With all things social media, we strive to discover “what’s next” and “what the next big thing is.” (See Ello, Plurk, Ping, Diaspora, etc.) What we fail to do, however, is ensure that we have a mastery of the established communications tactics.

With the rise of concepts such as a “Vine star” or influencers earning fame through Instagram pictures, every business is clamoring to determine how to integrate these opportunities into their communications playbooks. Instead, let’s consider how to use the tried-and-true communications methods for reaching our audiences.

Email marketing

According to a report from salesforce.com, 60 percent of marketers claim that email is a critical enabler of products and services, versus 42 percent of marketers in 2014. And, 74 percent of marketers believe email produces or will produce ROI in the future.

According to Mailchimp, there is a wide range in how email marketing performs. But overall, email marketing performs much better than one would expect. As of August of this year, emails in the “media and publishing sector” had a click rate of nearly 4.7 percent, which is tremendous compared to what we see across many social networks.

So we know email works and is an efficient way to reach our audiences. Build a nurturing program that embraces your current customers and enables them to evangelize for you. Newsletters that repurpose blog posts, loyalty or referral programs and support content are great ways to engage your audience.

Media relations

We bandy about the phrase “thought leadership” without pausing to consider what it really means. Appearing in one article does not make you an expert. Being on the speed dial of an influencer whenever they need an on-the-record quote or even a question answered on background? That’s true thought leadership.

Being able to connect with influencers and engage them with creative and impactful stories is an art form that is crucial to long-term communications success. I’ve long been a proponent of a concept I call “agendaless pitching.” Don’t be afraid to send story ideas that are not connected to your client or simply engage with an influencer on Twitter.

I’m learning the value of ensuring that you are not simply searching for the next campaign that will win an award at Cannes/Lyon. Sometimes a quick note or comment on a blog post can go a long ways.

The marketing guys down the hall

We’re all looking to maximize the results from the stories we tell. If your PR and marketing teams haven’t yet converged, it’s time to bring your PR & marketing together now.

Ensure that paid social media and even display advertising are part of your outbound communications strategy, but you also need to ensure that those ad units are configured properly. Make sure your call to actions align with any ongoing campaigns and make sure that small details such as tracking codes, brand guidelines and style guides are being followed.

The marketing team is geared toward ensuring that your results get measured and tied into revenue. Want to show the impact of PR? Show that you generated pipeline or direct revenue and you’ll never believe what happens next.

As you can see, while we’re all developing our Periscope strategies, the tried and true storytelling tactics are vital and need to be a part of every campaign.