Our most-loved blog posts and insights: 2019

Over the years, we’ve written some blog posts and insights that are clear favorites, consistently finding their way to the top of the reading list. Year after year, these include our pieces about how to use quotation marks, five typography rules to design by, misconceptions about graphic design, and, for a change of pace, how to throw a great office baby shower.

As for our 2019 blog posts, there’s a recurring theme to the best-performing pieces, and his name is Allan R. Gold. Allan joined our team as a senior adviser halfway through this year, and he’s been shaming us all on the blog ever since. See below for this year’s top 10 best-performing blog posts, including pieces by Allan and about Allan—as well as a few pieces from the rest of us (but mostly Scott).

10. The Gold Standard: “The Goldies,” December 2019

This post, published just over a week ago, has already eked into the top 10. In it, Allan awards companies for writing the best content he read this year by topic, including pieces on agile, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability.

9. So you hate the term “thought leadership.” Here’s what it should mean

In this post, Heather breaks down the content-marketing continuum, from brochures to journalism; explains what classifies as thought leadership; and highlights why thought leadership is what you want to publish—even if you loathe the term.

8. Introducing the Leff Strategy Studio

In another recent post, Scott reveals our new competitive-audits service line, created to help companies take stock of existing content and identify and take advantage of white space.

7. The Gold Standard: October 2019

See the October Gold Standard for Allan’s dissection of great thought-leadership pieces from Bain, BCG, Deloitte, McKinsey, and PA Consulting on topics spanning from the rise of insurtechs to the issues transforming the mining industry.

6. The Gold Standard: September 2019

Getting sick of this yet? Allan shares pieces by Bain, BCG, Deloitte, Heidrick & Struggles, and KPMG in this installment of everyone’s favorite blog.

5. Scaling editorial and design: A peek inside the Leff office

Brittany and the design team worked together to bring you this interactive piece that walks you through the Leff office and the development path a piece of content typically takes. Maybe people just want to see what our office looks like? Spoiler: includes vinyl and beer.

4. How thought leadership has evolved over the past decade: A Q&A with Allan R. Gold

If you haven’t already heard enough from Allan, Scott sits down with him in this piece to get his take on why firms should write thought leadership (answer: $), how thought leadership has changed, and some of his pet peeves (which, it turns out, he has a lot to say about).

3. What good looks like in thought leadership

Scott does it again with his take on our four-part framework for assessing pieces of thought leadership, which involves gauging the piece’s freshness and provocativeness, analytical rigor, depth of prescription, and overall readability.

2. The Gold Standard: August 2019

Ringing in at number two is—surprise!—Allan’s first Gold Standard post, featuring a breakdown of the success of pieces from Accenture, Bain, BCG, McKinsey, and Oliver Wyman.

1. The enduring power of the spoken word: A conversation with Professional Speechwriters Association Executive Director David Murray

And our most-read piece of the year is yet another from Scott, in which he chats with Chicago-based speechwriter David Murray about what separates speechwriting from other forms of writing and how to tell a good story.

Annie Mullowney

As a senior editor, Annie focuses primarily on developmental editing and drafting, helping clients sharpen their stories and tell them in a compelling way.

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