October is an exciting time in Wisconsin-it’s Wisconsin Manufacturing Month.
The manufacturing industry is the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy and contributes nearly 20 percent of its total gross domestic product (GDP), according to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).
The manufacturing industry is constantly transforming with new technologies and ideas, and industry influencers are on the forefront of the latest trends. Well-known manufacturing influencers, like Pamela Kan of Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation or Jim Tompkins of Tompkins International, may come to mind. However, you may have influencers within your own manufacturing company whose voices can position your company as a thought leader.
How do you identify these hidden gems? Here are four attributes to look for.
1. Has subject matter expertise that aligns with business goals
Think about those who are behind the technology or products your company develops, the “brains behind the operation,” and determine if their expertise fits your business goals. Don’t count someone out just because they aren’t a C-level executive.
2. Fosters a large network and is connected in the industry
Working within a developed network not only makes your job easier, it shows that your potential influencer is social, likeable, and a strong communicator. Clues are regular seminar and conference attendance and active professional social media accounts.
3. Influences others in your company
Identify someone, typically mid- to upper- management, with the ability to influence other employees. These people have already proven their aptitude for leadership and persuasion.
4. Willing to dedicate time and invest
Public relations and influencer development is a two-way street. Your manufacturing influencers need to see value in the process and give you their time and resources.
When we think influencers, we’re not just talking about the fashion and beauty bloggers of the world, although we love them, too. B2B companies, like those in manufacturing, have a platform to influence and drive thought leadership across industries.
Know who your influencers are but not sure what to do next? Contact our public relations superstars, who work in several major B2B industries, to get started.