Public relations for its own sake is empty. It should have a purpose—some larger organizational aim that the PR serves.

For example, a feature profile on a Realtor should help that professional and his or her firm sell homes. A recent case in point: this Inside Edge PR piece on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty’s Nancy Leavy.

And the development of quality content—often in the form of writing—is a great gateway for one of my favorite PR phenomena: the re-purposed piece.

A month ago, I identified one such opportunity with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, an IEPR client. KABA President Todd Battle had written an excellent piece for the organization’s newsletter.

It focused on a group of business leaders who comprise KABA’s CEO Roundtable—and how, collectively, they possessed admirable qualities unlike the “fat cat CEO” depiction that so often dominates public perception.

Todd wrote the piece nearly two years ago, shortly after the Roundtable was formed. The timing didn’t deter me.

If anything, amid the Occupy Wall Street movement and related labor/class unrest across the country, Todd’s message is more relevant than ever.

And on Thursday, a significantly larger audience than those who follow KABA got that message: the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published the column as an op-ed piece, “Not every CEO fits fat cat portrayal.”

The success of this re-purposing approach, of course, rises and falls with the quality of the original content. Take the time and expend the effort to get it done well the first time, and you’ll be setting the stage for an excellent return on that investment days, weeks, months or even years later.

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