In all of our PR strategy sessions, one simple idea always seemed to rise above the high-level concepts and industry jargon. In fact, in my view, this idea is at the very core of every successful campaign. Beyond the expert commentary, hard news and creative attempts to promote a client’s “brand story,” there is a little thing called the PR Point of View (PR POV). Without it, no awareness or branding campaign is really sustainable. A PR POV becomes a resonant communications theme, unifying an organization’s message both internally and externally.

Essentially, the PR POV is an organization’s viewpoint on where the industry is headed or a statement about a unique approach or vision.

It’s not really a mission statement – it’s a short, broad declaration that encompasses strategy, thought leadership and direction.

A structure of strategies and tactics are then developed to fit into that PR POV. But you need to have the PR POV before you dive into tactical decisions.

The PR POV should not be about selling product – it’s about being a thought leader. And it sets the tone for every media opportunity, speaking engagement and self-authored publication. After time, it becomes infused with your brand.

There’s an even more compelling reason why your PR POV is so important, and that’s the media environment in which we’re all operating. Clients used to tell me that they were only interested in gaining media attention in a small universe of industry or business media. The problem was that these publications, while very targeted, we’re only reaching a fraction of the C-level decision-makers that really mattered. With today’s increasing number of high-circulation online business and trade media outlets, the validity of web-based media outlets is stronger now than it ever was before. So the media opportunities are everywhere – and the audiences are everywhere. But, in order to take advantage of this shift, you must have a PR POV that speaks to multiple media targets across a variety of digital outlets.

Successful brands across the globe like Microsoft, Google and Nike are not limiting their PR efforts to the world’s traditional top tier publications, so why should you? Instead, you’ll find these brands reaping the benefits of engaging PR POVs across a multitude of business and industry trade pubs – both online and traditional. Why? It’s because they understand the notion that readers cross multiple paths – and that the perceived importance of a media outlet doesn’t matter so much as long as they’re reaching and influencing a mass of potential customers.