As you work through your 2019 plan (you have one, right?), you have to balance your time limitations against having a robust distribution network for your thought leadership and positioning messages.

Here’s how to get all this organized so you’ll have greater reach than your schedule would otherwise permit.


Make a list of all the potential distribution channels, including

  • Trade groups

  • Conferences  

  • Publications: print & electronic

  • Influential bloggers

  • Webinars

  • Email marketing

  • Social media


Based on what you learn about each channel/organization, create a matrix, assigning a subjective numeric value between 1-10 according to factors such as these:

  • Availability

    • Relative restrictiveness of their inclusion policies

    • Cost to participate

    • Geographic barriers to frequent attendance

    • Difficulty obtaining a speaking slot in their conferences or webinars

    • Difficulty earning a leadership role in an organization

  • Reach

    • Number of members/subscribers relevant to your practice

    • Number of relevant LinkedIn groups

    • Number of relevant group members

    • Number of relevant attendees at conferences, webinars

    • Relevant circulation of print/online publications

  • Frequency

    • Number of conferences and other physical gatherings each year

    • How often you can post to their electronic channels

    • How frequently you can publish in their print properties

  • Credibility, prestige

    • Degree to which appearing in person or in print would enhance your brand

    • Degree to which being meaningfully associated with this channel would make it easier to get access to decision-makers

  • Relevance

    • Percentage of their membership or readership that closely matches your optimal client profile

    • Percentage of their topics match your “sweet spot”

You’ll end up with something that looks like this Construction spreadsheet:


Rank in descending order based on your priorities, e.g., you might value Average Score, or Frequency, or Prestige. Spreadsheets allow you to sort by any criterion.


Estimate the time/money commitment required to participate in each:

  • Outreach emails/calls to relevant stakeholders to vet your potential content

  • Content preparation

  • Support materials production

  • Travel

  • Promotion

  • Follow-through

Cutoff point

Review and modify the matrix to conform to your boundaries/limitations. Maybe one of the channels above the cutoff, though well-known and well-established, isn’t positioned properly in relation to your message, e.g., the ABA may not be seen as modern enough re: AI, or FinTech, etc.

The whole point of this exercise is to make conscious decisions about where you’ll invest your time and effort, rather than simply saying “yes” to anything and everything that comes your way.

Mike O’Horo