5 Best Practices in Thought-Leadership Web Publishing

Thought-leadership Web publishers naturally want the most-possible readers and financial success. For many facing the dynamics of marketplace-change, it’s challenging to become a frontrunner on the Internet.

Certainly, publishers need to strategize in order to grow their businesses. That includes these thought-leadership publishing goals — providing the most-relevant content, and staying current in business models.

But how is it possible to achieve such lofty goals?

To the rescue: Thomson Reuters.

The worldwide company with 55,000 employees in more than 100 countries published a white paper for scholarly publications – strategies for permanent process enhancements, and to achieve overall excellence.

The paper is entitled: “Top 5 best practices for advancing your editorial office.”

It seems to me that the white paper is beneficial. The recommended principles apply to micro-publishers and bloggers who publish significant thought-leadership content.

Bear with me. True, much of the white paper’s focus is online peer reviews for scholar-niche publishers. Thomson Reuters maintains that all scholarly publications use similar systems.

But premier publications harness the full potential from relationships with their providers. (Disclosure: this business portal uses a video vendor, Grab Networks, which provides frequent news-video updates from Reuters, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters.)

“There is a significant difference between a software expert and an industry expert,” explained Keith Collier, vice president and general manager at Thomson Reuters. “When it comes to peer review management systems, it’s imperative to select a single vendor to act as both a provider and an advisor – one that can help you identify new ways to gain a competitive advantage instead of simply managing the administrative process.”

My sense is that Mr. Collier is right. Soliciting ideas from authoritative vendors is a productive approach for all thought-leadership sites. It’s called strategic partnering.

How Thompson Reuters’ five best practices are applicable:

  • Be a champion for your authors and reviewers. Salient keys are creating and maintaining affinity with your contributors and vendors. Be loyal to the people who are good to you and your business.
  • Tailor your system to fit your unique needs. Decide what features you want. Make certain you use the right tools for speed. Understand expectations of your competitive environment.
  • Don’t waste time and money by simply replicating old procedures. Stay current on technology. Use only the most advanced technology that enhances your publication.
  • Focus on improving your publication and your editorial strategy instead of managing a process. Ask yourself these five questions: What new topics are needed? What topics do we need to de-emphasize? Where should we research ideas? How are we faring against competitors? Are we meeting the needs of our site’s users?
  • Select a trusted partner, not just a vendor. Make sure the partner is strategic – a person or firm with true industry expertise.

My sense is these best practices will keep you abreast of industry trends, serve as a continuing catalyst for efficiency, and they will enhance your position in the marketplace.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are three related resources:

11 Best Practices to Profit from Writing a Business White Paper — When you’re writing a case study for a client or you’re commissioned to write a white paper – there are best practices — then, there are only attempts at shameless promotion of a biased idea. You’ll want readers to perceive the former.

SEO and Other Strategies Primer for a No.1 Rated Blog— To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies.  If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. Blogging is arduous work.

25 Best Practices for Better Business Writing — If you want to accelerate your career or turbo-charge your business, one of your priorities should be good communication. Good writing is necessary in a myriad of ways, including letters, advertising copy and presentations. A lack of writing skills will can hold you back or even hurt your career.

“A memorandum is not written to inform the reader but to protect the writer.”

-Dean Acheson 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo credit: www.opticgroove.com.au

The Key to Maximizing Economic Potential: Managing Ignorance

Here’s a premise on which most businesspeople and educators probably can agree: the legendary Peter Drucker, Ph.D. – as a writer, teacher and consultant – was the ultimate as a business-role model.

Surprisingly, he surprisingly had some periodic critics in education.

He preferred Claremont Graduate University and reportedly turned down four professorship offers from Harvard.

At the age of 95 in a published interview in 2004, he was asked if he had any regrets about his work.

His response:

“There are many books I could have written that are better than the ones I actually wrote. My best book would have been “Managing Ignorance,” and I’m very sorry I didn’t write it.”

File:Drucker-portrait-bkt 1014.jpg

 Dr. Peter Drucker

He was a voracious reader, wonderful inspiration to millions, and he lived a long, rich life. As one of my heroes, I selfishly wish he lived longer – he passed away Nov. 11, 2005. His teachings have particular significance for me.

If given the opportunity for an interview, with great delectation I would have relished the visionary’s analysis on numerous fronts regarding the economy.

