/navitas-revamps-ecu-college-deal/#page1 Steve Chapman Edith Cowan University 17 Should you buy Navitas Limited http://www.fool.com.au/2015/04/28/navitas-limited-is-on-the-right-track/ Peter Larson Macquare University, Flight Centre, Servcorp 18 Navitas to close Curtin Sydney https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29556298/navitas-to-close-curtin-sydney-campus/#page1 Deborah Terry Curtin University, La Trobe University, University of Technology Sydney 19 Navitas up on record enrolments https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/22178861/navitas-up-on-record-enrolments/#page1 20 Navitas shares drop on fall in profit http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-03/navitas-shares-drop-on-fall-in-profit/6066040?pfmredir=sm Macquarie University 21 Navitas talks to ‘a number’ of universities over partnership http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/navitas-talks-to-a-number-of-universities-over-partnership/news-story/ 90aeba63f7e92b232a3b351112dd99d3 Macquarie University, Florida Atlantic University 22 Navitas to close several colleges https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/30371078/navitas-to-close-several-colleges/ Western Kentucky University, EduGlobal 23 Ex-iiNet chief joins Navitas https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/30231119/ex-iinet-chief-buckingham-joins-navitas/#page1  David Buckingham, Bryce Houghton, TPG Telecom, 24 Education group Navitas buys SAE Group from former rich list member Tom Misner for $289 million http://www.smartcompany.com.au/growth/17909-20101215-education-group-navitas-buys-sae-group-from-former-rich-list-member-tom- misner-for-289-million/ Tom Misner 25 Education boss Rod Jones and his investment elixir http://www.afr.com/markets/commodities/energy/education-boss-rod-jones-and-his-investment-elixir-20140824-jctrd#ixzz4Pr0hkfND  Jon Biesse, Bob Bunning , Hoperidge, digitalBTC, WelleCo, Myer Family Company, Enerdrill, Perth Energy, Merredin Energy, AustAsia Energy, NWQ Capital Management 26 Navitas secures new IT chief http://www.itnews.com.au/news/navitas-secures-new-it-chief-429971 Mick Campbell, Neil Hitchcock Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Ramsay Health Care, Ashurst Lawyers, PeopleSoft, Westpac Financial Services 27 Spotlight on Navitas http://www.fool.com.au/2013/07/31/spotlight-on-navitas/ Peter Larson Edith Cowan University, McMillan Shakespeare 28 Navitas, ECU in another short-term deal https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/31749705/navitas-ecu-in-another-short-term-deal/#page1 Edith Cowan University, Macquarie University 29 Navitas extends ECU contracts https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Navitas-extends-ECU-contracts Steve Chapman Edith Cowan University 30 After Macquarie University bust-up, Navitas will target joint ventures with other unis http://www.afr.com/business/after-macquarie-university-bustup-navitas-will-target-joint-ventures-with-other-unis-20150622-ghuci0 Macquarie University, University of Western Sydney, Macquarie Bank, 31 Stop the talk, just deliver https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/30458223/stop-the-talk-just-deliver/#page1 Malcolm Turnbull, Margaret Seares, Michael Anghie, Diane Smith-Gander, Chris Sutherland, Geoff Rasmussen, Liam Twigger, Sabina Shugg, Marion Fulker, Graham Laitt, Andy Crane, Charlie Bass, Tony Grist, Peter Klinken, WA Govt, Fed Govt, EY, Programmed, Azure Capital, PCF Capital, KPMG, Committee for Perth, CBH, Milne Agrigroup, 32 Brexit: local companies paying a high price for UK exposure http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/brexit-local-companies-paying-a-high-price-for-uk-exposure/news-story/ d4e8b41a65db1abfaf8a6f340bd9dc81 Gerry Harvey, Emilio Gonzalez, Ben Cleary, Simon Hickey Macquarie Bank, Ramsay Healthcare, Lend Lease, Harvey Norman, Clydesdale Bank, National Australia Bank, BT Investment Management, British Government, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Platinum Asset Management, Tribecca Investment Partners, Westfield, CLSA, Campus Living Villages 33 Navitas cuts back on dodgy enrolments amid visa rorting http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/navitas-cuts-back-on-dodgy-enrolments-amid-visa-rorting/news-story/ ba7eb686d3190751585583c1961fab20 Immigration Department 34 Navitas loses tax dispute in Britain http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/navitas-loses-tax-dispute-in-britain/news-story/22ba25435dfdcfd36bc1bf653f77e031 British Government 35 Navitas partners with University of Canberra in push for students http://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/navitas-partners-with-university-of-canberra-in-push-for-students-20150515-gh2v5t Simon Ridings University of Canberra, Macquarie University 36 Mapping play Spookfish banks $6m https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29821273/mapping-play-spookfish-banks-6m/#page1 Tony Grist, Brent Stewart, Jason Marinko Spookfish, Little Creatures, Market Equity, 37 Chinese students lead new gold rush for universities http://www.smh.com.au/national/chinese-students-lead-new-gold-rush-for-universities-20150402-1me0ah.html Andrew Robb, Alan Olsen, Andrew Norton Federation University, Strategy Policy & Research in