Redstone Consulting has published its newsletter and with it an interesting insight into the value of thought-leadership.  

Thought-leadership has moved away from a PR and brand-position tool to a central business development function.  That cannot be a bad thing.  The PR value will be increased enormously if there is a solid business development aim under-pinning it.

And that is perhaps the problem with most thought-leadership.  Much of it isn't thought-leadership at all, but just good a good PR story. 

That in itself is not a bad thing, but it can devalue true through-leadership, particularly when it comes to measuring its effectiveness. 

I would suggest that true thought-leadership has to address a fundamental concern of, in the case of professional services firms, clients. 

It must be under-pinned by solid research and a full programme of activity, with PR just one small part.

In short, it should create long-lasting conversations.  If it doesn't it is perhaps thought-leadership, but just another (good) PR story.