If you work in public relations (or are a business or marketing client who works with PR practitioners), you know full well the industry has been morphing and changing at a rapid rate.
While many aspects of 'traditional' PR are still useful and valid today - such as media relations, event-based activity or thought leadership programs, for example - the way in which a PR person would execute such elements brings with it today additional layers of complexity.
Breadth of influencers
I think one of the most challenging aspects of PR today - aside from the intense real-time nature of the business - is the depth and breadth of influencers that PR practitioners need to be acquainted with.
When I first started out in public relations, we pretty much focused our efforts wholly and solely on journalists and broadcast producers; today, however, you have not only the growing number of 'hybrid' new media outlets (as highlighted below with The Daily Beast, but also includes the likes of The Huffington Post and, locally, Mumbrella, Mamamia, Lifehacker etc) but also individual bloggers who within their niche can be incredibly influential, and not just because they blog but because they're often super-connected across multiple platforms.
And then you have the social networking power users who might not blog but can have influence on a number of levels and thus be in a position to make life hell (or joyful) for brands.
But for all the technology, some things don't change.
PR, whatever tools are employed, remains important for its ability to positively impact a brand's relationships with stakeholders, its ability to earn third-party endorsement as well as communicate its story to the broader world. The need to be able to undertake such strategic tasks professionally and with competence is something that won't change.