Education, Grattan Institute, Fed Govt, 38 Navitas set to appeal in UK tax case https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/31700772/navitas-set-to-appeal-in-uk-tax-case/#page1 UK Government 39 Navitas to buy SAE Group for $289m http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/navitas-to-buy-sae-group-for-375m/story-e6frg8zx-1225970765258 Tom Misner, David Moberley Macquarie Bank, KPMG, Morgan Stanley 40 Move over Movember, billionaire Andrew Twiggy Forrest has a new cause No Cash November http://www.smh.com.au/business/cbd/move-over-movember-billionaire-andrew-twiggy-forrest-has-a-new-cause-no-cash- november-20141104-11go7r.html Macquarie University 41 Downturn timing right for Melchor https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Downturn-timing-right-for-Melchor Shane Jones, Tim Wise, Melchor, 42 Growth is a matter of degree for Navitas http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/growth-is-a-matter-of-degree-for-navitas/story-e6frg8zx-1226001087109 Peter Larson Edith Cowan University 43 Navitas to shut door on Sydney http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/navitas-to-shut-door-on-sydney/news-story/7bd99cfee085841de3e1bb849c57d3fc Deborah Terry, Farina Parsons Curtin University, La Trobe University, macquarie University, Morningstar 44 High Wired: Incivility grows in UWA staff spat http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/high-wired/incivility-grows-in-uwa-staff-spat/news-story/ b9c46a13d681ad8a2c2723f8b6a6bd1f Ashley Services, Intueri Education, Florida Atlantic University 45 Navitas reports 13% growth on back of increased HE and ELT enrolments http://thepienews.com/news/navitas-reports-13-growth-on-back-of-increased-he-and-elt-enrolments/ University of Canberra, University of Western Sydney, Sydney Institute of Business and Technology, Macquarie University 46 VCs ride the salary gravy train http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/vcs-ride-the-salary-gravy-train/news-story/438607adde76398f9ceb855353bbebb4 Greg Craven, Michael Spence, Glyn Davis, Peter Hoj, Peter Coaldrake, Kerry Cox, Australian Catholic University, Sydney University, University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, Edith Cowan University, 47 Navitas delivers robust result after SAE acquisition http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/navitas-delivers-robust-result-after-sae-acquisition/story-e6frg9lo-1226106633387 Tim Misner, Credit Suisse 48 Western Australia looks past resources to future tech boom http://www.afr.com/technology/western-australia-looks-past-resources-to-future-tech-boom-20150506-ggvluu Tony Grist, Simon Hackett, Stuart Nixon, Jason Marinko, Howard Dawson, David Satterthwaite, Migme, iinet, Amcom, Pawsey Centre, Carnegie Energy, 49 Paul Joins Navitas and Programmed https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Paul-joins-Navitas-and-Programmed Lisa Paul, Fed Govt, Programmed, CSIRO, 50 Navitas named on innovation list http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/navitas-named-on-innovation-list/story-e6frgcjx-1226927389410 Forbes,
  32. 32. About Thought Leadership Partners 32 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION At TLP, we’re a specialist agency that builds thought leadership content for C-level executives. Watch a short video introduction, or read on below: https://youtu.be/hndoVYfuQdk We do this through first person videos and blogs, directed at customers, investors and employees. CEOs that we talk to generally recognise the rationale for thought leadership to: •  Build personal and brand authenticity and trust •  Engage key stakeholders in ongoing conversations •  Shape the industry agenda But at the same time, we hear from CEOs that they just don’t have the time to sit down and write a blog post. The 4-5 hours it takes to publish a high quality article is time that busy executives just don’t have. We’ve listened to this and built a video interview led process. Instead of writing, you sit down in front of a camera answering questions. We transcribe that content and a journalist reshapes it into first person content to be published (with video) under your name. How our process works: 1.  We do extensive preparation, on the right topics and articles for you to publish 2.  You’re interviewed on camera about these topics (your commitment is a one hour interview once a month) 3.  Our journalists build five topic focused, transcription driven blog posts out of the interview 4.  Because all content is built on your voice, there’s never ghost-writing issues with depth and credibility 5.  You publish five, 500-700 word articles highlighting your expertise with video highlights 6.  We deliver fortnightly analytics, optimising for engagement from the right stakeholders Over and above everything else, our clients love two things about what we do: •  How we genuinely understand the pressures and stakeholders of the C-suite. We know that every hour has an opportunity cost. We’re incredibly time efficient in producing authentic thought leadership content that drives the success of your business. •  We’re substantially more analytical and quantitative than any other player in the Comms/ IR / Marketing space. We bring this focus to strategy, campaign design and performance analysis.
