Many clients ask me for "thought leadership" white papers. Translation: We’re so smart we not only come up with great products, but with a better, and different, approach to the problem the product solves.


Fewer actually think about how to promote their thought leadership. Two tips are to 1) boil down your new approach to a list of specific action items, and 2) explain why your new way of thinking is better than what came before.

One initiative that gets this right is the Consensus Audit Guidelines, developed by a consortium of private companies and the federal government. It consists of 20 specific controls, from “Inventory of Authorized and Unauthorized Hardware” to “Security Skills Assessment and Training to Fill Gaps.” These steps are neither so specific as to apply only to specific cases, nor so high-level as to be useless. Their promised benefit, also clearly explained, is focusing organizations on the most likely attacks to make the best use of their security budgets.

Another effort, the “DUST” model for mobile security from the Compliance Research Group, comes across as less compelling. DUST stands for “Devices, Users, Sessions, Transactions” which makes sense, but doesn’t tell the reader what to fix. Their backgrounder describes good features to have, such as “dynamic authentication and authorization thresholds based on risk context” but never puts them into an easily-scannable list. Nor does it describe how “DUST” is better than what came before.

Coming up with a new way of looking at the world can leave you so impressed with your own thinking you forget the problem you were trying to solve. Boiling down your genius into a list of “to dos,” and explaining why your breakthrough is so great, drives the point home for your reader.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: PR/Marketing Trends

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