That includes these four developments:

No. 1: Decrease in educated Americans. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education has issued some disturbing news in a policy alert, which is entitled, “Income of U.S. Workforce Projected to Decline if Education Doesn’t Improve.” It calls on the 50 states to do a better job in education to prevent a projected decline in worker skills in order to brighten the future of America’s economy.

The public policy group contends the American workforce is undergoing major change; especially the core of workers, age 25 to 64. Until at least 2020, the study shows worker wages will continue to decrease. Simultaneously, the number of workers with high school and college diplomas will decline exponentially.

Why? The number of educated white workers will drop from 82 percent to 63 percent while the number of less educated minorities will increase from 18 percent to 37 percent.

No. 2: Decline in math and science. America’s expertise in science and technology is fast deteriorating, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences. The report was written by a group of top corporate executives, educators and scientists and is entitled, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.”

In essence, the panel of experts sets four goals:

  • Improve math and science education in grades K-12.
  • A more cordial milieu for science for college and post graduate studies.
  • Increase federal funding for scientific research.
  • Encourage the growth of family-wage jobs in evolving industries with tax incentives and other fiscal tools.

It wasn’t surprising that the report identified two Asian countries, India and China, as among the nations that will surpass the U.S. in job creation and innovation.

No. 3: The quandary over China. The U.S. is appeasing China to excess, according to economist and professor of international business at the University of Maryland, Peter Morici.

“These policies impose huge trade deficits and unemployment on the United States, create enormous imbalances in the global economy, and contribute importantly to the Great Recession,” he wrote in a commentary Oct. 8, 2005.

He is on a quest to educate America about China’s approach, as evidenced years ago in a 2005 e-mail to me: “To secure its supply of oil, extend its influence and solidify internal security, the Chinese government is building a blue-water navy and spending massively to modernize its army.

More than a decade later, what’s changed? By even us advocates of free trade, it is hard to ignore the professor’s conclusions.

“That means targeted trade sanctions if China does not revalue its yuan and does not respect intellectual property, and if it exploits worker rights to achieve export advantages or otherwise breaks the norms and rules it acknowledged by joining the World Trade Organization, International Labor Organization and other international organizations,” he said.

“Arrogance is being proud of ignorance.”

-Dr. Peter Drucker

“It’s time to face up to the fact that China, rather than evolving into a democratic society with a market economy, could just as easily morph into a fascist menace with global reach,” he said. “Appeasement didn’t work for Britain dealing with Germany in the 1930s, and it is not working for America with China now.”

Could Dr. Drucker have related to Dr. Morici’s analogy? Who knows? But when the Nazis banned and burned one of his essays in the 1930s, Dr. Drucker fled to England. He argued against the appeasement of Germany by England.

No. 4: Creation of jobs. Three-fourths of all the planet’s new jobs will be generated by just 9.8 percent of new businesses, according to a research organization, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), in its assessment of entrepreneurship in 39 countries.

While women entrepreneurs are a major force in America, most of these anticipated startups are to be launched by well-educated men aged 25-34 years with high incomes in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Ostensibly, monetary trade issues and the pressures of an uneducated workforce will apparently vex a major economic engine – the world’s startup entrepreneurs.

So, how would Dr. Drucker analyze such developments?

For starters, consider:

In his book, “Managing for results,” he wrote: “Waste runs high in any business. Man, after all, is not very efficient. Special efforts to find waste are therefore always necessary.”

And while training the board of directors of an organization, I was reminded once again that his writings are a great resource. In answering a question about how I continually evaluate my efficiency, I told the audience that I never end my day’s work until I assess my activities. That is one of my daily efforts thanks, in part, to the management pioneer.

In “Management Challenges for the 21st Century,” Dr. Drucker suggested that it is important for a manager to know the answer the question, “Where do I belong?”

But to answer that career dilemma, he pointed out it is actually necessary for a person to know the answers to three questions:

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. How do I perform?
  3. What are my values?

What a wonderful scholar. In my experience as a business practitioner and journalist, I know he was right.

Candidly, as a management consultant, I meet few managers and staff in the workplace who innately know to ask and answer such questions. But after they’re trained in how to accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses, they benefit from an average 30 percent increase in self esteem. As a result, organizations progress nicely as their managers and workers perform much better.

By the way, for many years in HR training classes, I’ve quoted this Dr. Drucker statement: “Arrogance is being proud of ignorance.”

In other words, continual study and evaluation will help a person to avert complacency.

If every businessperson practiced these principles, promoted education and focused on managing ignorance, the economic outlook would be brighter.

From the Coach’s Corner, more thoughts on learning and education:

“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”

-Anatole France


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.