We live in a world where content is all around us. From the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we go to sleep, we are digesting news, adverts, videos and graphics. It is part of how the vast majority of people live. For PRs supporting brands and companies in this crowded market, our role is about maximising content and getting the right message to the right people.

A start-up recently approached us about launching a PR campaign to increase awareness within its sector. They had been speaking to a few similar PR agencies and wanted to start a thought leadership campaign (see my last blog) to help differentiate itself from its competitors. However, as far as we were concerned, something was missing: the company didn’t have an online footprint. In short, it didn’t exist. Doing thought leadership when a company doesn’t exist online is like furnishing a house without a roof.

Having operated for just months and secured a number of customers from within its network, the start-up had never thought to formally launch. But you have to walk before you can run with PR. So, we advised the company to announce its services to the world and target specific publications in its sector. This was not about generating hundreds of pieces of coverage, but identifying where potential clients were likely to get their news and ensuring that our client was featured in those publications. The result was more leads! Now, there is an interested audience for future announcements and engagement.

It doesn’t matter how well established a company is. If its content doesn’t get its key messages over to its audience, then something is missing. It’s why there is no point talking about how great the company’s flooring is, if its sells cars. Every time a company speaks it needs to think about how this piece of coverage, graphic or video helps it achieve its objectives.

The same is true with all content. It is only worth doing if stakeholders are going to see and appreciate it. Often a good piece of thought leadership can position a company within its industry and grow its business. But it is not worth doing for column inches alone.

In simple terms, content is about getting the right message to the right people in a compelling way. The first step for any successful PR campaign has to be defining messages and identifying stakeholders. Only then is it possible to ensure that content will deliver for the organisation that created it.

About the Author: Aaron Bass