  33. 33. Thought Leadership FAQs 33 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION What is thought leadership? Thought leadership is respected expertise. You’re an expert and you’re known for it. When people think of the ‘experts’ in your space, your name is one that immediately come to mind. It’s called thought leadership because of the implication that you shape the way that the industry thinks. You ‘lead’ the thinking about your area of expertise. In the same way we talk about “thought leadership“, you can also think of it as “recognised expertise” or “industry leadership“. What are the benefits of thought leadership? Thought leadership does two things: •  Establishes front-of-mind awareness •  Builds trust in your expertise and ability to deliver That means more leads, more sales and a lower cost of acquisition. Expert focused content marketing earns returns by building front-of-mind market awareness of you as the preferred provider in your sector. So when a prospect is ready to buy, you’re their number one choice. As a result, products sold on impulse or at a relatively low pricepoint are less effective candidates for thought leadership marketing. Why should executives care about building thought leadership? In today’s business environment it’s no longer enough to tell people you’re an expert – you have to prove it. Think about all the benefits of speaking at a leading industry conference. You build reputation, broadcast your message to potential clients, partners and employees. You’re communicating on scale to thousands of industry influencers, all at once. Thought leadership delivers you exactly this benefit, but instead of one conference a year – you have the potential to communicate to this audience once a week. For all the same reasons you would value speaking at a highly relevant industry conference, you should focus on building thought leadership. Building an audience gives you a powerful platform to broadcast your message on a weekly basis. Why is building thought leadership a good investment of time for a CEO? Thought leadership is highly scalable. You’re speaking to hundreds, or thousands of your most significant stakeholders at the same time. Built successfully, you’ve got a platform that lets you as a CEO communicate to employees, shareholders, sales prospects, customers, partners and regulators – with complete control over the content that’s published. No other channel of communication gives you the same level of direct access to all of your key stakeholders, matched with complete control over content. How hard is it to build thought leadership? Building thought leadership is not particularly hard, so long as you satisfy two criteria: 1. You must have specialist areas of expertise, where you know as much as anyone in the country or the world. Staying narrow also has the benefit of reducing the level of competition. It’s very hard to be the expert in “board governance”, but it’s much easier to be THE expert in say “board governance when dealing with cross border M&A”. It’s again easier to be the expert in “Board governance dealing with cross border M&A into South East Asia”. 2. You must be prepared to commit to a medium-term timeframe. Because of the explosion of sources of opinion over the past 20 years, the average consumer just doesn’t trust what they read. With the explosion of digital and social, consumers are exposed to hundreds of thousands, or millions of times more sources of opinion than ever before. In this environment, as a consumer, scepticism is not an alternative. In this environment, skepticism is how you survive. This means that all buyers, all people take a lot longer to be convinced about anyone’s expertise. That means it takes time to build trust. You must be prepared to commit and stick at thought leadership for an extended period of time (3-6 months) to see full results. Is it possible to build thought leadership for multiple executives? It’s possible (and even ideal) to build thought leadership for multiple executives within one organisation. However, we typically focus heavily on the CEO as a starting point. Why? •  The CEO has the largest set of stakeholders to reach, and the most leverage in getting strategic communications right •  Building a CEO positioning and narrative framework sets the roadmap for all other leaders in the organisation to follow (which doesn’t necessarily work in reverse). •  Building thought leadership is heavily predicated on building trust. Trust is dependent on repeated contact and familiarity. There is only so much bandwidth to reach key stakeholders, which must be prioritised to building trust and recognised expertise. •  The CEO must lead by example. It’s rare to find companies with execeptional communications and thought leadership where the CEO is individually a terrible communicator.
  34. 34. +61 3 9111 5659 | www.thoughtleadershippartners.com | Level 17 / 31 Queen St, Melbourne DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION