It's worth considering for a minute the 'box' - that universal mystery object we are all meant to think outside if we want to be creative. The 'box' of course was the enclosure that constrained everything that we were doing now and 'outside the box' was everything new.
In reality of course the 'box' contained the tools for what we are doing every day and has got us and continues to keep us where we are. In simple terms why do we have to think outside of the 'box'? certainly the 'box' should contain everything you need to move forward.
Taking a look at the usual PR 'box'. It contains the brand, the service, the messages, the creative, and the execution. Usually in neat rows with one part neatly progressing to the next until the communication is unleashed on the world, or anyway on the media channel selected to reach the intended target or whatever you want to communicate.
Those media channels were also neatly lined up. Newspapers - national and regional, magazines, and broadcast radio and television. Then along came the web and digital versions of what went before. So far so good. All these media channels had 'gatekeepers' - the journalists and editors that were and are the people that have to decide if our stories are of interest to their audience.
AND THEN came social media, blogs and forums. No more gatekeepers (well maybe of the better forums) and the opportunity of putting the message directly to end users and influencers and even creating a two way dialog!
Add this together with traditional media and we call this the "circle of influence".