Abandon preconceived notions about public relations (PR). Today, public relations is a cross-platform communications action reliant upon traditional and digital PR strategies, as well as social engagement, content marketing, brand publishing, media relations, inbound content, SEO strategies and limitless creativity.

Today, PR includes social media, blogging, online reputation management, brand journalism, content strategies, thought leadership and more. PR is now an extremely broad and diversified field – it is no longer anchored to crisis communications, press releases and media alerts.

We’re talking PR...evolved.

There exists today a churning, swirling mix of initiatives that all, at their respective cores, are inherently linked to the actions of a corporation, enterprise, organization or individual to promote activities – public relations.

So What Are Today’s Core Elements of Public Relations?

The New Art of the Pitch

Pitches are fundamental components of public relations. Whether touting products, services or promoting company branding, a pitch should be reflective of the current and emerging areas of specialty and expertise of a business – or individual. Pitching takes finesse and patience.

To craft a pitch, determine the vital elements of what you want to share, explore market trends and competitive announcements to create a diversified positioning and make sure the pitch stays in line with existing branding.

The pitch you land on will power your press release content, media alerts and even serve as inspiration for social media shares. Today, pitches don’t just go to editors and reporters. PR pitches target bloggers and online experts with impressive Twitter personas and consistently updated, insightful blogs.

You are just as likely to send a pitch via Twitter as you are via email or even the now antiquated telephone pitch. Social media platforms have given rise to a whole new crop of new age journalists and market watchers – with followers galore.

Social Media Influencer Mojo

A component of PR is working with the media. Today, the media could easily include social media influencers and bloggers, not to mention a great diversity of ezines and blogging communities. Popular bloggers, Twitter greats and LinkedIn influencers are now very important targets in public relations campaigns.

Utilizing tools, such as Cision or Vocus, can help power social media influencer identification and engagement. Press releases are not enough – social engagement can make a big difference in attracting attention from media, bloggers, columnists and more. Incorporating social influencer outreach and engagement is now a part of any comprehensive PR strategy – one that relies upon active social media engagement on all levels.

The Rise of Content Strategy

Content is now more powerful than ever, as it carries awareness and supports brand identity, plus the opportunity to strategically generate leads, links and conversions. PR plans today include content audits and content assessments, enabling PR professionals to determine areas of weakness and winning measures occurring in active campaigns.

When it comes to content, there is a fusion taking place between marketing and traditional PR, creating a synergy of content delivery strategies designed to elevate a business on multiple levels, including SEO. Content strategy – touching on all critical and appropriate platforms for outreach – is the foundation of any PR campaign today.

In other words, you can’t do great PR without Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Pinterest. (Disclaimer: That may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea.)

PR is about creating, curating, managing, distributing and marketing content to support and promote initiatives, recruit media attention and develop brand loyalists. There was a time when public relations was the strategy, incorporating the creation of content. Now, it seems as though the roles have reversed, with content strategies incorporating PR tasks and tools.

Take heart, PR enthusiasts. In reality, this is all great news.

Any PR person worth a tweet knows that PR was always – always – about content development and content management. The difference is that in today’s competitive and mobile business landscape, there exists technologies and innovative tools designed strictly to create and harness content in ways never before imagined.

Today, you can tweet your press release, comment on market trends in your blog and share with key reporters, editors and superstar bloggers your latest and greatest updates.

It’s PR for the digital age – and it’s potential is staggering.

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