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The power of the expert

 

Story Comms MD Amanda Lowe

Now, more than ever, we need clarity and guidance. MD Amanda Lowe looks at how one expert has stepped forward to become a leading authority in just six weeks.

 

 

Panic, fear, misinformation and a lack of trust. COVID-19 has dominated and fed all of these and more on social media.

Enter Professor Karol Sikora. Professor Karol Sikora joined Twitter six weeks ago. Since then he has amassed an incredible 121k followers.

He is not a typical ‘influencer’. He is an oncologist of 50 years who set out to inform and reassure cancer patients, as the full potential of COVID-19 began to unfold.

The former Chief of the World Health Organisation’s Cancer Programme, the founding team member and Clinical Director of Cancer Partners UK, founding Dean and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham and CMO of Rutherford Health, which operates cancer care centres across the UK. He is also, reportedly, an advisor to No.10.

Evidently, Professor Karol Sikora knows his stuff, assessing the latest facts, figures and news on the pandemic. And because of that, we all want to listen – and follow.

His Twitter feed is calming, well-evidenced and educated yet cautiously optimistic. He is an expert – and here is one of his recent posts to prove the point:

“Mistakes have been made – we haven’t got testing, PEE, the exit strategy or treating other serious illnesses 100% right. No country’s response has been flawless. So let’s move forward together, learn from it and get it sorted as soon as possible.”

In times of crisis, we want reliable and solid – clear thinking and straight-talking. We want unrefuted experience, expertise and clarity, and to understand what they would do.

And our latest research shows that regardless of sector or media type – journalists need experts now, more than ever, to show us what it all really means.

From legal experts providing valuable insight on employment law contracts in light of Covid-19, to the tech leaders seeing a spike in online content consumption, we have been helping clients shed light on the issues keeping business owners, employers and employees awake at night.

So, how do you use your expertise in this time of need? Here’s our guide in being an expert who matters.

Do the right thing

Expert commentary will no doubt boost your reputation now and in the future, but make sure that if you are doing it now, you are doing it for the right reason – to help. Any other motivation will be picked up.

Be relevant

Does your specialism help solve the problems others are facing? From lawyers to accountants, IT service providers to SME support, today’s businesses need guidance.

Be clear, short and snappy

There is so much noise out there now. Experts cut through that with short, pithy and easily understood messages, backed by evidence.

Get social

Think about where your audience is. Chances are, like most people right now, they are on social media – but you need to know the platforms they use and when, and how to get on their feeds.

Understand media matters

News media audiences are spiking, particularly in broadcast and online. Gather that insight and get talking to the journalists that matter to your audience.

Watch this space for a focus on this very subject in the coming weeks in our Straight Up comms advice series.

Need some direct advice? Get in touch. hello@wearestorycomms.com

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