Content marketing: Stories are key

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Content marketing: Stories are key

He’s a former deputy editor of The Courier Mail newspaper, News Ltd, Australia – but now he runs his own content show…

Stephen Sealey

PR consultant and business owner //

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What is your background? 

I am a former Deputy Editor of The Courier-Mail newspaper and have more than 25 years’ experience in the media and communications industry. I worked at the highest levels in print media in Australia, editing papers, managing daily news and running large newsrooms.

Since moving to public relations, I’ve consulted to a wide range of industries and have a proven track record of planning and implementing PR campaigns that get real results. I guess my greatest strength is knowing what makes news given a lot of my career was spent actually making the decisions about what to put in the paper.

How long have you been in business for yourself?

I left News Ltd in 2007 to try my hand at corporate communications. Fortunately, my business sailed through the GFC with no problem and continues to strengthen today. We have also expanded our offering from traditional PR services to include an affordable social media content service.

Tell us about Pitch PR.

How do you stand out from the crowd? Pitch PR is a Brisbane-based specialist media and corporate communications business offering a wide range of services and professional advice.

We are a straight-talking consultancy with the kind of real media industry experience that others cannot match. Our clients choose Pitch PR because we understand their business and know how to tell a good story across all traditional and social media channels.

Why is having quality content across any medium super important?

I believe getting the content right is more important than ever before. With the huge range of platforms now available, consumers have unlimited content to choose from and so can afford to be much more discerning.

They also know what they want and will move on very quickly if the content is not high quality. If you go back 20 or 30 years, there was one or two local newspapers, a couple of dominant radio and TV stations and the library.

If you wanted to keep up to date or find something out, these were your only options. Compare that with all the sources of content we have available today!

steven-sealy2How do you make sure you write valuable information on your clients’ behalf? What do you do differently? 

We start by gaining a real understanding of our clients’ businesses and what they want to achieve from PR and social media activity.

We then use our news skills to uncover the most interesting and relevant content and package it in a format that will appeal to the audience.

Sometimes we have to be quite tough and tell them the message they want to share is not strong enough to be newsworthy. Instead, we look for an alternative angle that will make the news and weave the client’s key message into the mix.

Do you have a structure you follow? 

Our writing structure depends a lot on what platform the content is for. But we always start with fact-finding – interviewing the right people or sourcing the right material that will be the foundation for the content we produce. It’s then a matter of putting the best angle first and being able to back it up in an accurate and polished piece of writing.

I think the media we deal with really respect our news judgment and know that when they see something from Pitch PR it’s always worth looking at.

What is your number one content writing tip? 

The clichéd response would be accuracy, spelling and grammar. But before you get to this point, find a real subject and angle that will resonate with your audience. And tell it, don’t sell it!

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Until next time, happy word stylin’

Liz Campbell x

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