Another week, another report detailing journalists’ use of Twitter.

Now I don’t mean to sound dismissive, the latest from The Oriella PR Network has attracted interest from The Guardian as well as the pure trade press. And they’ve generated some handy numbers for reference that given the global nature of the study, certainly adds to its weight.

That said, the message remains pretty much the same as that which all of us at the sharp end of the industry already know: Increasing numbers of people are using social media, especially Twitter, to help them form stories. But this in no way replaces the need for PR.

Granted, Twitter is a great starting place for ideas, leads and making new contacts. Heck, it’s where I turn to for breaking news.

But to really develop a story you need conversations in order to bounce ideas around and flesh them out. And I’d wager most people still handle those in the old-fashioned way.

Now I’m not underplaying the importance of Twitter in the PR and marketing context. I believe it’s vital for industry engagement and content sharing, not to mention SEO. But for me, these latest figures simply underscore the importance of an integrated approach, with all the parts of the machine operating in harmony to really make the PR machine purr.

Ultimately, PR is an ideas business. The channels we have to debate and share these ideas might be shifting and increasing in number, but arguably at the heart of it, nothing’s really changed. It’s down to the quality of your idea and your ability to formalise and communicate it. That’s the recipe for success.

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